A survey by Public Transport Victoria found that commuters from growth areas of Dandenong and Craigieburn are forced to squeeze onto trains due to overcrowding.
The Dandenong line, south-east of Melbourne, recorded an increase of more than 20 percent in the number of overcrowded peak trains in the morning compared to last year. Whereas the Craigieburn line, north of Melbourne, increased by more than 21 percent.
Overcrowding occurs when the passenger level exceeds a comfortable standard rather than being a safety measure. The standard capacity limit for trains in Comeng and Siemen is 798 passengers, while the limit for X’Trapolis trains is higher at 900.
The afternoon peak was not as overcrowded as the morning peak, with only seven percent of trains being overcrowded.
Williamstown line has the best record with all trains having no overcrowding for both the morning and afternoon peaks.
Public Transport Users Association spokesman Daniel Bowen tweeted that politicians should try catching trains so that overcrowding and infrequent services will be fixed.
If politicians used PT all the time, problems like crowding and infrequent services would be fixed pronto. https://t.co/JLZGxcncZX
— Daniel Bowen (@danielbowen) September 22, 2016
Twitter user, Erdem Koc, tweeted metro trains about their hopelessness and not running enough trains to help with demand.
— Erdem Koç (@erdemkoc) September 22, 2016
Metro uses the findings to help determine when the trains are most frequently being used by the most passengers. The data is then used to add new or extra services for the high demand time periods.
In the past year, however, there has been no new or extra services added to the lines, the survey said.
The Victorian Government is hoping once the Melbourne Metro Rail tunnel is built it will ease congestion. The Dandenong and Sunbury lines will then run through the tunnel instead of the city loop.
Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan told the ABC the tunnel, along with removing rail crossings, will make the train network faster. – Report and photo by Megan Simmonds