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(AUS)Metro plans to have less seats on inner city services


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From The Herald Sun:

Metro plans to have less seats on inner city services


Ashley Gardiner From: Herald Sun October 06, 2010 12:00AM


METRO plans to run a two-tiered train system in Melbourne to cope with booming patronage expected this decade.



Busy inner city services could lose seats to make way for more passengers.


But Metro chief executive Andrew Lezala said commuters travelling longer distances deserved more seats.


Speaking at the Melbourne Press Club yesterday, he said the network would eventually run two types of service.


"Over the next 10 years, we will certainly be running two types of service," he said.


"(There will be) a suburban service running relatively long distances over 25 minutes, where we need a lot of seats.


"Increasingly, in the centre, we're going to be running high-density services, and there may be a case for less seats in the future."


Mr Lezala said Hong Kong-style longitudinal seating, where there is one row of seats along either side of the carriage, could be introduced if growth in passenger numbers warranted it.


[under this model, express services that bypassed many inner city stations would run to the outer suburbs. Metro would also run short services that stopped at all stations in areas closer to the city.


Mr Lezala said service frequency would increase.


"I would be aiming for five-minute frequency in peaks on all major corridors, and 10 minutes in off-peak," he said.


Tourism and Transport Forum spokesman Euan Robertson said the public transport patronage growth in Melbourne was faster than in any other Australian city.


"Commuters need to be open-minded about innovative solutions such as restricting seating on congested services to manage this demand explosion," he said.


Metro met its punctuality target for September, after gradual improvement in on-time performance since May. Mr Lezala said he was now in discussions with the State Government to recover $4 million in payments it is owed.


The Government froze the money after Metro's persistent failure to reach targets.


Mr Lezala conceded passengers were intimidated on the system by youth gangs, drunks and people with mental issues.


"I sometimes feel intimidated," Mr Lezala said.


"A lot more visibility of our staff on the trains will help."






This kind of system is already in place. Frankston and Pakenham trains are two tiered to a point. Belgrave/Lilydale also have the two tiered system in peaks. Trains from beyond Blackburn are Express Box Hill-Camberwell-Glenferrie-Richmond. Blackburn trains are stoppers except East Richmond.

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