Posted on 13. Dec, 2011 in News

The Baillieu Government has rewarded Metro a $2.192 million bonus just days after announcing that commuters would be slugged a 8.6 per cent fare increase, Shadow Minister for Public Transport, Fiona Richardson today.

Ms Richardson said the Baillieu Government had lowered train performance standards, including adding in extra minutes on particular journeys, ensuring the train operator met targets.

“The Baillieu Government has made it easier for Metro to meet performance targets and receive bonus payments – but this is not helping commuters,” Ms Richardson said.

“Based on the Baillieu Government’s re-worked timetable that doesn’t benefit commuters, Metro is likely to receive $2 million in taxpayers money every quarter in bonuses, without any real benefit to commuters.

“The Government’s changes include running nearly two out of every three new peak hour trains in the wrong direction and adding time to services across the network.

“It is mischievous for Transport Minister Terry Mulder to claim he has suddenly and miraculously improved train services, when the timetables, travel times and performance targets have been re-worked.

“Not only are commuters being punished by these changes but they are now being slugged more than $2 million for the privilege just weeks out from being hit with significant fare increases.”

Ms Richardson said the Baillieu Government’s May 2011 timetable added an average of three minutes to commuter journeys on the Frankston and Cranbourne Line, two to three minutes on the Pakenham Line and about one minute on the Sandringham Line, allowing Metro to more easily meet their performance targets without actually providing a better service.

In the past month about 1200 train services were cancelled across the network.

Ms Richardson said Mr Mulder needed to spend an hour at Flinders Street Station during peak hour to understand commuter frustrations with the network.

“No doubt Mr Mulder will use these misleading performance results to support his arrogant claim to have fixedVictoria’s public transport in only 11 months. The fix is in and it does nothing to help Victorians,” she said.

“If Mr Mulder spent more time listening to the experiences of commuters and less time telling everyone what a wonderful job he was doing then perhaps commuters wouldn’t have to put up with longer travel times and peak hour trains running in the wrong direction.”

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