The Liberal Government’s small order of additional trains today means that Melbourne commuters will be facing a critical shortage of 46 trains by 2017, Shadow Minister for Public Transport Fiona Richardson said.

Ms Richardson said despite all the noise from the Liberal Government, the fact is that commuters will be forced to squeeze onto overcrowded trains for years to come.

“Because Transport Minister Terry Mulder has been asleep at the wheel for the past two and a half years and failed to order the required number of new trains, the Liberal Government are now attempting to play catch-up but continually miss the train,” Ms Richardson said.

“Thanks to the Liberal Government’s failure to order the required number of additional trains, public transport is now set to get a lot worse.

“The Premier today made a reference to Mr Mulder and World War II which is appropriate considering the Liberal Government has declared war on commuters who will now have to fight even harder to get on a train.

“The Metro Strategic Operations plan says we need an additional 54 trains by 2017, so the Liberal Government’s order today is ridiculously short of what is required.

“The Government made an election promise to retire the 7 Hitachi trains which remain in peak hour operation so that means we need a total of 61 new trains by 2017.

“Even with the announcement today Victoria will be 46 trains short of what is required to meet patronage growth.

“The Liberal Government Transport Demand Report released two weeks ago talked about a doubling of patronage in the next 20 years and what we haven’t seen is the ordering of trains to meet this patronage.

“Clearly this very meagre offering today of eight new trains is actually going to leave commuters worse off and squashed on trains like sardines for years to come under the Liberal Government.”

Published on April 10, 2013