Adjournment matter: Prahran electorate train services
My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Public Transport, who I note is in the chamber at this time. The action I seek is for the minister to meet with commuters at Toorak, Hawksburn, Armadale and South Yarra stations to discuss ongoing issues with lack of services, unreliability and overcrowding during peak hour.
Hawksburn, Toorak and Armadale stations are all used by residents in the Prahran electorate and are bypassed by several Frankston line express trains during peak hour. This leads to peak hour waits of up to 12 minutes between trains — that is if services are running well. Delays result in overcrowded trains that leave commuters at the station unable to board, whilst several express trains with excess capacity pass through the stations.
Many of the peak-hour services stop at Malvern before becoming express services, which results in only a 3-minute time saving for those services while passengers at Hawksburn, Toorak and Armadale are left waiting. South Yarra commuters, despite having three lines service their station, still suffer from overcrowded trains by being the second last stop before the CBD. This situation is only going to get worse if there is no Melbourne Metro interchange and the Cranbourne-Pakenham line rail bypasses South Yarra station.
I understand that the government is going to introduce a new timetable later this year. I urge the minister to meet with commuters to hear firsthand their experiences so the government can implement a timetable that meets the needs of those residents in the Prahran electorate by providing more peak-hour services and begin to understand why not having a Melbourne Metro interchange with South Yarra will make overcrowding at that station even worse.
Ms ALLAN (Minister for Public Transport) —
The member for Prahran raised a matter primarily around the issue of services for a range of train stations in and around his electorate which service the Frankston line. He mentioned a range of issues around unreliability, delays and overcrowding experienced by passengers in this area, particularly during the peak-hour period, and also the knock-on effects of those issues — the loop bypasses and the station skipping which cause incredible frustration for passengers. I think these are the issues and challenges in our public transport system that we have inherited from a government that failed to address these critical issues, whether through a failure to invest in rolling stock, a failure to invest in infrastructure or, particularly and most glaringly, a failure to push on with the Melbourne Metro rail project — a project that is absolutely vital but unfortunately sat on a shelf for four years because the former government failed to recognise it was the sort of project that is needed to address a large number of those issues.
I appreciate that the completion of the Melbourne Metro rail project is a little way off and that people want to see these issues addressed now. The issues are being considered as part of further timetable changes that will be made later in the year. Of course there will need to be changes to the metropolitan timetable to accommodate the introduction of the Homesafe trial, an important public transport policy commitment made by the Andrews Labor government. I will make sure that Public Transport Victoria has taken note of the issues raised by the member for Prahran as we consider further timetable changes, look constantly for ways we can improve public transport services for people across Victoria — not just the inner Melbourne suburbs — and recognise that we have a legacy of catch-up because of the chronic failures of the previous Liberal-Nationals government.