Passengers on V/Line services are expected to receive compensation following a week of relentless disruptions, late servicing and severe overcrowding.
Tuesday was the worst day yet, with 67 services cancelled and replaced by buses.
V/Line announced last week that a quarter of the VLocity trains were to be commissioned for urgent maintenance works to fix the fleet’s wheels, which are wearing at a higher than expected rate.
The state government has now asked the regional rail operator to come up with compensation options for commuters affected by the disruptions - such as free travel.
Ballarat commuters have been unanimous in their demands for compensation, with many believing the latest price hike by Public Transport Victoria makes the cost disproportionately high for the service that is being delivered.
Acting Premier James Merlino told reporters on Monday that commuters had "every right" to be frustrated.
“We’ve instructed V/Line to come up with options to provide compensation for regional commuters,” Mr Merlino said.
“This is good enough, people expect better and deserve better.”
Mr Merlino said investigations were taking place into the mysterious wheel fault, with V/Line to soon announce how it will fix the problem.
He said maintenance had also increased to rectify the affected wheels.
"Over the course of the week services will improve,” he said.
When speaking to The Courier on Monday, Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan said information on what is causing the wheel faults is expected to be provided in “the next couple of days”.
However, Ms Allan would not say if early investigations had shown that the problem was a wheel fault or caused by a section of the Regional Rail Link.
“We'll be able to provide more details in the next couple of days,” she said.
“There is some early information that's coming through but I'd be reluctant to say anything right now.
“It's both. It's (the investigation) looking at both of these problems (the wheels and sections of the RRL track).”
V/Line spokesperson Ebony Jordan said PTV will be consulted to determine how passengers could be compensated.
“The priority at this stage is to return services for customers and following the government’s request, we will look into options for compensation,” Ms Jordan said.
“We will work closely with Public Transport Victoria to look at ways customers may be compensated.”
Opposition public transport spokesperson David Hodgett was supportive of compensation.
“Passengers should get compensation. Daniel Andrews and Jacinta Allan have no regard for passengers that continue to face disruptions, cancellations, docked wages,” he said.
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