Changing times: Ballarat train commuters now have an extra daily peak service running to and from Ballarat. Picture: file photoMORE services aren’tnecessarily better for the daily Ballarat train commuter.
V/Line’sintroduction of an extrarun duringboth daily peak periods from Ballarat to Melbourne begins on Monday, but commuters still aren’t fully satisfied with the trip.
The change in timetables,taking into account the completedRegional Rail Link project, began on Sunday.
It is the week day trips that interest Ballarat’s residents themost.
Daily commuterJonathan Nolan, who previously took the 7.35am service from Ballarat Stationfor an 8.45am arrival at Southern Cross under the existing system, said the time change had been welcome for Ballarat residents starting their working day at 9am in Melbourne.
Mr Nolan said he now has an extra 10 minutes to get to workunder the new system with a service now leaving Ballarat at 7.24am,but is concerned about the continuing nature of overcrowded trains.
“The fact that there’s more servicesavailable is a good thing,” Mr Nolan said.
“Currently we’ve got overcrowding and quite often I’m giving up my seat.
“When the train arrives from Wendouree it’s quite sparse, but it’s close to full by Ballarat and it’s overcrowded from Ballan.
“From Bacchus Marsh and Ballan it’s definitely over capacity.”
Each service leaving Wendouree in the week daymorning stops at Ballan and Bacchus Marsh.
However, four extra peak-hourservices for BacchusMarsh will also clearsome of the congestionsuffered by passengerson the trip to Melbourne.
The next service leaving Ballarat Station in the morning departs at 7.46am for an 8.58am arrival at Southern Cross, proving nonviable for those with 9am work deadlines.
Mr Nolan said the primary focus should still be to lessen the travel time between Ballarat and Melbourne to one hour.
Options from Melbourne to Ballarat can lessen travel time to just 66 minutes, while tripsfrom Ballarat to Melbourne exceed 70 minutes.
“Some of the trains are running a very quick time to Ballarat,” Mr Nolan said.
“It’s reasonable to assume that same journey speed could be made in the morning.”
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