AFTER announcing last April that Ballarat commuters would receive free Wi-Fi on V/Line trains, the government is still conducting an analysis of potential solutions.
When The Courier asked when commuters would be able to use the service no timeframe was given.
“The government is investigating options to improve voice and data services for passengers travelling on the regional rail commuter lines through improved mobile coverage and potentially in-carriage Wi-Fi,” Victorian government spokesman Paul Robinson said.
“The Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources is currently conducting analysis of options for improved mobile and Wi-Fi services on commuter rail services.
“This analysis is based on a formal market consultation process which commenced last year. This analysis will be used to inform the government’s next steps in relation to this project.
“The timing of service improvements, the order of rollout to specific rail lines and costs will be subject to future government announcements.”
The project was unveiled by the then Napthine government as a $40 million pledge to improve mobile coverage on the Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong, Seymour and Traralgon commuter lines.
Despite $40 million being included in last year’s state budget for the project, it looks as if a solution could be years away with no set plan for how the rollout will occur.
Committee for Ballarat chairman Judy Verlin said she was keen to see the project progress as soon as possible.
“We understand there is work still happening as to the dynamics to figure out how it happens on the ground,” she said.
“Given the dollars are there to do the job, we would encourage all the parties to come together for early implementation.
“The feedback from people has been so strong to supporting the initiative, to be able to do work on the way home on the train.
“These are the sorts of things people make decisions on, if they will re-locate to Ballarat.
“So many people are saying they will get off the road and on trains if this is an efficient service.”