A ScotRail boss will face disgruntled Tayside and Fife passengers in an online public meeting.
The rail operator’s business development executive Ewan Tait will take part in a ‘virtual townhall’ event hosted by the Scottish Greens next week.
300 services a day face the axe
It coincides with a consultation on ScotRail’s plans to slash 300 services a day from its timetables.
Green MSP Mark Ruskell said: “This meeting will be an opportunity for people in the region to have their say on the proposed changes.”
The cash strapped franchise relies on hefty subsidies from the Scottish Government to keep trains on the tracks.
And it says it cannot continue to operate under current operating costs.
As a result, it has come up with a ‘post-Covid’ timetable shake up aimed at providing a sustainable network.
But the Greens say it is a move in the ‘wrong direction’.
Mr Ruskell added: “As we look to rebuild from the pandemic and address the climate emergency, public transport is more important now than ever.
“That’s why it’s vital that the community are as involved in the process of designing the new timetable as possible.”
ScotRail franchise ‘chaotic’
He urged rail travellers across Tayside and Fife to register for the event.
Meanwhile, he described Abellio’s handling of the franchise as “chaotic”.
Many Sunday services are currently cancelled amid a dispute over conductors’ pay.
“It’s vital the company does not spend the next six months running down services and ignoring workers and passengers,” he said.
“Communities need services that are reliable, quick and affordable.”
At the Scottish Parliament this week, Transport Minister Graeme Dey urged passengers to take part in the consultation.
Mr Dey said the Scottish Government was “determined to do all that we can to restore passenger service levels to where they were pre-pandemic”.
However, he added: “Our rail services are, sadly, in effect haemorrhaging cash.
“We have to get our railway back on to a surer financial footing while also planning for long-term service delivery.”
ScotRail maintains the timetable proposals will mean more reliable rail services.
A spokesman said the consultation was the “ideal forum” for rail passengers to air their views on the changes.
“The pandemic has changed how people travel across all of Scotland. Our services need to reflect that.
“That’s why we are now in the process of designing new timetables to accommodate future levels of passenger demand.”
The virtual public meeting takes place at 6pm on Wednesday September 29. People can sign up through eventbrite.