By Bonny Burrows
Commuters on the Pakenham train line are being “left stranded”, with just 86.5 per cent of its services running to time.
Statistics revealed by Public Transport Victoria on 10 October reveal that despite improvement, the Pakenham line remains the worst Metro train service for punctuality.
According to the data, 91 per cent of Pakenham line services ran to time in September compared to 86 per cent in July.
This was not the lowest September average, with the Craigieburn line running to time on just 90.0 per cent of services.
However, the 12-month average ending September 2017 was the lowest in the state with just 86.5 per cent of the line’s total services making schedule.
Bass MP Brian Paynter said commuters weren’t happy.
“With reliability continuing to fall on the Pakenham line, commuters are left stranded on train stations unable to get to work,” Mr Paynter said.
He said locals wanted reliable and safe public transport to get to work and access education.
To achieve this, he said, upgrades were needed.
“Removing our level crossings and upgrading the signalling would certainly help and yet repeated calls on this government have been ignored,” Mr Paynter said.
“Once again this city-centric Andrews Government has failed people living in the South-East.”
Public Transport Victoria CEO Jeroen Weimar said September saw overall punctuality on Metro train services jump to 93.8 per cent.
He said this exceeded the new target of 92.5 per cent, to be introduced later this year.
“We’re seeing a continuing trend of better punctuality on our metropolitan trains, and with stronger contracts being introduced later this year we expect Metro to continue to provide a better service for our passengers,” Mr Weimar said.
“This is the first full month of the new Metro timetable, with 30 extra weekly services providing room for an additional 27,000 passenger trips at the busiest times of the day.”
A State Government spokesperson did not comment on the statistics.
However, they said the government was “getting on with the job of building the Metro Tunnel, introducing bigger high capacity Metro trains and removing 12 level crossings between Caulfield and Dandenong to boost the capacity and reliability of the Pakenham line.”
Metro Trains spokesman Marcus Williams said the organisation would continue to work with PTV and the government to deliver more punctual services, more often for passengers with more maintenance and major network upgrades.
“Performance again improved on the Pakenham line in September with punctuality reaching a 12-month high,” Mr Williams said.
“We are investing more than $1 million each working day on maintenance and renewals, which will increase more than 30 per cent under our new contract from later this year.”