Every day more residents are relocating to Victoria’s Second City with many of them commuting daily to work from Geelong to Melbourne. Our city-region is the fastest growing in the state and more than 17,000 Geelong commuters are travelling to Melbourne every day — more than 12,000 by road and over 5,000 choosing the train.
Since the Regional Rail Link began operation in 2015, passenger numbers on the Geelong-Melbourne rail service have increased dramatically, often resulting in overcrowding and frequent delays. However, there is good news on the horizon with the State Government recently completing the business case for the potential to duplicate the rail line from South Geelong to Waurn Ponds.
The next step is for this to be assessed by Infrastructure Australia in order for it to be considered for joint funding by both the State and Federal Governments. In addition, the potential for Geelong-Melbourne fast rail is being scoped as part of a $50 million funding package from the Victorian State Government to investigate improved rail links. Added to this, the Westgate Tunnel Project has started and is set to provide some longer-term relief for road users.
However, in order to address the more immediate issues, the CfG believes the time is now right to explore alternatives to the standard transport options to support our booming population, such as the introduction of high-speed ferry services between Central Geelong and Melbourne.
The CfG invited the founder and Chairman of the Little Group and owner of Port Phillip Ferries, Paul Little to recognise Geelong’s growing need for a daily commuter ferry and the opportunities it would generate. As a result of this call-to-action and from the generosity of the following CfG members: Bay FM, Edge, Garland Real Estate, Geelong Connected Communities, The Pier, Novotel, and Tourism Greater Geelong and the Bellarine, the CfG and Port Phillip Ferries held two commuter trial days.