When we handle a public transport complaint, our aim is to help you and the public transport operator reach a fair and reasonable outcome. 

Fair and reasonable outcomes depend on all the circumstances, relevant laws, codes and guidelines and good industry practice.

Types of outcomes

The types of outcomes we can achieve include:

  • A detailed explanation
  • An apology
  • Refunds, compensation, or goodwill payments
  • Changes to operator policies or procedures
  • Staff training or counselling
  • Commitment by the operator to undertake corrective action 

The individual circumstances of a person may influence the outcome of their complaint. For example, a person relying on a mobility aid may be more impacted than a person without a mobility aid if a Melbourne tram service is terminated early at an inaccessible stop.

Case Assessment

In some instances, a complaint can’t be resolved through Conciliation or Investigation. If this happens we may undertake a Case Assessment to understand what’s a fair and reasonable outcome in the circumstances. The assessment will have consideration for the information we have been provided by you and the operator, relevant laws and regulations and good industry practice.

We will notify you and the operator of our assessment which will set out:

  • The details of the complaint and what information we have considered;
  • What we think is a fair and reasonable outcome; and
  • How we have reached this decision.
  • If you and the operator accept the assessment and suggested outcome, we will finalise the case.  

If you or the operator don’t accept the assessment, you will be given an opportunity to tell us why and provide any additional information to support your complaint.

Binding decisions

If an agreed outcome can’t be reached and we feel there is action the member should take to resolve your complaint, the Public Transport Ombudsman can make a decision that is binding on the member. A binding decision can be up to the value of $5,000 or $10,000 with the agreement of the operator.