Friday, July 15, 2005

Fri 15 July - OK, sort of...

Again the 07:14 is on time, so as far as the morning trains go we've been pretty good. And of course we've recounted Mrs Connex Whinger's experience early this week. So it's only those couple of evening trains that have been a problem... so far!

Closing the week on the 18:01. It's pretty much on time so not too bad a week.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Thu 14 July - Happy Bastille Day...

Again the 07:14 is pretty much OK. We'll see if the evening train continues its trend...

The astute reader may have noticed a comment from a Mrs Connex Whinger on yesterday's post. She rightly pointed out that off peak travel was pretty reliable for her. And of course that is exactly the problem, it's the peak time services that are so badly affected. And the daytime reliability conveniently produces 90%+ "on time" results, masking the impact on commuters who of course do travel in peak times.

I'm a bit later tonight so going for the 18:50. It's already on the platform so that's a good sign, and off we go bang on time.

I have a suspicion that if I were happy never to have dinner with the kids on a weekday again I'd be a lot less frustrated with Connex by coming home around this time every night - most of the problems seem to be in the 17:00-18:30 zone. It's not as if there'd be nothing to do, I'd just be doing stuff in the office that I'd otherwise be doing at home later. It's not the answer though. It simply highlights that when they increase the frequency of trains to every 10-11 minutes the system breaks down. Ease it back out to 15 minutes apart and they're generally OK. Which comes back to my question of a couple of months ago about how they're going to cope with the passenger increases proposed by Bracks, Batchelor and co.

Oh yes... "Vive la revolution!"

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Wed 13 July - New ticketing system...

Here's the 07:14 bang on time.

I've been reading this morning about the new ticketing system - the $500m contract was announced yesterday. I know I always have simplistic solutions to things, but isn't it time to rethink the whole public transport issue?

How about we scrap tickets altogether? Simply tax Victorians to cover the full cost of operating all buses, trams and trains. More people will use public transport, as desired by Bracks, Batchelor and their buddies, resulting in less congestion on our roads, so less infrastructure spending. The car drivers will whinge, but they'll have less traffic, so they're better off. And we'll save squillions from not having to implement a new ticketing system which will end up way over budget, take much longer than anticipated and will take a further two years to iron out all the "teething problems" (which of course is governmentese for "we cut too many corners towards the end so we had to just bung it in and fix it later").

You also could do away with the whole ticket inspector fiasco, not to mention all the ridiculous ticket sales/distribution problems that lead to retailers invariably not having the ticket you want.

While I'm proposing this with the tongue halfway in the cheek, I do wonder how the numbers would stack up?

Following on from this I bashed off an email to Bracks and Batchelor today to ask just that. We'll see if they bother to respond!

Go for the 17:38 for the return journey. The old familiar feeling of standing there on the platform with the departure time having passed and no sign of the train and no announcement about any delay... Eventually it comes in and we manage to get home about seven minutes late. I've only been back three days and already I'm fed up with Connex.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Tue 12 July - Akuna matata...

Tuesday morning and the 06:59 is the target for the day. And it’s just about on time. I could get used to this... for the couple of days it lasts, anyway!

Who would've thought it? I spoke to soon, didn't I? At 17:28 we receive an SMS to say the 17:27 is cancelled but we're already on the way. Anyway we get on the 17:38 and it's pretty full. By the time we get through Richmond and South Yarra it's jam-packed. Gee it's good to be back!

Monday, July 11, 2005

Mon 11 July - I'm back...

Well, back to work for me. Which means after more than a month of not being subject to the torment of Bruce Hughes and his cronies, I'm at the mercy of Connex again.

While overseas I heard about the complete and utter lack of any form of business continuity planning, whereby a simple water leak managed to bring the whole system to a halt. Didn’t see the follow-up story about the cretins responsible getting the sack, but I’m sure it was there somewhere!

And of course Bruce's most recent full-page mea culpa ad (yes I do know what it means, that was sarcasm!). A full and frank admission that it was everyone else's fault but his. Not that things are too bad anyway, according to him. I’ll take some of the credit for his decision to place the ad, since it seems to be directly responding to the stuff that appeared in The Age back in May.

While overseas, every now and again I'd remove my temporary SIM and insert my Aussie one to check for messages. Needless to say, every time there were at least one or two SMSes from Connex advising cancellations.

Such is life. Here we are on Monday, the 07:14 is a few minutes late.

Home on the 18:01, which is pretty punctual. And we're back on platform 8, thank God. Could life be any better than this?