Commuters who travel along the along Victoria’s five busiest rail corridors are set to benefit from the Andrews Labor Government’s $18 million Regional Rail Connectivity Project that will fix mobile blackspots along the rail lines.
Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade Philip Dalidakis joined Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford today at the Ballarat Railway Station to announce the project to deliver better services for commuters travelling between Melbourne and Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo, Seymour and Traralgon on v/line services.
Mr Dalidakis said the project was expected to boost productivity for regional business commuters, contributing an estimated $20 million per annum to the Victorian economy.
Ms Pulford said it would also put regional rail commuters on equal footing with their city counterparts, bridging the regional connectivity gap that the Labor Government addressed in the recent Regional Statement.
As Victoria’s five busiest rail corridors these lines account for more than 14.3 million passenger trips annually, with regular passengers familiar with the reception problems along each line.
Poor mobile coverage affects all passengers using mobile devices, but it’s a particular problem for regular commuters who travel to Melbourne for work or study and need to use smart phones, tablets and laptops.
The Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources will commence a procurement process in December 2015 asking for mobile carrier partners to co-invest with the Victorian Government. It is anticipated that contracts will be awarded and construction of the mobile towers will commence in mid-2016.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade, Philip Dalidakis
“The Andrews Labor Government is committed to fixing mobile blackspots throughout the state and particularly along our major regional train lines. We’ve listened to regional commuters and we’re taking action.”
“With more than 14.3 million passenger trips per year made between Melbourne and Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong, Seymour and Traralgon, improved mobile coverage will mean regional commuters can use their mobile and smart devices.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Regional Development, Jaala Pulford
“I know how intensely frustrating this is for commuters who have work to do, or who want to send a text message or tweet to the world.”
“The Labor Government is investing in the future of our regional cities through the Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund , and this project will be a big productivity boost for the state.”
Reviewed 10 February 2021