Victoria Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan
All Trains Connected Helping People Where They Need To Go
Victor P Taffa
Andrews Government is continuing its record investment to get regional passengers where they need to go, with more support for affordable and better connected journeys.
“Our regional train commuters and passengers are now better connected on every trip and we are on-track to improve mobile coverage by the end of the year when the mobile tower build is complete.” Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan said.
“Changes to the regional student pass will make a big difference for regional students who travel every day saving families on their yearly school travel costs.”
State Government has now completed the fitting out of Victoria’s entire VLocity train fleet with mobile signal boosters, delivering improved mobile coverage for passengers on the following lines:
“We are seeing more passengers on our trains working, studying, shopping, on social media and calling their family, boosting Victoria’s economy and allowing them to make the most of their travel time.” Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford said.
“We’re making public transport simpler and cheaper for regional families, while getting on with building the projects we need to run more trains, more often.”
Project includes the construction of new mobile towers that will combine with the boosters to increase mobile coverage for passengers on the state’s 5 busiest regional lines. Even on their own, without any new towers, the boosters give passengers mobile coverage for more of their journey.
This project will enable more Victorians to work during their daily commute, delivering an estimated $20 Million boost per year to the economy. There will still be some blackspots until all the 35 new mobile towers are up and running, but by the end of this year, passengers will benefit from improved mobile coverage on all their journeys.
Andrews Government will also introduce a cheaper and more affordable Regional Student Pass from Term 1 2019, with families saving on their yearly travel costs.
Victorian Budget 2018/2019 delivered $1.9 Million to lower the price of regional student fares, to better reflect the amount of travel regional students have to make when trying to complete their studies.
Many students already have access to discounted travel, now the State Government will increase the discount for Regional Student passes to 50 % of the yearly cost of concession travel.
“Our Regional Rail Connectivity Project means passengers can now use the internet and make calls while commuting, making rail journeys more productive and more enjoyable.” Minister for Innovation and the Digital Economy Philip Dalidakis said.
Currently Bendigo kids pay $385 a year for the regional student pass, based on the 2018 prices this will go down to 50 % of the yearly myki money concession rate, meaning students will only pay $235.
This is in addition to a raft of other measures to make transport more affordable including:
- Children under 5 years old don’t require a myki,
- Free off-peak travel for primary school groups from January 2018, with Victorian primary school groups able to apply for free travel on metropolitan and regional services,
- Free weekend travel for Victorian Carer Cardholders,
- Reducing the 28-69 day myki pass for regional passengers.
Work is also underway to bring better train services to Bendigo and Echuca, with critical surveying works completed on the line in July. The joint funded $91 Million Bendigo and Echuca Line Upgrade will enable faster and more frequent services to Echuca and more frequent services from Epsom and Eaglehawk to Bendigo.