Metro Trains Melbourne: Major delays this week, city lines down

Melbourne train commuters warned to expect major delays this week – with more than half the city’s lines out of action  

Melbourne train commuters are being warned to prepare for major delays this morning as buses replace trains on more than half of the rail network.

Nine of the train network’s 16 lines are out of action as level crossing removal and construction of the West Gate tunnel project commences.

‘We’re getting on with delivering the Metro Tunnel, West Gate Tunnel and level crossing removals, projects that will slash travel times and congestion on our roads, transforming the way Victorians travel,’ A Department of Transport and Planning spokesperson said.

 Metro lines impacted include Cranbourne, Pakenham, Sunbury, Upfield, Craigieburn, Werribee, Williamstown, Frankston and Stony Point lines.

Passengers have been urged to allow up to an extra 90 minutes for their journey. 

That’s not the only blow for public transport commuters in Melbourne, with a nine per cent rise in full myki fares on the way.

The maximum daily rate for full fare holders will jump from $9.20 to $10 and concession holders will pay $5, up from $4.60, from July 1.

The government promised to bring fares for regional Victoria into line with those in metropolitan areas in the weeks leading up to the 2022 election.

Minister Lily D’Ambrosio denied it was disingenuous to promote $9.20 fares during the campaign.

‘What our commitment was very clearly is that they would be capped at the metropolitan rate,’ she said on Friday.

She said the hike had been delayed by six months to help with cost-of-living pressures and fares were increased in line with the consumer price index.

Public Transport Users Association spokesperson Daniel Bowen said the rise was unexpected and charging metropolitan passengers $5 each way for a short trip was ‘pretty steep’.

‘While a moderate rise from time to time is to be expected, a large increase of almost nine per cent for the standard fare will sting passengers,’ Mr Bowen said.

‘Particularly (for) those in the suburbs where local public transport is limited to infrequent and often unreliable buses.’

Opposition Public Transport spokesperson Richard Riordan said prices should have stayed frozen until next year.

‘A near 10 per cent increase in public transport fares is the biggest broken promise we’ve seen already in only six months of the new government,’ Mr Riordan said.

Weekend and public holiday rates will also rise to $7.60 for full fare holders and $3.60 for concession holders.