The Victorian Auditor-General’s Office has found severe deficiencies in the performance of the regional V/Line network over the past decade.
V/Line had mostly fallen short of its targets, community expectations and had not successfully dealt with the challenges it’s faced in the past 10 years, the report said.
Rapid population growth, overcrowding, ongoing maintenance issues and an ageing fleet have all put pressure on the operator although V/Line has recently started to turn around this situation.
‘‘This report shows V/Line is back on track, after years of cuts and neglect from the former Liberal and National Government,’’ Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan said.
‘‘We inherited an operator in crisis but our record investment in trains, maintenance and the regional operator has turned that around.’’
But Member for Euroa Steph Ryan said the report confirmed the government is under-investing in rolling stock.
‘‘V/Line’s own assessment of its trains shows that $53million of rolling stock needs to be replaced immediately,’’ Ms Ryan said.
Ms Ryan said the report backed up her concerns and those that many people on the Seymour and North-East lines had raised with her about overcrowding.
The latest V/Line capacity data shows that in June this year, the 4.31pm and 5.11pm trains from Melbourne to Seymour were at 98 per cent and 100 per cent capacity respectively.
The VAGO report was especially critical of the way V/Line measured its performance and made several recommendations including that V/Line strengthen its process for monitoring and measuring on-time trains.