If V/Line became V/Bus

 
  RatholeTunnel Locomotive Driver

Location: Sydney Area
Bendigo replacement bus should stop at Sydenham, Sunshine and terminate at Footscray on weekends. Weekday replacement could terminate at Sydenham. V line ticket could have the usual zone 1+2 & a bonus 2 hours if its a 2hr Z1+2

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  RatholeTunnel Locomotive Driver

Location: Sydney Area
I'd like to see a new coach route, at v line fares in winter.

Southern Cross - Greensborough - Glenrowan (servos) - Oxley - Milawa - Myrtleford - Porepunkah - Bright - Freeburgh - Smoko - Harrietville - Mt Hotham - Dinner Plain.

Once daily, each way.

As a frequent North.East visitor year-round, I'm sick of being underserved.
  RatholeTunnel Locomotive Driver

Location: Sydney Area
Also, year-round

Southern Cross - Ringwood - Lilydale - Yarra Jct - Yea - Maindample - Mansfield - Merrijig - Sawmill Settlement - Mirimbah - Corn Hill Rd/Mt Buller Rd, at Mt Buller

At V line fares. We alpine resort users are being denied our fair share of the V line funding.
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
Southern Cross - Ringwood - Lilydale - Yarra Jct - Yea - Maindample - Mansfield - Merrijig - Sawmill Settlement - Mirimbah - Corn Hill Rd/Mt Buller Rd, at Mt BullerAt V line fares. We alpine resort users are being denied our fair share of the V line funding.


See V/Line Snowcoach : http://www.vline.com.au/discover/home/detail.html?id=203

V/Line fares apply but the cost to the passenger includes the compulsory Buller gate fee and transfers to accommodation which hikes it massively.  

All year round?  There probably isn't enough traffic potential to warrant anything past Mansfield and that's a year-round operation already.  Having a family home at Sawmill I can tell you just how  many people there aren't living there, at Merrjig and at Mirimbah for most of the year.
  RatholeTunnel Locomotive Driver

Location: Sydney Area
I'd propose that V line picks up the per head Alpine Resort Entry fee & full fare subsidy applies beyond Mansfield. If bogans can get subsidies anywhere else in the state I should too. From the lower Buller carpark, passengers use village shuttles to reach accommodations.
  RatholeTunnel Locomotive Driver

Location: Sydney Area
Increases tourism & economic activity in winter. Puts US in an equal footing with bogans going to Swan Hill or Mildura where most passengers are on the dole or pension.
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
If bogans can get subsidies anywhere else in the state I should too.

Puts US in an equal footing with bogans going to Swan Hill or Mildura


Are you stating you consider yourself to be a bogan?  Or that you believe everyone but yourself on V/line is a bogan?  You're welcome to your opinion in both cases but in the latter it differs significantly to mine.  In the former I have no way to form a valid opinion.

And since you feel such a strong need for a service meeting your personal requirements have you approached V/Line flagging your travel requirements and opinions?  

I don't doubt that the V/Line network might be improved upon.  Talking to them might help.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
....

There used to be a "Victoria Pass", unlimitted travel on all V/Line services (within Victoria, but including Albury) which no longer exists.

This should be reinstated, and actively promoted. Get people - whether the be Melburnians, Victorians, Australians, or overseas visitors - to try several destinations around Victoria, but market is as attactive on the basis that they can just decide to go somewhere on a whim and they can get there. Echuca one night, Melbourne the next, Warrnambool the next two, Melbourne the next, Bairnsdale the next, and so on.

Make it attractive to people and they will use it. I like these unlimitted travel passes, as it enables me to make trips I wouldn't otherwise make, so it is at zero cost to the railway, but it WILL stimulate local economies, as I will be spending money at my destination, money I would not have spent if I had not made the trip.

Dave
thadocta

Great points there, Dave.  We used to actually have a lot of domestic tourism campaigns here in Victoria ("It's all here in Victoria") but it's been years since they've had anything as good.  The current one "You'll love every piece of Victoria" is okay but again, I think the State Govt needs to market it more to Melbourne people who seldom leave the city (and there's a lot of them who don't, believe me!).

We have the best regional train and bus system in the country in my opinion, so why not convince people to explore our state using it.  Encouraging more domestic tourism via V-Line is also consistent with their campaign to try and get more Melbourne people to move to the regions - they need to have a look before they decide if they want to move there.  What Gwiwer said about Sovereign Hill and the ignorance of some people is truly appalling, particularly V-Line staff who should know better.
  xxxxlbear Token Booking Clerk

Location: Geelong
I'd propose that V line picks up the per head Alpine Resort Entry fee & full fare subsidy applies beyond Mansfield. If bogans can get subsidies anywhere else in the state I should too. From the lower Buller carpark, passengers use village shuttles to reach accommodations.

Increases tourism & economic activity in winter. Puts US in an equal footing with bogans going to Swan Hill or Mildura where most passengers are on the dole or pension.

RatholeTunnel

Gee, you're full of generalisations today.
First, in another thread, you assume that everybody who travels on V/Line as being on the dole or a pension, and now you're assuming that most people who travel to Swan Hill or Mildura are bogans.

Can I make a kindly suggestion?
When you argue a point, or try and put forward a valid opinion, putting valid facts forward always helps your argument.
When you start putting gross generalisations forward, they tend to destroy your argument, as well as putting some people off side who may otherwise support your point of view.
  xxxxlbear Token Booking Clerk

Location: Geelong
Great points there, Dave.  We used to actually have a lot of domestic tourism campaigns here in Victoria ("It's all here in Victoria") but it's been years since they've had anything as good.  The current one "You'll love every piece of Victoria" is okay but again, I think the State Govt needs to market it more to Melbourne people who seldom leave the city (and there's a lot of them who don't, believe me!).

We have the best regional train and bus system in the country in my opinion, so why not convince people to explore our state using it.  Encouraging more domestic tourism via V-Line is also consistent with their campaign to try and get more Melbourne people to move to the regions - they need to have a look before they decide if they want to move there.  What Gwiwer said about Sovereign Hill and the ignorance of some people is truly appalling, particularly V-Line staff who should know better.
don_dunstan

I totally agree.
Remember when the railways had a tourism section where they promoted travel to Victorian destinations by rail?
They regularly put out a brochure full of day trips, as well as short stay (weekend) breaks, and longer stay (up to a week) holidays, that used rail travel as the major form of travel, and included accommodation, meals, and coach trips to see tourist attractions each day.

And who remembers West Coast Railways day tours to Warrnambool, where people would travel to Warrnambool by train (and enjoy the steam loco on weekend travel), enjoy a catered lunch, and have a coach day trip to all the major local attractions? From what I heard (anecdotally), the Warrnambool trips  were extremely popular.

There's no reason why this wouldn't work again.
What V/Line needs to do at a minimum is to train up staff who work in bookings or station information desks on Victorian Destinations. I have recently completed a Victorian Destinations unit as part of my Cert III in Tourism course last year at Wodonga TAFE (I did the course off-campus), it went for 30 hours if I remember correctly, and is available online, so it is easily do-able as part of a staff training package, and is easily done at work or at home on the pc.

We don't expect V/Line staff to be travel agents, but it would be advatageous for staff to at least be aware of tourist destinations in Victoria, how to get there by V/Line services.
  Revenue Chief Commissioner

There used to be a "Victoria Pass", unlimitted travel on all V/Line services (within Victoria, but including Albury) which no longer exists.

This should be reinstated, and actively promoted. Get people - whether the be Melburnians, Victorians, Australians, or overseas visitors - to try several destinations around Victoria, but market is as attactive on the basis that they can just decide to go somewhere on a whim and they can get there. Echuca one night, Melbourne the next, Warrnambool the next two, Melbourne the next, Bairnsdale the next, and so on.
"thadocta"


I killed the Victoria Pass - and it was absolutely the right decision. We used to sell about 2 per month (I think from memory, it was about 15 sold in the last twelve months of operation). The reason it's a crap product is that you need to price it above the cost of a commuter ticket (eg. if people can use it to commute from Bendigo, then it means you need to charge more than the weekly ticket price from Bendigo to Melbourne). Which makes it VERY expensive - and hence unsaleable. Passes simply don't work in Victoria for that reason.

That would be why the NSW product is only available to overseas people. Because if you made it available to domestic people it would slash revenue on some corridors.

The ability of tourists to use myki to travel to Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong, etc.. will do far more to drive tourism than any pass ever could or ever would!   Smile
  Revenue Chief Commissioner

Great points there, Dave.  We used to actually have a lot of domestic tourism campaigns here in Victoria ("It's all here in Victoria") but it's been years since they've had anything as good.  The current one "You'll love every piece of Victoria" is okay but again, I think the State Govt needs to market it more to Melbourne people who seldom leave the city (and there's a lot of them who don't, believe me!).

We have the best regional train and bus system in the country in my opinion, so why not convince people to explore our state using it.  Encouraging more domestic tourism via V-Line is also consistent with their campaign to try and get more Melbourne people to move to the regions - they need to have a look before they decide if they want to move there.  What Gwiwer said about Sovereign Hill and the ignorance of some people is truly appalling, particularly V-Line staff who should know better.
"don_dunstan"


You can always do more, but a lot is being done. For example, every Senior gets at least two free travel vouchers to travel anywhere in the state. That's a pretty big incentive to go and try V/Line. In the mail out to Seniors there have been suggestions for places to go and things to do. Posting out free vouchers to a million victorians every year isn't nothing.

This is all why myki on V/Line is critical - it removes such a major barrier to use.  If you can tell people they can catch the train to Ballarat, and then hop on a connecting bus at no additional cost with the same ticket is a really important step forward. Yes, you can travel on V/Line and buses in regional cities on the same ticket - but people in metropolitan Melbourne find V/Line tickets confusing. Tell them that catching a train to Ballarat and getting on a bus to Sovereign Hill is the same as getting a train to Box Hill and getting on a bus to Doncaster and they'll catch on really fast.   Smile
  Revenue Chief Commissioner

I'm REALLY excited by myki going live on V/Line. Yes, there will be teethings problems - but it's going to be such a boost to the state.  The fact that people will know they can just touch on a Camberwell, change at Southern Cross and touch off at Bendigo is going to completely change the perceptions of some people in relation to V/Line and regional travel.  Smile   No need to find a V/Line ticket agent, no need to plan ahead and buy a ticket and have it sent out - you can just touch on and touch off.    Smile

In terms of regional tourism promotion - I think the market has changed. If the transport is seamless, then you can just promote, say, Bendigo - and know that people will be aware that they have a choice of driving or train. I think that the market really is shifting.  If you look at the number of people who caught trains out to Bendigo for the Grace Kelly Exhibition, for example. I guarantee you that more people went out on on the train to see that then would have ever booked something via the old V/Line travel service.  The market is day trips, short stays, etc.   People can book accomodation themselves these days.

It's going to be fascinating how myki changes perceptions in Victoria.  In the same way that Geelong is considered to be a sort of/kind of suburb of Melbourne - we will see Ballarat and Bendigo as similar places. Their own city, but with excellent links to Melbourne.  Part of a great whole if you will.  

Another thought - It's not always about public transport. If the taxi fare was, for example, $15 from Ballarat to Soverign Hill, then that's worth promoting as well. There's probably a huge market of people who will be willing to catch a train to Ballarat, but who don't feel comfortable with buses, but who will quite happily jump in a cab at the other end.
  Lad_Porter Chief Commissioner

Location: Yarra Glen
I'm REALLY excited by myki going live on V/Line. Yes, there will be teethings problems - but it's going to be such a boost to the state.  The fact that people will know they can just touch on a Camberwell, change at Southern Cross and touch off at Bendigo is going to completely change the perceptions of some people in relation to V/Line and regional travel.  Smile  
Revenue
Wouldn't the passenger from Camberwell have to touch off at Spencer Street, to get out of the suburban platform area, then touch on again at platform x before getting on the Bendigo train?  Or doesn't it work like that?  It might seem a bit strange to station staff (or lurking AOs) if they just walked out the bypass gate without touching off?

Alternatively, they could catch another spark from Spencer Street to say Sunshine, ahead of the Bendigo train, then just change trains without touching off/on?  How would these options affect what MYKI would charge them overall for the trip to Bendigo?
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Yeah, I don't know that I share your excitement, Revenue (as you might have gathered).  My personal experience has been that it's often unreliable and I've had several instances of over-charging because of faulty validators on the train system.  Only today I was riding on a bus where two validators were "Out of service - use another myki reader"; the third one had an interesting fault, it was scrolling through pages of computer script, I've never seen them do that before.  The driver was really helpful, he pointed to one near middle the door and said I'd have to hold up it up for a long time before it would read (he was right).

I understand where you are coming from with seamless travel, it would be really wonderful, but as an experienced consumer I have to report the experience is not good.  It's not like they haven't had ages to get it right, either, I've been using it since 2010 and we STILL have those issue in the metro area.

I used public transport in Adelaide this year and I have to report the capacity to buy disposable paper tickets really won me over as a visitor.  How did they get it so right and we got it so terribly wrong?
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
How did they get it so right and we got it so terribly wrong?

Without wishing to diverge too far off topic may I suggest the answers are already under discussion in the Myki thread?   And I do agree - Victoria has got it badly wrong again yet could still claw its way back if paper ticketing for at least a limited range of options were to be available.
  RatholeTunnel Locomotive Driver

Location: Sydney Area
Revenue....re special passes for international visitors..... Can't one get around that by (if I have one) presenting a foreign passport to buy the overseas visitor pass thereby slashing my costs compared to resident fares.
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
Other states also offer passes for international visitors for which a non-Australian passport ID is required.  I understand that at least in NSW the Transits will ask to see the passport and also check that it does not contain a Permanent Resident visa as well.

Each administration is of course at liberty to offer what it feels best.  For example the Britrail pass scheme which is widely taken up and is available to anyone except UK passport holders.  Surely Victoria could come up with a simple option with a very few price bands such as 7 Days, 28 Days or even a flexible 7-in-28 days where you enter the date yourself.  Valid on all V/Line trains and coaches, Melbourne Metro trains and trams and possibly specified regional bus links outside that scope such as the Ballarat - Sovereign Hill route service.

OK Myki might eventually offer something similar but these passes can all be purchased online in country of origin and collected on arrival and are paper products meaning the user has something understandable in their hand.
  DalyWaters Chief Commissioner

How far off topic is this going to go?
  thadocta Chief Commissioner

Location: Katoomba
How far off topic is this going to go?
DalyWaters
Welcome to the interweb.

Dave
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Don't worry.  It is illegal to use the toilet whilst a coach is moving, anyway.

Passengers in vehicles with seat belts fitted must remain seated with belts on at all times whilst the vehicle is in motion.
DalyWaters
I don't think you are correct here.

The driver on the bus to Mildura mentions nothing in his spiel about not using the bus whilst its in motion, only that the facility is there and can be used at any time on the journey.

Mike.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
DalyWaters is right, you are required to leave your seatbelt on at all times from what I can gather - which means really you shouldn't be walking through the coach while it's in motion.  People break laws constantly, it's a matter of enforcement/getting caught.  From what I can see the majority of coach passengers don't actually wear the seatbelts anyway despite being explicitly told by the driver to do it.  I generally do only because it's force of habit.
  xxxxlbear Token Booking Clerk

Location: Geelong
According to VicRoads:
If you are travelling on a bus or coach with seatbelts, you and any companions must buckle up.
VicRoads
Link: http://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/Home/SafetyAndRules/SaferVehicles/BuyingASafeCar/SeatBelts.htm
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
DalyWaters is right, you are required to leave your seatbelt on at all times from what I can gather - which means really you shouldn't be walking through the coach while it's in motion.  People break laws constantly, it's a matter of enforcement/getting caught.  From what I can see the majority of coach passengers don't actually wear the seatbelts anyway despite being explicitly told by the driver to do it.  I generally do only because it's force of habit.
don_dunstan
Once the bus seat belt starts cutting into my neck I give up...consequently these days I don't normally bother using the seat belt despite the drivers warning.

Mike.
  Revenue Chief Commissioner

Revenue....re special passes for international visitors..... Can't one get around that by (if I have one) presenting a foreign passport to buy the overseas visitor pass thereby slashing my costs compared to resident fares.
"RatholeTunnel"


It's actually more complex than that. Because many people have dual citizenship, having a passport isn't enough. You need to make sure they are just visiting which means determining when they entered the country and when they are leaving.  The level of staff training required to achieve this is really quite prohibitive, and it is prone to significant fraud.  The only way to guard against that means issuing a ticket to someone after they have had all of the above checked by trained people, etc..  It's incredibly expensive - and doesn't actually work!!!!

But the main problem with the idea is that it doesn't actually fulfil the objective - which is to increase patronage.

One of the reasons you want to increase patronage is to increase revenue. If you are going to give people low fares, how does that actually help? Particuarly for tourists. If you change fares or have special offers for people in Victoria then it can act as a trigger to do more travel (eg. a free travel voucher encourages a Senior to do a trip - which might encourage them to undertake more paid travel).

It's also a mistake to think that international tourists are motivated solely by cost. What they are after is something that is easy to understand and use.  The one way fare to Bendigo isn't that expensive - and I don't think that it is cost that is barrier to use here - it is the fact that it is complex.

Which brings us full circle - the ability to use myki to travel to Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo, Castlemaine, etc.. will drive patronage and revenue significantly higher among international tourists than a product that is difficult to obtain and understand.   Smile

I'm predicting a pretty massive increase in travel by train by tourists once the roll out to regional occurs.  Waaaaaay more than the couple of Victoria Passes that were issued each month, and without the cost, expense and confusion that would result in a scheme targetted to international tourists (forgetting for one second the domestic tourists!)

One of the challenges with ticketing is that everyone says it is too complex while simultaneously arguing for more things that will make it even more complex.  Wink

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