Rail passengers kept out of the loop

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FRANKSTON line trains will skip the City Loop for the next five years.

Major changes to train services were locked in last week. Passengers on the Frankston Line will skip the City Loop and travel straight through to Flinders Street until the opening of the Metro Tunnel in 2025. An extra 45 services a week have been added to the Frankston Line.

Cranbourne and Pakenham line passengers will get 90 new services each week, and will now travel anti-clockwise through the loop.

The changes come into effect 31 January, 2021.

Other changes have been made to encourage passengers to travel during off-peak times. For three months in early 2021, myki users will receive a 30 per cent discount if they travel between 9.30am and 4pm or after 7pm on weekdays.

Public transport minister Ben Carroll said “we’re introducing the biggest timetable change in a decade, delivering 450 extra train services to our busiest lines to give Victorians more options on their journeys and increase capacity on our trains.”

“We know COVID Normal will see people travelling differently than in the past. Working from home arrangements, more services and a discount for off-peak travel will make it easier for people to stagger their trips.

“This is just the first step in the massive improvements Victorians will see to our transport network, with new bigger, better trains as we prepare to deliver the Metro Tunnel and our upgrades of every regional rail line still to come.”

Changes to bus services between Frankston and the Mornington Peninsula were also announced last week.

The state government allocated $13.85 million in the budget to improve timetables and the frequency of bus services on the Mornington Peninsula.

Services on Route 788 from Frankston to Portsea will soon run every 30 minutes on weekdays and every 40 minutes on weekends – instead of the previous 40-50 minute frequencies – to tackle overcrowding and give passengers more choice about when they travel.

Mount Martha bus users will have better bus access with an extension of the Route 781 service to Dromana, while Route 887 – between Rosebud and Frankston – will be redirected along the Mornington Peninsula Freeway to reduce travel times for some passengers.

Mr Carroll visited Rosebud to announce the changes alongside Nepean MP Chris Brayne last week.

Mr Brayne said the state government had “listened to the community who have been calling for better bus services”.

“Peninsula locals will soon be enjoying more frequent and more reliable buses on the busiest routes in the area,” he said.

The MPs said the new timetables would suit those who rely on buses to get to work, school or university, as well as medical services and social events. Also, tourists will be better connected to popular attractions and to Frankston station.

with Stephen Taylor

First published in the Frankston Times – 8 December 2020

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