THE VICTORIAN Coalition government will not reduce regional rail fares despite announcing massive price drops for metropolitan network travellers.
Premier Denis Napthine today announced the price of a zone 1 and 2 daily fare would be reduced to that of the present zone 1 cost, and Labor has reportedly backed the plan.
When asked by The Warragul Citizen if the change would also apply to regional services travelling through those zones, a spokesperson for the premier said no price drop for V/Line customers was on the cards.
“With regard to fares, aside from changes outlined by the treasurer in the budget update late last year, (CPI plus 2.5 per cent,) there will be no other changes,” the spokesperson said.
“The government will continue to consider options to improve public transport for regional Victorians and will make further announcements in the future.”
On the Traralgon line zones 1 and 2 cover stations between Southern Cross and Pakenham inclusive.
The spokesperson defended the Coalition’s record on regional public transport.
“On Monday, the Coalition government announced that at it was increasing its order of VLocity rail cars for the regional network to a total of 43,” the spokesperson said.
“Warragul commuters are also set to benefit from the $26 million Warragul Rail Precinct upgrade and the Victorian Government’s recent $2-2.5 billion upgrade of the Dandenong Rail Corridor which will increase the capacity of this line by 30 per cent.”
The change to zone 1 and 2 travel will cost around $100 million per annum.
Today’s announcement comes as parties ready themselves for November’s state election. Labor has already announced its ‘Homesafe’ program, which will introduce all-night metropolitan public transport on Fridays and Saturdays and early morning buses to regional centres.
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