22 February 2016
Results from RACV’s second On Track survey have revealed that car parking and overcrowding are among a number of train station and train service issues that most concern Melbourne rail commuters.
The On Track five week survey was launched last October in conjunction with Leader Newspapers and attracted more than 17,800 respondents.
All train users rated their satisfaction with the stations they use most and half of them nominated issues they face with facilities or services. These commuters were most concerned about train station car parking, toilets and safety and when it came to train services; lack of seating, overcrowding and trains not running on time.
The results aim to highlight the improvements needed on the rail network and to pin point the issues that are of most concern to train travellers.
The train station to receive the best score in the On Track survey was Wyndham Vale on the Geelong train line with an average score of 8.95 out 10. The station that rated the lowest was Aircraft, on the Werribee line with a score of 4.86.
RACV Manager Public Transport and Mobility, Thanuja Gunatillake said it was disappointing that the issues of train station car parking, toilets and safety issues have ranked right up there in the top three spots, just as they did in 2013.
“While there have been improvements since the inaugural On Track survey two years ago, and we are hearing from happy commuters at stations like Wyndham Vale, it is clear that more action is required to deal with these top three irritants.
When it came to train services the new gripe for almost half of unsatisfied respondents was a lack of seating (49 per cent). When you add the second most common complaint of overcrowding (47 per cent) it’s clear that commuters want more space.
“Improvements like the Metro Rail tunnel, the program of railway crossing removals, better signalling and longer trains can’t come quickly enough to provide relief to the congestion problems on the rail network.’
Ms Gunatillake said the provision of adequate car parking at train stations is an urgent issue and additional parking and better bus services are clearly needed.
“With 42 per cent of commuters parking their car at the station it is not surprising to find that many people struggle to find a spot and better alternatives for getting to the station must be provided including better bus connections, walking and cycling paths,” Ms Gunatillake said.
A third of commuters who identified an issue said they feel unsafe in or around their station at certain times of the day highlighting the need for a closer look at some stations on the network. Ms Gunatillake said perceptions of safety can be influenced by a whole range of factors including lighting, station layout and the design of pedestrian paths and car parks.
“These survey findings show that investment in rail services and infrastructure is struggling to keep up with Melbourne’s population growth.
“We know that almost three quarters of our 2.1 million members use public transport and want to see rail services improved.
“RACV is again proposing that urgent investment in public transport is needed to address the key issues identified by commuters, to improve rail way stations and train services.
For the full survey results go to: racv.com.au/ontracksurvey
The top issues according to users who identified issues with their train stations:
- 53 per cent said they had difficulty finding a car park
- 33 per cent said they were concerned about a lack of toilet facilities
- 30 per cent said they felt unsafe at certain times of the day
The top issues according to users who identified issues with their train services:
- 49 per cent said they struggled to find a seat on their train
- 47 per cent said their trains were overcrowded
- 46 per cent said they struggled with trains not running on time