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Vic trams, trains failing new benchmarks

Melbourne's tram and train operators need to "lift their game" after failing to meet stricter punctuality targets, Victoria's public transport authority says.

Yarra Trams ran 80.6 per cent of its services on time in December, falling short of its new 82 per cent target, while just under 92 per cent of Metro Trains services were on time.

"After the first full month of new contracts, both operators still need to lift their game," Public Transport Victoria chief executive Jeroen Weimar said in a statement on Friday.

Metro Trains and Keolis Downer, which owns Yarra Trams, signed new contracts with tighter punctuality targets in September.

Previously, operators could avoid penalties if 77 per cent of trams and 88 per cent of trains ran on time.

Also under Metro Trains new contract, services can no longer skip stations or the city loop to meet the target.

The train operator can be penalised up to $1.25 million a month and Yarra Trams $500,000, for underperformance.

PTV conceded December was a difficult month for public transport, with the deadly car rampage near Flinders St Station and extreme weather bringing storms, floods and high temperatures.

It says any penalties for the operators will be determined over coming weeks.

Trains can run five minutes behind schedule without being considered late.