Minister for Public Transport, Jacinta Allen, made a brief appearance in Warragul last week, as the V-Line rail network continued to falter for another week.
Ms Allen spoke with commuters at Warragul Railway station about the crisis and how the discontinuation of V-Line services has effected their daily lives.
A strong level of dissatisfaction was apparent among commuters.
“I understand the frustration felt by the community from speaking with local residents”, Ms Allen said.
“Works to to lift restrictions on the Gippsland line aim to be completed by the middle of next month.”
“We expect to see in that April to June period progressively less buses replacing trains.”
However, Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood, said Premier Andrews and the Minister for Public Transport continue to mislead Gippsland commuters about the extent of disruptions.
“Minister Allen (is hiding) the extent of disruption that Gippsland commuters will face until at least the 13th of March as they continue to deal with delays, interruptions and cancelled services”, Mr Blackwood said.
“Minister Allen has stated that service patterns on the regional network are stable and 80 per cent of services are operating as trains. That number is not accurate with V-Line stating that all but 4 services operating from Tralagon as coaches.”
By no means is a resolution to the crisis on the horizon.
Severe disruptions that have affected the rail network are expected to be resolved by June, with substantial improvements to begin from mid-March.
Free transport on replacement buses will continue.
Recent problems plaguing V-Line resulted in the resignation of former V/Line chief executive Theo Taifalos.
V-Line’s interim chief executive has made a public apology to passengers for the ongoing delays.