The Andrews Government has slashed $149 million from V/Line’s annual budget as country passengers continue to be plagued by frustrating delays, cancellations and service breakdowns.
The release of the V/Line annual report, tabled in Parliament today, also reveals the organisation suffered a $30 million deficit in 2018/19.
The news comes as customer satisfaction with the state’s regional train service hits a 10-year low and key train lines fail to meet their monthly punctuality targets.
The annual report also shows that compulsory compensation paid by V/Line for late running services has increased by 50 per cent in the past 12 months, despite patronage growing by just seven per cent over the same period.
Shadow Minister for Regional Public Transport Steph Ryan said “Taking the axe to V/Line while pouring billions of dollars into metropolitan Melbourne makes a mockery of Daniel Andrews’ claim that he governs for all Victorians.
Regional rail has become a disaster under Daniel Andrews and his embattled Public Transport Minister Melissa Horne.
Instead of investing to improve V/Line’s woeful service, Labor has left it in deficit and slashed $149 million from its budget.
V/Line passengers are the ones who are facing the pain for Daniel Andrews’ savage budget cuts, with delays and cancellations every day.”
Compensation paid to travellers has soared because of the network’s constant failure.