The Victorian Government is adding hundreds of new train and tram services to the state’s busiest lines every week to give passengers more choice on when they travel and help maintain physical distancing across the network.
Minister for Public Transport Ben Carroll today announced further measures as part of the Government’s public transport response to coronavirus, with the new services starting next week alongside changes to make journeys safer for both passengers and frontline public transport staff.
From Monday 13 July, 95 extra train services on either side of the morning and afternoon peaks will be added to the metropolitan network each week, making it easier to stagger travel times and physically distance on services.
The Sunbury, Craigieburn, Werribee, Mernda, Dandenong, Ringwood and Glen Waverley lines will each get an extra 10 services per week and the Hurstbridge line will see five new services each week.
The Frankston and Sandringham lines will also get an extra 10 services per week from Monday 27 July, once level crossing removal works on the Frankston line are complete.
On the tram network, two new shuttle routes will run along Collins St – one during weekday peak periods along St George’s Road, Brunswick Street and Collins Street using large E Class trams, and the second for up to 19 hours each day between Victoria Harbour and St Vincent’s Plaza via Collins St.
To reduce congestion on Collins Street, Route 30 will be replaced with the Route 12 which will be diverted to La Trobe Street, providing alternative travel options within the CBD and additional capacity on La Trobe Street.
Bus journeys will be safer for passengers and drivers with the network-wide implementation of boarding through all doors over the next 18 months – helping passengers maintain distance and reduce crowding at bus stops.
The Department of Transport and bus operators will work with passengers to transition to this new model, which will be made possible by the permanent removal of cash transactions on board buses using myki from 13 July, with all passengers required to travel with a valid myki that has been topped up ahead of time.
These new measures are in addition to safety measures introduce across the public transport network during the past few months, including extensive cleaning across the network, hand sanitising facilities and more than $192 million in enhanced public transport maintenance through the Building Works stimulus package.
Victorians are reminded to be vigilant while on public transport – never travelling when unwell, practicing good hand hygiene at all times and physically distancing from others wherever possible.
Those using taxi and ride share services are reminded to sit in the back seat of vehicles to maintain distance with drivers. Vehicles are being regularly cleaned and high touch surfaces disinfected regularly to keep everyone safe.
As stated by Minister for Public Transport and Roads and Road Safety Ben Carroll
“We’re adding hundreds of new train and tram services every week – giving Victorians the options to travel outside of the traditional peak hours and practice better physical distancing, keeping us all safer.”
“We’re grateful to our frontline public transport staff for keeping Victoria moving during the pandemic – these changes will keep them safer as they do their essential work.”