Member for Morwell Russell Northe has today renewed calls for a review of the Latrobe Valley’s unfair public transport ticketing structure that places local commuters at a disadvantage.
“I’ve long been calling for the State Government to review the myki ticketing structure in the Latrobe Valley, which forces local commuters to pay more to travel on public transport than other areas across the State” Mr Northe began.
“One of the major anomalies that has fallen under the radar, is the fact that those commuting from the Latrobe Valley to Melbourne on a direct service are forced to pay more than if one travelled on an indirect service. For example, with current ticketing prices the full fare return ticket Traralgon to Southern Cross station costs a commuter $7.20 more than if they travelled from Traralgon to Warragul and then Warragul to Southern Cross and returned in the same manner” Mr Northe continued.
“It’s bizarre to think that if one travelled to and from the city five days a week, they could save $36.00 just by tapping off and on at the Warragul Station on the way down and on the way back” Mr Northe said.
“Despite repeated calls over a long period of time for the State Government and Public Transport Victoria (PTV) to provide a fairer fare system for Latrobe Valley commuters, this has unfortunately fallen on deaf ears, so I have now decided to involve the Public Transport Ombudsman” Mr Northe said.
Mr Northe has delivered many years of advocacy for public transport users across the area, including for Seniors who are unable to access free and discounted travel and Students who pay more than double than their counterparts in other areas of regional Victoria.
“After years of frustration, in 2020 I commissioned a Parliamentary Intern report and the research clearly shows disparity in myki zoning increasing costs and lessening benefits. I have provided a copy of this report to the Minister’s office, however, I’m still yet to receive a reply” Mr Northe said.
“And as we continue to endure more delays and disruptions for the half a billion dollar Gippsland line upgrade it beggar’s belief that at the end of the day travel times seemingly won’t be improved and the outdated and unfair myki ticketing system will still mean Gippsland commuters are unfairly treated when it comes to the costs of public transport” Mr Northe continued.
“I have now written to the Public Transport Ombudsman, Mr Simon McKenzie, imploring the Ombudsman to recognise these ongoing issues and finally fix a system that is unfair and unjust. I will continue to strongly advocate for this vital issue to be addressed in my electorate. Public transport should be fair and equitable for all – no matter where you live” Mr Northe concluded.
Fare breakdown below current as of January 1 2021 via PTV Journey Planner
• Traralgon to Warragul = $10
• Warragul to Southern Cross = $18.20 = Total cost indirect service = $28.20
• Direct Traralgon to Southern Cross service = $31.80