Customer service charters

Victoria's major train and tram operators are required to provide commitments to protect the rights of passengers as part of their contracts with the State Government. These commitments are covered in Customer Service Charters that also include a compensation code for passengers.

Operators' charters

Victoria's major train and tram operators are required to have Customer Service Charters that clearly define their responsibilities and obligations and provide important information and advice to customers. The operators with charters are:

Metro and Yarra Trams have Customer Service Charters in compliance with their public transport partnership agreements. Bus operators are not required to develop Customer Service Charters under existing contracts. As new contracts for these services are renegotiated, the Government will endeavour to include the need for charters and compensation codes. Copies of the charters, including large print, braille and audio versions and copies in languages other than English, are available from public transport operators on request.

What the charters cover

Customer Service Charters describe the rights of passengers and outline key commitments to ensure that public transport services meet the needs of all members of the community. Specifically, the charters cover:

  • a clearer commitment to notify customers whenever service disruptions occur, both under a 'Planned' or 'Unplanned' situation
  • a prominent page with 'Key Public Transport Contacts'. Each of the charters contain contact details of other franchisees
  • a table of content (including page numbers) has also been included with clearer headings to enable customers to easily find relevant sections of interest in the Customer Service Charter
  • commitment to regularly display posters on-board vehicles and at stations on monthly performance results (for customer compensation purposes) within 10 days after the end of the month
  • passenger compensation (see below)
  • commitment to respond to customer feedback within 7 days of receipt
  • a more concise procedure on how customers are able to provide feedback to franchisees and details of the Public Transport Ombudsman (including telephone, fax, TTY and web address)
  • details of other brochures/publication that are available to customers relating to fares and ticketing.

The Customer Service Charters also incorporate a 'Customer Obligations' section which explains that customers must travel with a valid ticket at all times, must buy the right ticket for their journey and must comply with the Transport (Compliance and Miscellaneous) and Transport regulations which prohibit smoking, damage, littering and placing feet on seats.

Passenger compensation

As part of their contracts with the State Government, transport operators Metro, V/Line and Yarra Trams must meet performance targets and thresholds (minimum standards of service).

If an operator's performance or service reliability falls below these thresholds within any given month, the operator is required to compensate passengers who travelled on the service concerned and who hold monthly or other periodical tickets by providing free daily tickets.

In the case of V/Line, the thresholds are calculated for each line specifically and only passengers travelling on that line are entitled to compensation. For Metro and Yarra Trams, the thresholds are calculated system-wide.

Details of operators' performance are published in quarterly bulletins.

For more information including how to apply, see Compensation.

If you believe an operator has breached the charter

To register a complaint contact 1800 800 007.

If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from the operator, you can contact the Public Transport Ombudsman.