The cap on the cost of a daily train ticket came into effect on Friday making "fares fair" for regional residents.
Warrnambool-based upper house member for Western Victoria Jacinta Ermacora said the price drop was welcomed by passengers, some of whom were taken by surprise at how cheap they were.
"We had people say 'we thought they'd made a mistake they're so cheap'," Ms Ermacora said.
She said one passenger told her they were going all the way to Sale on Friday for $9.20, just because they could.
"I've had comments from people saying 'this is going to make dating easier'," she said.
Ms Ermacora said people were saying it would also change careers, and allow people to stay living in the region while being able to afford to work a few days a week in Melbourne.
"It eradicates this huge price barrier," she said.
Ms Ermacora said there had been an increase in the number of people booking to travel by train.
First-class travel has also been abolished, so anybody can book for the same price in any carriage, she said.
Ms Ermacora said it would help keep families more connected and make travelling to specialist services in Geelong and Melbourne more affordable.
"We've got a lot of specialist medical services in Warrnambool, but not everything. Some people do need to go to Melbourne for appointments and this is going to be huge," she said.
Adelaide's Jamie Gallacher, who was at the Warrnambool station to greet his daughter Helena on Friday, said he was surprised by how cheap the fare was.
He had come from Adelaide to attended the funeral of a family member in Warrnambool, and instead of driving to Melbourne to pick up his daughter who is studying in the city he offered to buy her a train ticket.
Thinking it would set him back as much as $100, he was surprised how cheap it was.
"You can come down here for less than $20 return, it's incredible," he said.
"It's a difficult time money-wise for everyone. It's just a great service."
While a return trip to Melbourne on the train on the same day used to be about $40 for pensioners and $78 for adults, it was now just $4.60 for pensioners and $9.60 for adults, Ms Ermacora said.
On a weekend or public holiday, daily fares are capped at $6.70 and just $3.35 for concession.
"It takes cars off the road, it's a safer way to travel, it's a more sociable way to travel with your family, it's relaxing, it's environmentally sustainable - there's so many positives," Ms Ermacora said.
The cap also applies to interstate travel within 60 kilometres of the Victorian border, as well as Albury, Merimbula, Deniliquin and Mount Gambier, to ensure those living in border communities in New South Wales and South Australia benefit as well.
Minister for Public Transport Ben Carroll said the regional fare cap would transform the way Victorians travel and would also provide a huge benefit to regional tourism and businesses.
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