By SJA Jafri
MELBOURNE: Melbourne’s train and tram operators could face financial penalties after they both failed to meet beefed-up performance targets introduced last month.
Public Transport Victoria (PTV) said 91.6 percent of Metro Train services were on time in December, just short of the required 92 percent.
Yarra Trams ran at 80.7 percent, below the expected 82 per cent. The Andrews Government set higher benchmarks for Metro and Yarra Trams in new contracts which came into effect on November 30. Previously, Metro Trains was required to run at 88 percent and Yarra Trams at 77 percent. Under the new contract, Metro can face penalties of up to $1.25 million each month and Yarra Trams up to $500,000 a month.
PTV said the penalties for December would be decided in the coming weeks. Its Chief Executive Jeroen Weimar said both operators needed to improve. “We’ve raised the bar in the new contracts with our train and tram operators to deliver a better travel experience for our passengers,” he said in a statement.
But PTV said December was a difficult month, with the Flinders Street car attack, storms and flash-flooding and hot weather causing unavoidable delays.
Metro was fined $1.2 million after a computer malfunction left thousands of passengers stranded last July.
Raymond O’Flaherty, the Executive Director of Metro Trains, said it was not yet clear if the operator would be fined. “It’s month one of a new seven year contract, we’re working very hard to ensure we will consistently meet our new contract requirements,” he said.
“All of the incidents from the month need to be taken into account, so it’s going to take a little bit more time to work through that. While services on the Bendigo and Seymour lines improved, 83 percent of V/Line services were on time in December, its worst overall performance since May.