Steve McGhie -Travellers enjoy V/line Bonanza

Melton residents are embracing public transport with v/line passengers across the state saving more than $50 million since the regional fare cap was introduced.

The then Andrews Labor Government introduced the regional fare cap on 31 March last year, making regional public transport more affordable by capping the daily regional fare at the same price as the daily metropolitan fare.

Regional trips were initially 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 would save people more than $40 for each and every journey on the regional public transport network”, said the media release by the Andrews government at the time.

No long after, there was a slight increase in the capped and daily fare – jumping to $10.60 from $9.20.

It is a huge saving nevertheless for those travelling from regional Victoria, helping ease cost of living pressures. A return ticket to Ballarat previously costing $45.60 now only costs $10.60, equal to the daily metro fare.

Victorians have been showing their enthusiasm for cheaper regional travel with patronage hitting record numbers in December, January and February.

Passengers on the Ballarat line are voting with their feet for cheaper and fairer fares, with 1,942,085 trips taken since the introduction of the Labor Government’s regional fare cap.

“With regional fares now so affordable, public transport really is the way to see what regional Victoria and its surrounds has to offer”, Member for Melton Steve McGhie said.

V/Line has also added hundreds of special services across the network, put on extra carriages, utilized standby coaches and trialed new reservations procedures to meet increased demand.

Regular special services have been running most weekends on the busy Wyndham Vale, Bacchus Marsh and Albury corridors, to give passengers more options to get to where they need to go.

Almost 200 extra permanent weekend services will be added thanks to a $219 million Labor Government investment in the Victorian Budget 23/24.

V/Line runs more than 2,250 scheduled train and 1,500 coach services every week, with more than 800 new services added onto the V/Line network since 2014.

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