The $615 return air fare to Mildura for Easter 2015

 
  wobert Chief Commissioner

Location: Half way between Propodolla and Kinimakatka
Mikey, you interrupted this

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnuB_DjhC0M  for that.

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  Barrington Womble Photo Nazi

Location: Banned
ZH is of the opinion that any long distance PT travel is arduous at best.

I posted the thread as a comparison between government and privately provided PT as in air transport.

Yes I've driven to Mildura from Ballan, and before that years ago from Laverton with train travel many times over the years, however as I got older and fatigue decided I need to take a power nap along the way. So I decided for my own sanity and the safety of others that V/Line after much consideration was the easiest and most convenient alternative. The V/Line fare is cheaper than fuelling my already cheap to run MINI Cooper S.

Whilst travelling I read, usually Saturdays Age, surf the Web after I've looked at the lovely and homely scenery between Sunbury and Bendigo and generally contemplate life. (I was born in Castlemaine and still have friends and family there)

After Swan Hill I usually put on my noise cancelling headphones and with the music on my smart-phone and with an afternoon nap, the time soon passes to Mildura.

It's really a very relaxing way to travel and from August even cheaper as I turn 60... Wink


Mike.
The Vinelander


That's lovely, Dear.

So in effect you are admitting to starting up yet another pointless thread about a train service to Mildura. I'm not sure whether you have nothing to do, or this is your way of trolling. The answers are always the same. Isn't it about time you found another hobby horse?
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
That's lovely, Dear.

So in effect you are admitting to starting up yet another pointless thread about a train service to Mildura. I'm not sure whether you have nothing to do, or this is your way of trolling. The answers are always the same. Isn't it about time you found another hobby horse?
Barrington Womble
I thought it was much more about the fares than the service?
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
Plus taxi to/from Mildura airport - $20.00 x 2

Plus taxi/skybus to/from Melbourne airport - $50.00 x 2 = around $200.00 each way
The Vinelander
You really are clueless to the reality.

Air is predominately used by single traveller family, business, students, etc. - there is no taxi, most get picked up.

You seem to be under some delusion that holiday makers use it - they don't, they drive (as with larger groups).

Stop embarrassing yourself.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat Line
Just out of curiosity, if V/Line was to turn a profit, do you think it would still be cheaper that travelling by air (all costs considered)?
railblogger

V/Line is like the ABC, it's a government operated business that doesn't 'cherry-pick' profitable routes all over Victoria. Without a doubt it's the most successful ground based regional public transport operator in Australia. It exists to provide accessibility and connectivity across most of the state at an affordable price.
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
V/Line is like the ABC, it's a government operated business that doesn't 'cherry-pick' profitable routes all over Victoria. Without a doubt it's the most successful ground based regional public transport operator in Australia...
The Vinelander
...with a V in its name.
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
V/Line is like the ABC, it's a government operated business that doesn't 'cherry-pick' profitable routes all over Victoria. Without a doubt it's the most successful ground based regional public transport operator in Australia. It exists to provide accessibility and connectivity across most of the state at an affordable price.
The Vinelander
Not meaning to be rude, but it doesn't quite answer the question for me.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
/Line is like the ABC, it's a government operated business that doesn't 'cherry-pick' profitable routes all over Victoria. Without a doubt it's the most successful ground based regional public transport operator in Australia. It exists to provide accessibility and connectivity across most of the state at an affordable price.
"The Vinelander"
So why are you grumbling about the air fare?
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

V/Line might be cheap and have a huge network and carry a lot of people, but by World standards its cost recovery is apalling like it costs the Victorian taxpayer $ 18  subsidy for every passenger completed on V/Line.  $ 10 would be bad enough but $ 18 is horrendous .

This cost recovery could be improved dramatically by a five pronged approach  of :  1.  Pricing commuter journeys at a more realistic level  (these travellers determine the maximum fleet size but pay the lowest fares per km)  2.  By substantially improving operational efficiencies through operating train consists more appropriately matched to patronage per trip  (running round 6 car VL consists when a 4 car set would be sufficient is just burning money)  3. Through using at Off Peak times available (already paid)crew and fleet resources more efficiently to increase frequencies in selected corridors earning additional revenue .   4. By charging a 5 % surcharge on One way tickets 5. By progressively increasing VLP fares above CPI at each January fare increase to better reflect the quality of service being delivered by a very enthusiastic team overall at VLP .
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
V/Line might be cheap and have a huge network and carry a lot of people, but by World standards its cost recovery is apalling like it costs the Victorian taxpayer $ 18  subsidy for every passenger completed on V/Line.  $ 10 would be bad enough but $ 18 is horrendous .

This cost recovery could be improved dramatically by a five pronged approach  of :  1.  Pricing commuter journeys at a more realistic level  (these travellers determine the maximum fleet size but pay the lowest fares per km)  2.  By substantially improving operational efficiencies through operating train consists more appropriately matched to patronage per trip  (running round 6 car VL consists when a 4 car set would be sufficient is just burning money)  3. Through using at Off Peak times available (already paid)crew and fleet resources more efficiently to increase frequencies in selected corridors earning additional revenue .   4. By charging a 5 % surcharge on One way tickets 5. By progressively increasing VLP fares above CPI at each January fare increase to better reflect the quality of service being delivered by a very enthusiastic team overall at VLP .
kuldalai
By commuter journeys do you mean periodical tickets/myki passes?
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat Line
Not meaning to be rude, but it doesn't quite answer the question for me.
railblogger


No offence taken...what you are talking about will likely never happen.
  mejhammers1 Chief Commissioner

Location: Banned
I use V/Line regularly to travel to/from Mildura. I support the V/Line service. ZH supports the airlines.

I won't have ZH attempting to pull the wool over mine and everyone elses eyes in a feeble attempt to convince us the airlines are so cheap to travel with (on their terms) that when traffic is at its lightest it only costs a mere $130.00 each way to travel.

What ZH neglects to advise is the significant transport costs to/from both airports which alone are more than the V/Line fare.

Mike.
The Vinelander
@ Mike

I am with ZH on this and I think he is being rather restrained because this type of thread winds me up something shocking !!! The fact that some people thinks that the Vic Government should fund to the tune of a 1/4 billion dollars so that about 37,000 people, ( That is approx population north of Maryborough) can be served by 1 up train and 1 down train a day and there are huge areas of Melbourne with as much as 1/2 million people cannot get access to even decent Bus Services, it is a joke. The Tax payer is already subsidising each V/Line Passenger to the tune of $18 dollars and there is no way the taxpayer should be asked to fund even more. That level of subsidy is unsustainable. Quite frankly to say that V/Line is the most successful regional operator says that 1. People use it because it is cheap (courtesy of the Taxpayer) 2. It does not say much for PT in Regional Australia as a whole.

Michael
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
No offence taken...what you are talking about will likely never happen.
The Vinelander
Unfortunately...thanks to the politics that influences our transport planning.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

By commuter journeys do you mean periodical tickets/myki passes?
railblogger
Commuters travelling on peak VLP services with Myki Pass  are charged ridiculously low fares, which should be increased to achieve a better cost recovery of the cost of providing that extra peak capacity for two one way trips a day .  Such rates currently charged are way below the alternative costs of private motoring/parking .
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
Commuters travelling on peak VLP services with Myki Pass  are charged ridiculously low fares, which should be increased to achieve a better cost recovery of the cost of providing that extra peak capacity for two one way trips a day .  Such rates currently charged are way below the alternative costs of private motoring/parking .
kuldalai
I thought so. I believe the discount is 70-80%, depending on zones. This discount should be at most 30%.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat Line
You really are clueless to the reality.

Air is predominately used by single traveller family, business, students, etc. - there is no taxi, most get picked up.

You seem to be under some delusion that holiday makers use it - they don't, they drive (as with larger groups).

Stop embarrassing yourself.
ZH836301

To ZH and the other arm-chair economists...

As a single traveller I fit into your criteria, consequently I would be required to pay the additional costs I documented above were I to choose to travel by airline to visit my folks in Mildura.

Far from embarrassing myself I simply advise why it would cost a minimum of $200.00 each way from me to travel from Melbourne to Mildura, even if I lived in the heart of Melbourne.

Its the likes of you ZH, and other arm-chair economists who post in these pages who consider that anyone who lives beyond an arc from Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo, Seymour and Traralgon that those citizens of Victoria are not worthy of government provided services.

It was similar thinking to yours that lost Jeff Kennett the 1999 election...

Happy Easter...

Mike.
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
Its the likes of you ZH, and other arm-chair economists who post in these pages who consider that anyone who lives beyond an arc from Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo, Seymour and Traralgon that those citizens of Victoria are not worthy of government provided services.
The Vinelander
Of course they are.

But decent transport does not have to come in the form of rail and does not have to run at a loss.

The system is a government business and should run as such.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat Line
Of course they are.

But decent transport does not have to come in the form of rail and does not have to run at a loss.

The system is a government business and should run as such.
railblogger

Clearly you are NOT reading my posts...consequently you are making assumptions.

Government is in the business of providing transport and connectivity between one place and another and this will increase as the boomers age and cannot drive any longer. Running at a loss is part of the community service obligation of operating a public transport system.

I'm advocating the use of V/Line's convenience, comfort and economical fares to the average punter over the illusory fast and far more expensive airline travel to Mildura.

Not since the 2010 Brumby government transport study of the north west have I strongly advocated for the trains return.


Mike.
  mejhammers1 Chief Commissioner

Location: Banned
Clearly you are NOT reading my posts...consequently you are making assumptions.

Government is in the business of providing transport and connectivity between one place and another and this will increase as the boomers age and cannot drive any longer. Running at a loss is part of the community service obligation of operating a public transport system.

I'm advocating the use of V/Line's convenience, comfort and economical fares to the average punter over the illusory fast and far more expensive airline travel to Mildura.

Not since the 2010 Brumby government transport study of the north west have I strongly advocated for the trains return.


Mike.
The Vinelander
@Mike

Yes it is part of the community service obligation., but I do not know anywhere where the subsidy is so high. Anyway the Bus from Swan Hill is adequate to my mind.

Michael
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
Clearly you are NOT reading my posts...consequently you are making assumptions.

Government is in the business of providing transport and connectivity between one place and another and this will increase as the boomers age and cannot drive any longer. Running at a loss is part of the community service obligation of operating a public transport system.

I'm advocating the use of V/Line's convenience, comfort and economical fares to the average punter over the illusory fast and far more expensive airline travel to Mildura.

Not since the 2010 Brumby government transport study of the north west have I strongly advocated for the trains return.


Mike.
The Vinelander
Ok sorry about that. I guess I did draw a conclusion about the train. But I still believe that the cost recovery level of the system should be a damn-sight better than what it is now.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat Line
Ok sorry about that. I guess I did draw a conclusion about the train. But I still believe that the cost recovery level of the system should be a damn-sight better than what it is now.
railblogger

Cool....cost recovery is a worthy separate discussion.

I've travelled in rural England where the fares are astronomically high compared to Victoria. It'd be interesting to see what the cost of operating the British system is compared to their farebox revenue.

I always buy a 10 day British rail pass and recover the cost of the pass compared to the local fares after about 4 days.

However as we are used to paying reasonable fares to keep patronage up and frequency of services, it's unlikely any Victorian government is going to be courageous enough to increase them much above the CPI.

Mike.
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
As a single traveller I fit into your criteria, consequently I would be required to pay the additional costs I documented above were I to choose to travel by airline to visit my folks in Mildura.
Vinelander

Again, most get picked up/dropped off for air at either end, so including that as an expense is spurious.

Particularly when you claim a taxi is required at both ends for air, but not for rail - the airport is closer to SW Mildura than the station.

For me, each way:

Bike: ~$30, 4.5-5 hours
Car: ~$60, 5-5.5 hours
Plane: ~$120, 1-2 hours
Rail: ~$50, 7-8 hours
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
... it's unlikely any Victorian government is going to be courageous enough to increase them much above the CPI.
The Vinelander
True, but the state government has a rather limited supply of money, so it can't throw infinite bucket loads of cash at everything. Ultra high public transport subsidies mean there is less money for other worthy stuff like infrastructure spending, debt reduction, tax reduction and "widows and orphans" (old political slang for welfare and social programmes).

Yes, it would be political suicide for a government (of any political flavour) to suddenly reduce the huge subsidies to a more reasonable level, but it can be done subtlety and gently.

For a start, slowly decrease the huge discounts on long distance seasonal commuter tickets. It's just crazy that at the moment the state government subsidises people to commute from say Castlemaine to Melbourne, by over $200 a week.

More generally, every time there is a fare increase for inflation, add an extra 1%. Bureaucrats often aren't aware of real world convenience and round numbers, so they often fix fares at a ridiculous prices like $11.87. Instead they should round things up to the nearest dollar.

True, this is not a quick fix and won't deliver much of an immediate increase in cost recovery, but it's the only way that is "politically possible" and in the long term, it will deliver major savings that will allow the state government to spend more money on worthy causes.
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
@Bogong I would argue that much of the subsidy can be attributed to the discounts offered to passengers (commuter tickets, off-peak fares etc). Reducing/eliminating such discounts would deliver a huge cost recovery boost without even touching the single trip and daily fares.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat Line
"widows and orphans" (old political slang for welfare and social programmes).

Yes, it would be political suicide for a government (of any political flavour) to suddenly reduce the huge subsidies to a more reasonable level, but it can be done subtlety and gently.

For a start, slowly decrease the huge discounts on long distance seasonal commuter tickets. It's just crazy that at the moment the state government subsidises people to commute from say Castlemaine to Melbourne, by over $200 a week.

Bogong

Widows and orphans are normally covered by Commonwealth spending not state.

Regards the 'Castlemaine subsidy'...would it not be better to have that person commuting to Melbourne on a subsidised fare and working, therefore paying taxes than to have that person in Castlemaine not working, claiming the dole or having to be on another government programme to train for a possibly non-existent local job..

ZH, I agree that Irymple and Red Cliffs which make up part of greater Mildura would be closer to the airport than the Mildura V/Line station.

I can walk from the V/Line station to home which saves a taxi fare from the airport. I can only assume there are taxi's at the airport...I've never flown to Mildura before.

Mike.

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