From Tuesday, a single peak fare from Bendigo to Melbourne will rise to $33.40.
In 2012, the same ticket cost $25.20.
Fares have risen sporadically in recent years – from eight per cent in 2011-2012 to 2.4 per cent from 2018-19 – but a single ticket to Melbourne remains one of the most expensive in the state.
So what do passengers get for their money?
Public Transport Victoria statistics show 96.7 per cent of 11,606 scheduled services were delivered on the Bendigo line in the 11 months of 2018.
Eighty four per cent of those services were ‘on time’.
V/Line considers a service on time if it is less than six minutes late.
The rail operator sets itself a target of delivering 92 per cent of services on time.
Monthly punctuality figures show the Bendigo line last reached its target for on time services in May 2015.
Around three per cent – or 378 – of the planned services were cancelled in 2018.
A number of those cancellations were attributed to staff sickness, as V/Line earlier this year admitting it had a higher than usual number of staff calling in sick, which had impacted services.
Since 2013, 1393 extra services have been added to the Bendigo line, which equates to 3.8 more trains per day.
What do commuters say
Commuters on the Bendigo line have voiced their frustration at cancelled or delayed services throughout the year.
Bendigo resident Kevin Finn used the service daily to commute to Melbourne for almost two years.
“The main issue is the quality of the service. I can't remember a week where there hasn't been a disruption,” he said.
“It’s all well and good to say we've got these new services, the problem is when you can't deliver current services at capacity.”
Mr Finn said the service was generally good in the morning, but the return to Bendigo was often a lottery.
He said some regular commuters with community commitments in Bendigo often scheduled meeting times in the evening based on the assumption the train will be late.
“If the service delivery is there then price rise is justified but I don't see why the price rise is justified if they can't deliver a service,” he said.
“There’s potential there for sure.”
Mr Finn said the new price for a peak single ticket did not encourage people to use public transport as an alternative.
“It’s nearly cheaper to take a car (to Melbourne) if there's one or two people going,” he said.
A spokesperson for Transport for Victoria said: “Between upgrading the Bendigo line, halving yearly student travel fares and keeping the costs of regional bus fares down, we’re doing all we can to give locals value for money services.”
“We want to keep delivering the services Victorians need, which is why fares are being kept in line with consumer price index and will contribute to the ongoing operation of the network.”
In 2013, the Liberal state government announced fares would rise by CPI plus 2.5 per cent between 2015-2018.
The state government has capped the two-hour regional town bus fare for travel within the same zone at $2.40 for the fourth consecutive year.
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