Suburban Melbourne residents are bracing for major delays as buses change in more than half of the rail community.
Nine of the community’s 16 tracks may be out of action next week as the crossing is eliminated and construction begins on the West Gate Tunnel Mission.
The Department for Transport and Planning says the major works will reduce journeys and congestion on the state’s roads and transform the best way to travel in Victorian times.
MetroTrains tracks affected include Cranbourne, Pakenham, Sunbury, Upfield, Craigburn, Werribee, Williamstown, Frankston and Stony Point.
A shortage of bus drivers is expected to add to travel chaos and create a “messy situation” in the coming weeks.
Travelers have been warned to extend their journey by as much as 90 minutes.
Melburnians living in the city’s west are being encouraged to earn money by working from home and not drive into the city for the next two weeks.
Thousands of Melbourne commuters are facing longer journeys to work due to extensive rail work across the MetroTrains community.
Melbourne commuters likely to be hit by myki price hike due to major delays
Bus operator Dyson is expected to struggle with the extra strain on existing core businesses.
“Our members are experienced in this type of work, we have supported the community with a large event and replacement work in the past, but I have serious concerns about one of the big four bus companies, Dysons, who I understand is indirectly involved,” said Mem Suleyman, Deputy Secretary of the Victoria Department of the Transport Workers Union.
“Their employees tell us they are tired and trying to keep up with current schedules.
“I urge the public to be patient and treat local bus drivers with respect and sensitivity.”
Public transport customer ownership has prompted the national authorities to introduce additional plans to avoid a “messy” state of affairs in the coming weeks.
“They need a significant number of buses and drivers to cover this period, especially on weekdays,” spokesman Daniel Bowen said.
“They need to make sure they can find enough drivers so there aren’t thousands of passengers waiting for delayed or canceled buses.”
The affiliation noted that companies delivered during key closures over a decade outpaced those currently delivered.
“I remember when we had organized bus fleets, we had dedicated lanes on the roads … at every station there were crowds of people gathering people … we don’t see that level of organization in some of the recent closures,” President Tony Morton. informed 3AW.
The shortage of bus drivers is expected to contribute to the chaos of the journey
The delays aren’t the only blow to Melbourne’s public transport riders as full myki fares rise by 9%, along with the best way.
The maximum daily price for full-fare owners will increase from $9.20 to $10, with concessionaires paying $5 starting July 1, up from $4.60.
Authorities pledged to bring regional Victoria rates in line with those in metropolitan areas in the coming weeks until the 2022 election.
Secretary Lily D’Ambrosio denied it would be unfair to advertise the $9.20 fees throughout the marketing campaign.
“Our commitment was very clear that they would be capped at the metropolitan rate,” she said on Friday.
She said the increase had been delayed by six months to help ease cost-of-living pressures and that the fee had been increased in line with the buyer’s value index.
Train tracks were suspended due to level crossing strikes and the West Gate Tunnel mission (pictured)
Mr Bowen pointed out that the increase was surprising, and at $5 per vehicle for a short trip in metropolitan areas, it was quite steep.
“While moderate fare hikes can be expected from time to time, the large increase in the standard fare of nearly nine percent will bite the passengers,” he pointed out.
“Especially for those in the suburbs, where local public transport is limited to irregular and often unreliable buses.”
Opposition spokesman Richard Riordan said the costs should have remained frozen until next year.
“An increase in public transport fares of almost 10 per cent is the biggest promise we’ve seen in just six months of the new government,” Riordan said.
Weekend and holiday fees can even increase to $7.60 for full-price owners and $3.60 for concessionaires.
Melburnians are being encouraged to make money working from home this week as 9 Metro train tracks are not running