Bicycle Network: Where to Ride
4 Coaches - regional services in Victoria
Currently, passengers are not permitted to board a V/Line coach with their bikes. These rules have no justification.
No bikes on V/Line coach services
4 March 2010 Currently people cannot carry standard bicycles on any V/Line coach service. This rule affects casual users and large groups of bike riders alike.
Bicycle Network Victoria is about to begin a bike transport trial on the Melbourne–Leongatha coach service. The six-week trial will involve a bike-specific trailer running alongside selected V/Line coach services.
In the longer term Bicycle Network Victoria is keen to see bikes being carried on V/line coach services. We look forward to working with all stakeholders to reach this long term goal.
We are investigating whether a system of private trail shuttle buses can be developed to support trail use by riders.
Riders who regularly take their bike on public transport coach services or ride recreationally in regional Victoria could consider a folding bike. Folding bikes are effective transport over short distances.
Meeting with Minister Kosky
March 2009 At a meeting with Minister Kosky we raised the issue of bikes on V/Line coaches.
We raised the following issues:
- V/Line coaches form a significant part of the public transport system in Victoria in regional areas. Riders travelling to Mildura for example can go part of the way by train but have to complete the journey by coach. Track work on the Albury line will mean that coaches replace trains for a significant period.
- Riders would like to get to rail trails and other recreational riding destinations around Victoria by public transport. This allows the rider to take a one way trip. Some of the trail heads such as Wangaratta and Bairnsdale are served by rail. Other trail heads such as Bright and Orbost are only served by coaches.
- Riders would like to be able to catch public transport part way along a trail or recreational route. It is possible for example to catch the train to Warrnambool and ride the Ocean Road back to the Geelong station. However if for any reason the rider wishes to cut short that trip and catch a bus from Apollo Bay for example, they have to catch a coach.
We said that the recent change to the rule that removed the driver’s discretion to take a bicycle was a significant disadvantage to bike riders as it cut them out of the coach section of the public transport system. The Minister agreed to consider our comments and investigate the situation to see if it could be improved.
Despite the Minister’s assurances, we are not optimistic that this situation can be remedied quickly or easily. We will continue to raise the situation with the Minister and see if we can develop alternatives for riders wanting to ride trails and country roads in regional Victoria.
Coach line agrees to bikes on temporary Seymour – Wangaratta & Wodonga route
20 November 2008 Riders on the
V/Line trains to Wangaratta and Wodonga have been replaced by buses for the conversion to standard gauge tracks.
Wangaratta Coachlines has agreed to take bikes on their buses when possible, according to owner Don Joyce.
Mr Joyce said that if the traveller was taking the train to
He asked that anyone wanting to travel with their bike contact Wangaratta Coachlines directly. Their phone number is (03) 5722 1843.
Mr Joyce's statement is welcome news as V/line had recently indicated that bikes would not be allowed on V/line coaches.
This policy threatens the growth of the increasingly popular rail trail tourism.
The 2009 rules
November 2008 In April 2009 V/Line coaches will issue their new rules. In the lead up to the publication of these rules we will make representation to the Minister for Public Transport to allow bikes to be carried on V/Line Coaches. We will impress on the Minister the damage that their current policy could do to rail trail tourism and the inconvenience it causes riders who want to combine a rail journey and a coach trip such as from Melbourne to Mildura or to Orbost.
May 2008 V/Line have said to us that they have made the 'no bicycles' rule explicit. Previously some drivers exercised discretion and allowed riders to put their bikes on the coach.
15 February 2008 The Ministers statement today did not include any changes to the rules for taking bikes on coaches.
31 January 2008 General update on bikes and public transport and a summary of our meeting with the Minister Link to page