Best news for families split between regional and metro Melbourne
V/Line fares capped at $9.20 max throughout Victoria from March 31
The Andrews Labor Government is making public transport affordable and accessible to Victorians in every corner of the state, with the regional fare cap coming into effect from March 31.
Right now, a daily full-fare from Geelong to Melbourne costs up to $27.60, a daily full-fare from Ballarat costs up to $45.60 and a daily full-fare from Bendigo costs up to $68.80.
From March 31, all V/Line fares will be capped at $9.20 max, saving up to 66 per cent if you are travelling from Geelong, up to 80 per cent if you are travelling from Ballarat and a whopping 88 per cent if you are travelling from Bendigo.
This is the best news for all those Indian families who are split between Melbourne metro and regional towns like Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo.
This will also help them, enabling many of their own, to come and work in Melbourne on a daily basis.
“My uncle 84, lives in country Victoria and he has not been well lately. Given the cost of driving there, it has not been very often that we have visited him. With the V/Line fares now capped at $9.20 max, it will be much easier for our family to visit him”, Devender Singh told Bharat Times.
Another young family, who migrated to Australia in 2012, have been facing travel cost issues with one partner only finding job in regional Victoria and the other finding employability in metro Melbourne.
Not sounding like a cliché, this fare cap will help unite many families. One partner can find work in Geelong, Ballarat or Bendigo or in the surrounding places and station themselves accordingly and the other can afford to travel to Melbourne for work.
The cap will also be a huge help to international student couples / young families living in regional Victoria. In many cases, such young families have their parents over to assist them.
Those parents often travel between cities and towns and now will be able to afford to travel more frequently taking care of their loved ones and meet their own friends more often.
“Only last week, my dad and I travelled to Bendigo to pick up some medicine which was in absolute short supply in Melbourne. We drove and were exhausted and drained when we got back. If this capped fare were available to us, we would not have driven”, Butta Singh said when asked if the capped fares would be any help to those living in Melbourne metro.
“I wanted to go back for a day trip but my dad did not want to drive the family (of four) that far. With fare only $9.20 from March 31, we will soon be planning the trip”, Butta added.
With the cap coming into effect just before the first school term break, we should see a lot more travel on V/Line these holidays.
That will give more business to our regional economies. In short, it is a win-win for all.
“We’re proud to be making regional fares fair – making public transport accessible to passengers who live in every corner of our state and opening up regional Victoria to more visitors,” Premier Daniel Andrews said.
Passengers wishing to purchase a ticket for long-distance trains and coaches can now make a booking. It started yesterday at 9am. At Southern Cross Station, tickets can be purchased from the ticketing office.
Current metro fares mean regional trips will initially be capped at $9.20 for a full fare or $4.60 for a concession – and at $6.70 and $3.35 for concession on a weekend or public holiday.
For those who take long-distance V/Line journeys, the regional fare cap can save people more than $40 for each and every journey on the regional public transport network.
“The regional fare cap will transform the way Victorians travel and encourage more people to connect with family and friends right across our state – and will also benefit our fantastic regional tourism businesses,” Minister for Public Transport Ben Carroll said.
The cap will also apply to interstate travel within 60 kilometres of the Victorian border, to ensure those living in border communities in New South Wales and South Australia benefit as well. The fare cap applies to all PTV regional buses, town buses and V/Line trains and coaches.
The public transport network across regional Victoria, running more trains more often – is being boosted with nearly $1.5 billion investment in 59 new VLocity trains since 2014, creating around 500 jobs, according to the state government.
The government says since 2014, it has added 800 V/Line extra train services – with a record 2,200 regional train services now operating every week.
Another approximately 200 extra weekend services are planned to be added to the V/Line timetable from 2024 – with a further order of 23 VLocity trains to meet the demands of a growing network.
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