Metro Trains Melbourne, Yarra Trams, and V/Line have failed to meet their contractually-set punctuality targets in the busy month of March, according to the latest performance figures released by Public Transport Victoria (PTV).
The three public transport providers were able to hit their reliability targets (the percentage of timetabled services that actually run during the month), with Metro achieving 98.6%, Yarra Trams 98.8%, and V/Line 97.0%.
However, with 4 million trips more trips taken on the public transport network in March than in February, all three operators failed to reach the targets set by PTV for the percentage of services running on time.
Metro delivered 91.2% of its train services on time, short of 92% punctuality benchmark established the new MR4 contract which came into effect in November 2017.
Unsurprisingly, given the extensive level-crossing removal works and station construction associated with the Caulfield to Dandenong project over recent weeks, the Pakenham and Cranbourne lines suffered the poorest results in March, with trains running on time 84.8% and 86.9% of the time, respectively.
Alan Fedda, PTV’s acting CEO, said the occurrence of major sporting events, with thousands of added trips, along with major transport infrastructure works, had impacted on the results, but indicated that the latter would, in the long-run, improve service punctuality.
“March also saw the start of a six-week construction blitz across Melbourne to remove four more level crossings, duplicate the Hurstbridge Line, prepare for new high capacity metro trains and progress work on the Metro Tunnel,” Fedda said.
“These major infrastructure works will increase the capacity of the network, drive longer term punctuality improvements and enable us to run more trains more often.”
Only 78.7% of Yarra Trams services ran on time, a dip from its February result of 81.7% and a good deal below its contractual target of 82%.
Yarra Trams, for its part, has said that road works and projects such as the Melbourne Metro Tunnel and the state’s and level crossing removals provided challenges in improving service punctuality.
Fedda, while noting the external contingencies faced by transport operators, stated that PTV nonetheless expects the monthly achievement of its contractual benchmarks.
“Despite a busy month, we are still looking to our operators to ensure services run to time so that passengers can rely on public transport to get them where they need to go,” he said.
“This is why we introduced stronger targets for punctuality in the new contracts.”
The regional train operator V/Line’s achieved an overall service punctuality of 81.7%, well beneath its monthly target of 92%.
“V/Line faced some challenges during March with fires in the state’s south west and disruptions in the east due to important upgrade works,” said Fedda.
“Despite this, they were able to deliver better reliability on a number of lines and punctuality on the Geelong line was at its highest since November last year.”