Patronage numbers are expected to increase during the nine days of free travel on the V/Line network.
The embattled regional rail provider has offered commuters free transport as compensation for several weeks worth of drastically overcrowded and delayed services due to a wheel fault in its VLocity carriages that was caused by an outdated maintenance scheme.
Free travel on all V/Line services starts on Saturday and will finish on January 31.
A statement from Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan’s office said there is still room available on reserved services.
Stand-by coaches will be at stations along all lines to support busy services, with patronage to be monitored by staff.
Commuter John Moloughney hopes peak hours won’t be impacted.
“The concerns would be if they (V/Line) still have a large portion of the (VLocity) fleet out,” he said.
“I don’t think free riders are going to impact the service too much – but coming back (to Ballarat) could be the issue.”
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