Deakin University students across Victoria will be more late than usual as upcoming transport disruptions impact travel to campuses.
The delays are part of the Andrews’ government upgrades of rail and tram services around the state, affecting students in Waurn Ponds, Warrnambool, and Burwood.
Victorian Transport Minister Jacinta Allan said in a statement that Waurn Ponds station will be upgraded to provide benefits for all train passengers.
‘These upgrades will make Waurn Ponds station safer, more user-friendly, and easier to get to,’ Minister Allan said.
The station upgrade is budgeted at $110 million, and includes ninety new parking spaces, upgrades and sealing of existing spaces, increased disabled parking, and secure bicycle storage for commuters.
Students travelling to Deakin Burwood will also be affected by replacement buses over the coming months, with continued maintenance across Melbourne’s rail network.
Masters student Qutayba Burki said that disruptions have affected his abilities to get to campus, and he has invested in a car.
‘My first obligation is to study. If that’s not getting fulfilled, then what’s the point. Sacrifices had to be made, so I had to go for a car,’ Mr Burki said.
Mr Burki said that students are forced to park on campus because of the disruptions, and this has caused greater financial stress for him.
‘I have to come five days to uni. Imagine even if I have to take one class. I have to pay three or four dollars per hour, so I’m losing money. If they can minimise the cost for parking, that would be great,’ Mr Burki said.
Deakin parking costs range from $1.60 an hour with a cap of $6.40 per day for casual parking, to $365 for a full year permit.
Students in Warrnambool will also be affected by a $114 million refurbishment of the rail line, which once complete will allow VLocity trains to travel direct to the regional centre for the first time.
Further developments include the $147 million duplication of the line between South Geelong and Waurn Ponds, which is awaiting approval by Infrastructure Australia.
Deakin students who take the Route 75 tram in Burwood will experience a new trial anticipated to make journey times quicker.
Twenty-five trams have been fitted with satellite technology to allow them priority at oncoming traffic lights during busy periods.
Students should check Public Transport Victoria for any disruptions and travel times.
Deakin was contacted for comment.