Train passengers are being “crammed in like sardines”, with a new report showing the number of passengers using Wyndham Vale station had increased by 20 per cent in the past 12 months.
According to V/Line’s annual report, more than 120,000 new passengers came through the Wyndham Vale station alone last year.
The report also stated the number of passengers using Tarneit station increased by 17 per cent (176,000 new passengers) in the 2018-19 financial year.
Information available on V/Line’s website showed that on average, between March 21 and May 5 this year, all of the seats on the 4.31am weekday service from Geelong to Southern Cross station were occupied by the time the train arrived at Tarneit station.
This was also the case for the 5.12am, 5.45am, 6.13am, 6.44am, 6.48am and 7.36am trains.
On average, the 6.44am and 7.35am trains reached 100 per cent seating capacity by the time they reached Wyndham Vale.
The 7.11am, 7.33am and 7.55am trains from Wyndham Vale station also hit 100 per cent seating capacity by they time they reached Tarneit-Ardeer.
Earlier this month, Star Weekly reported that commuter Eldhose Varghese has started a Change.org petition calling for more frequent train services to run through Tarneit and Wyndham Vale stations during peak hours.
More than 1540 people have signed the petition, which states that often, trains run short (three carriages only) through the two stations.
Mr Varghese said this “… makes it almost impossible for the residents of Wyndham Vale/Tarneit to board the train”.
After the story was posted on Star Weekly’s Facebook pages, many readers commented about the lack of room on the V/Line train services.
“The situation is impossible and getting worse. ‘Peak’ hour doesn’t quite describe it. The 6.33am from Tarneit to Southern Cross is packed. People are queued ten-deep at every carriage door,” Christine commented.
“We are paying in full to be cramped in like sardines in the trains,” Jules posted.
A V/Line spokesperson said: “More people than ever before are travelling on V/Line services – with more than 22.36 million passenger trips last financial year.”