Patronage is jumping, but new carriages are not necessarily coming online quick enough, according to V/Line's annual report.
The report released last week has shown Ballarat has experienced a 45.7 per cent jump in patronage numbers in the past five years, hitting 4.9 million customers for the 2018-19 financial year.
But despite the heavy growth, there has only been 12 new VLocity carriages added in the past 12 months - bringing the total to 48 - which was a state government commitment - to completion. Another 39 carriages have been ordered.
Of those 12 to come online, just two have recently been added to the Ballarat line, running peak hour services between Southern Cross and Bacchus Marsh.
But the State Government promises some sort of relief is on the way with the Ballarat line upgrade expected to be finished within weeks allowing for services to run every 40 minutes.
However, if you think it's getting crowded on the Ballarat line, spare a thought for those commuters on the Geelong line which has seen a 131.5 per cent growth in numbers in the past five years.
Passengers using the Geelong line have risen from just over four million passengers to the past year 9.83 million. However that line does now include outer western suburbs of Melbourne and new stations including at Marshall and Waurn Ponds in growth areas.
The report also outlines that the authority suffered $30 million deficit for the 2018-19 year which VLine says is due to higher than budgeted leave entitlement charges.
The State Government contribution to the authority also dropped $149 million however according to the report, this was heavily due to the phasing out of V/Line's activity on the Murray Basin Rail Project.
The State Opposition has claimed that the $149 million is proof that regional customers are being short-changed for new Metro Rail works.
"V/Line passengers are the ones who are facing the pain for Daniel Andrews' savage budget cuts, with delays and cancellations every day," opposition transport spokesperson Steph Ryan said.
"Compensation paid to travellers has soared because of the network's constant failure."
But the State Government hit back claiming the opposition had not delved deeply into the report, instead looking at numbers over facts.
"The Opposition can have its own opinions but can't have its own facts - this is scare-mongering from the Nationals who have an appalling track record on delivering regional rail services for Victorians," Public Transport Minister Melissa Horne said.
"We invested an extra $41 million last financial year for V/Line operations - allowing it to continue running a record number of train and coach services across Victoria."
"At the same time we're building more tracks and stations through the $1.75 billion Regional Rail Revival and delivering on our promise to provide new regional trains."
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