Over 100,000 more people commuting on Ballarat line

AN EXTRA 110,000 people travelled on V/Line services on the Ballarat line in the last financial year compared with the previous year, according to the 2011-12  V/Line annual report.

The increase from 3.10 million passengers to 3.21 million is a larger percentage growth rate than both the Bendigo and Geelong lines.

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Tabled in parliament this week, the V/Line annual report highlights improved punctuality of services (up 1.5 per cent) and a 134-strong VLocity fleet, which travelled 13 per cent longer between faults.

The report also revealed V/Line’s total income increased by 6.1 per cent, but customer satisfaction fell 3.1 per cent.

Chief executive officer Rob Barnett said resources had been stretched and V/Line had tried to do more with less.

Mr Barnett listed among V/Line’s “key achievments” for the financial year the building of a $16.5 million maintenance facility at Ballarat East, which was handed over to maintenance contractor Bombardier in February 2012.

He also said the successful return of trains to Clunes for the first time in 18 years in December 2011 was another key achievement for the company.

The report also indicates up to $2.5 million has been allocated for works to enable the return of trains to Talbot on the Ballarat-Maryborough line in 2013.

jordan.oliver@thecourier.com.au

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