V/Line offers an important service to regional communities—it provides access to services, education and employment across the state. V/Line operates and maintains a fleet of 372 passenger trains and carriages, and 3 520 kilometres of rail track used by passenger and freight services. More than 1 250 V/Line-branded coach services also operate every week, connecting the rail network with regional communities not serviced by trains.
In 2015–16, V/Line carried 17.7 million passengers—16.3 million on trains and 1.4 million on coaches—an increase of 88.3 per cent since 2006–07 and well beyond V/Line’s expectations. In this audit, we assessed whether V/Line regional passenger services are efficient and meet the needs of public transport users, and whether it is adequately prepared to sustain and improve performance in the future.
We focused on V/Line’s performance and how it is managing current and future challenges. We also examined Public Transport Victoria’s (PTV) and the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources’ (DEDJTR) roles in overseeing and monitoring V/Line’s operational performance and the Department of Treasury and Finance’s role in monitoring V/Line’s financial performance.
We made four recommendations to V/Line and two each to PTV and DEDJTR.