There is no excuse for failure of metropolitan train service admits transport official

Asked at a Public Accounts and Estimates Committee hearing today, Jeroen Weimar, Head of Transport Services at the Department of Transport, agreed the Andrews Labor Government has no excuse for why the train system can’t run on time, even with almost no passengers.

The COVID-19 restrictions have meant that during April, the metro rail system ran a service with next to no passengers.

However, the April Public Transport Performance data tells us that despite the massive drop in passenger numbers, there were still over 2,200 late services, and about 1250 cancellations, bypasses, short trips and station skips.

The dramatic drop in passengers on the train network as a result of COVID-19 restrictions and the late, cancelled, bypasses, short trips and station skips have shown that there is something systemically broken and dysfunctional about Melbourne’s train network. 

NSW in almost identical circumstances can run its peak time services at near 100 per cent – yet Daniel Andrews can’t run our peak and off-peak services on time, even without the passengers.

The metropolitan train timetable is dysfunctional, it’s broken and Andrews is doing nothing to fix it.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Public Transport (Metropolitan), David Davis:

“Why haven’t Melbourne’s trains been running on time during the COVID lockdown? The metropolitan train network has been empty – just 15 per cent of normal numbers.

“Even without passengers, Andrews can’t run punctually: there is something inherently wrong with the timetable.

“Labor has failed to meet its train performance targets with passengers for years before COVID. Now pretty much without passengers, Andrews has no excuse for times missing their deadlines and targets.”

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