Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Wed-Fri 15-17 March - Perth

In Perth again this week.

It wasn't planned this way, but it's worked out quite well because I'll miss the first few days of the Games commuting chaos. As it happens I'm pretty comfortable with the plan to catch the train in and cycle home... wonder if I'll have the commitment to make that a permanent arrangement...?

I received a response from the weasel Batchelor's department to an email I sent reminding him that he'd been promising us the public transport system was fine and would cope with the Games - I pointed him to this blog entry. The response included the following statement "Around 30,000 extra public transport services have been scheduled for the Games period, including more than 700 extra train services on the metropolitan network." Do you think he knows that we know that all of these additional services are outside peak hour, so will not help commuters at all? Perhaps he thinks we're all just too dumb to realise?

22 Comments:

Anonymous connex the great communicator said...

The epping/hurstbridge lines were terrible last night. Enough to make a sandringham line passenger blush. Was waiting at flagstaff for a train to clifton hill. The screens showed next train in 5 mins, then it changed to 10 mins, then 16 mins... then screens blank. Basic gimp connex announcement "no trains arriving on platform 1 (our platform) due to defective train at melb central". no further details provided as to whether we should change platforms or leave station entirely. Most trudged upstairs to ask whats going on only to be told to get a tram or walk!!! I took a train to parliament and walked to jolimont as the trains were running, but direct from flinders... but great communication all round. Would hate to see their comm skills in a disaster...

16 March, 2006 08:36  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last night we looked at the normal timetable, that we carry, to catch a train into the city from Glenferrie. Found the 11.36pm and choose to arrive with 5 minutes to spare to catch it.
That was when we found out they had changed the timetable completely and actually removed services to make way for games services. I can understand adding new services - but removing normal services just doesn't make sense.
It was also the first time that I have advertising that connex would be doing this.

18 March, 2006 09:59  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's not forget that many of thesed 30,000 new services continue to be late and/or cancelled (and correspondingly, the ones that run are overcrowded) as are the 'normal' services. Half the time people can't get onto the platforms at Flinders Station because of the Games tourists blocking the area around the escalators.

But to be fair, in comparison Connex is handling the situation far better than Yarra Trams, who don't appear to have any new services, and have stringsa of trams refuse to stop at tram stops due to unwitting tourists clogging the doorways (while there's plenty of space in thr corridoors).

This one's a gem: http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/train-driver-calls-a-halt/2006/03/17/1142582526919.html

18 March, 2006 11:18  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Poster #2 - the trains are running at 20 min intervals after 7pm, which is only one extra train each way an hour.

Bit hard to make that fit in with the normal TTs.

18 March, 2006 20:52  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Phil,

From reading the responses to your subject matter, let's see if you get more responses to this site from others that are being affected by the trains not running on time.

Whilst I'm not in your state, it shows that the State Government must take back control of the railways. Judging by the information that you've posted via this blog and the "Age" running with this issue today, perhaps train users aren't interested in making their thoughts known.

Privatisation doesn't work especially when essential services are affected and up there in Queensland, problems with Q/R and train drivers taking sick. We have also seen problems with the NSW Train system and buses having to be used - XP services. Governments don't care these days.

19 March, 2006 08:37  
Anonymous Georgina said...

What a waste of time.....creating such a website.....however, I couldnt help but log-in (and waste my own time.....) to reply to your ridiculous blog.

I am a connex employee. I by no means have the power to help with train delays, signal failures & getting my friends out of fines - for which in most cases - they deserve. But I MUST point out that its not always the operator that makes trains run late.

How many times do you see someone hold the door open for a late running passenger? During my travels it happens almost at every stop depending on the time of day (mostly peak times). Also - VALIDATE YOUR TICKETS. If tickets are NOT validated, how can a company project the amount of trains it needs on any particular line, at a particular time of the day. Fare evasion is HUGE. So PLEASE. VALIDATE YOUR TICKETS so we project the needs of our passengers! Get annoid at the people that jump the barriers.... ask them, or say.. "no worries, I'll pay for your ride!" Dont you get pissed off - after you've paid $8.00 and someone gets off scot free?

Everytime someone holds a door open, its a 10 second delay. Multiply that by just 6 stations and its 1 minute late, then do that just to one train on its return trip to Snady and it becomes 2 minutes, then it goes to Williamstown another minute or so, then it blocks the path of another train, it makes it late too! Late trains snowball very quickly.

So how about campaigning the government to spend more money on the system and remove the bottlenecks.

Whether its Connex or another provider - trains will still be held up by people who hold the doors open. If their is a signal fault - wouldnt you prefer to have it fixed....rather than travel on a train - with the potential to have a crash? TOO MANY times trains are delayed because of suicides & attempted suicides. This is not publicised, because its such a socially disturbing occurance. Such incidences happen on a weekly basis and sometimes - multiple occurances in one day. I here the people on the train whinging & on the platforms whinging ... but someone has just died - and all they care about is getting home in time to watch television or something as trivial as that!

The trains run here better than in bigger cities such as New York & London. Give Connex a go. And for the connex employees on here, who are bashing the company they work for. LEAVE. We need to work together as a team @ Connex and there is NO time for people who whinge, bitch & moan about the company they work for. If your not happy, go!

19 March, 2006 11:12  
Anonymous Mike said...

Hi Georgina, CONNEX eemployee,

Don't give me that nonsense about about VALIDATED a validated ticket so CONNEX can "project" future demand. I am a customer of yours, not your unpaid stats recorder.

If you want to know future passenger demand then employ a researcher to do that. Don't inconvenience tens of thousands of customers to get unreliable stats, as many people like me won't waste their time doing your research,by REVALIDATING, their valid ticket.

There is nothing in the Regulations and fares and ticketing conditions saying we have to revalidate a valid ticket, regardless of the threats I received that I am "breaking the law". I always call the inspectors' bluff by telling them to issue a fine to me,and they ALWAYS back off.

I am happy to go to court to prove I am right. I know my law...

19 March, 2006 15:05  
Anonymous Chris said...

Georgina, THANKYOU, for pointing out some of the most obvious things.

It's only for other to yet realise, what ARE the problems, it IS NOT always Connex's fault.

Mike, you have less right to give 'nonsense' than an employee. You may use the service, but you must also abide by rules/regulations in reagrd to it. You simply cannot make up the law yourself.

TICKETING systems or more specifically validating, is how we know that your paying for your journey. Each journey, YOU NEED TO PAY FOR!, and for metlink/government/connex to know, you have to validate.

Travelling without a ticket or not paying, is STEALING, and im pretty sure thats 'against' the law - which you supposedly know.

"There is nothing in the Regulations and fares and ticketing conditions saying we have to revalidate a valid ticket,"

EH, sorry you wrong, you ticket MUST validate your metcard ticket, before you enter the station, or EACH time you board a tram or bus, unless it is impractical too. [Ie overcrowding]

This can be found, in the Fares and Travel Guide 2006. It's also part of the Transport Act 1983. See "Issued subject to the Transport Act 1983, Regulations and ticket Conditions"
Sounds familiar, it's at the BOTTOM OF YOUR METCARD.

So whats that about knowing the law?

----

Now, validating ALSO helps meltink/government/connex to provide a better service. They can calculate, service needs, and capacity issues, with the amount of ticket validated.

NOW the problem is as Gerogina manetioned, many people think it's OK to STEAL. they are travelling without a ticket otherwise known as Fare Evasion. A number of people don't bother buying tickets.

So if no-one validates, meltink/government/connex, don't really have a clue that your using the train/tram/bus. They have no evidence of your travel, and because of that, they have no basis, to provide extra service.

What provide services to people who DON't PAY... I don't think so

---
Chris

19 March, 2006 17:32  
Blogger Connex Whinger said...

Thanks for all the feedback.

Georgina - plenty of people "waste time" watching TV, reading trashy magazines and novels, collecting stamps and coins, going to pubs and clubs, going to the opera or theatre and countless other ways. I choose to use a few minutes a day to keep a blog about how pathetic Connex is at delivering a reliable service to its customers. Don't like it, don't read it. Pretty simple really. But if you'd just read my FAQ, you'd see I have acknowledged and offered advice on the issues (and others) you raise.

Chris - Mike does not seem to have been advocating fare evasion at all, so the bulk of your response to him seems to be pointless. He also (rightly) points out that ticketing is about paying for our travel, not to provide statistics to Connex or Yarra Trams. He even suggested a more reliable alternative - so that pretty much invalidates the rest of your response to him.

As an aside, you appear to be one of the many who've fallen for the baloney about tracking how many people are on a tram. If 75 people validate at Spencer Street, how many were still on the tram at Spring Street? Could be zero, could be 75. The tram might've travelled the length of Collins Street completely full, completely empty, or somewhere in between and the validation of tickets would tell you nothing.

19 March, 2006 17:49  
Anonymous Chris said...

"But if you'd just read my FAQ, you'd see I have acknowledged and offered advice on the issues (and others) you raise."

I have read them, and frankly some parts are debatable.Im aware this directed to 'Georgina'


,Chris - Mike does not seem to have been advocating fare evasion at all, so the bulk of your response to him seems to be pointless.
I was merely was elaborating on some point Georgina had mentioned. Sorry if it wasted your time, im not one to force you reading it, nor taking delayed trains.

He also (rightly) points out that ticketing is about paying for our travel, not to provide statistics to Connex or Yarra Trams.

He even suggested a more reliable alternative - so that pretty much invalidates the rest of your response to him.
Correct, and coincedentally, research WAS undertaken, mid-2005, on crush loads. that was undertaken due to the numerous who find are negligable in buying tickets.

As an aside, you appear to be one of the many who've fallen for the baloney about tracking how many people are on a tram. If 75 people validate at Spencer Street, how many were still on the tram at Spring Street? Could be zero, could be 75. The tram might've travelled the length of Collins Street completely full, completely empty, or somewhere in between and the validation of tickets would tell you nothing.
Nice of you to stuumble the point of it. Is ill mention again;

"TICKETING systems or more specifically validating, is how we know that your paying for your journey. Each journey, YOU NEED TO PAY FOR!, and for metlink/government/connex to know, you have to validate."

You may, have bought a ticket, You may be travelling legally, but for 'them' to know that 'that' particular service, YOU had paid for, you need to validate.

As, well as that, ticket number collation, give Yarra trams an approximate number of how many passenger use a service OVERALL, not induvidually point-to-point.

For example if a service quota numbver at the end of a day is [tram A] 100,000 people compared to one that of [tram B]5,000. Yarra Trams can use that data in which, they can use in perspective.

tram A timeframe allocation, may need another service, ahead or bheind, which can also be compared to other trams.

[strapped for time] ending this abruptly
Chris

19 March, 2006 20:20  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chris - How can a Transport Act from 1983, include bills and clauses relating to a terrible ticketing system introduced over a decade later? If there is an amendment to this act, please let us know. I buy a monthly, full fare ticket and have done so for years. I have never travelled without a ticket, but I have travelled without validating my monthly and it doesn't concern me in the slightest.
Georgina - your English skills, as expressed here, go a great deal towards explaining why Connex can't communicate with its passengers about what is going on with their trains. As for your ludicrous claim about the doors - I travel daily and rarely see people hold doors open for others, and never for ten seconds (to all the other commuters reading this - count this out in your head and then try and count how many times in the last week you remember someone holding the doors open for other passengers for this length of time).

20 March, 2006 09:10  
Anonymous Chris said...

"Chris - How can a Transport Act from 1983, include bills and clauses relating to a terrible ticketing system introduced over a decade later? If there is an amendment to this act, please let us know."

Why would the government, bother placing a ticket system regulation, from 1983, because it has eveolved. "Metcard" wasn't existent then. And obviously, with todays changing condition, it's obvious, that they would have to change some rules, conditions and bi-laws, to account for todays system. We have clauses from 1920's in some other laws and jurasdictions, wouldn't you think they have evolved? Or would you rather 'burnt at the stake.'

---
I buy a monthly, full fare ticket and have done so for years. I have never travelled without a ticket, but I have travelled without validating my monthly and it doesn't concern me in the slightest.
I really can't help for your lack of responsibilty.

- Validating you Metcard records your trip and assists in the efficient scheduling and improvement of you network. Unfortunately people like you, and other people who don't even buy tickets, have made Connex/DOI/YT etc, impossible to collate passenger statistics, thay can't really have basis upon anything, to provide more services. And if you want researcher, heck fine, will put the cost onto the user, thay can pay more for tickets. How are we suppose to research (don't bother questioning this), get them on board, and make the train even more condensed.

---
Georgina - your English skills, as expressed here, go a great deal towards explaining why Connex can't communicate with its passengers about what is going on with their trains.

I see no flaws in her statement, perhaps the occasional grammatical/error which is dissmissable. Perhaps the reader, has the problem.

---
As for your ludicrous claim about the doors - I travel daily and rarely see people hold doors open for others, and never for ten seconds (to all the other commuters reading this - count this out in your head and then try and count how many times in the last week you remember someone holding the doors open for other passengers for this length of time).

But do you see, the amount of people attempting to get in? that is delaying trains. [Gasp!]

On occasion people holding doors can happen. But there is also another VERY major fact here. With an influx of passenger, that is obviously going to mean LONGER LOADING TIMES.

HOW ABOUT: (to the everyday commuter who reads this) you look into your TRAIN carriage next time COMMUTERS! See how long it take some of you to realise there is space within the carriage [not around the doorways], and further down, It's only a little walk, not too bloody far!. DON'T COMPLAIN ABOUT no-grab-handles or what-not, theres one on every seat set. Hey why not take advantage of the newer trains that run on the Sandringham Line, you can move between the carriages.

AND for the rest of you that bunch up in the doorways, not only are you the people who can't be concerned for other passenger getting in, your probably (some - ill stress 'some') those who can't be bothered walking five metres, so you can allow others to get in. YOURE DELAYING TRAINS. Passenger have to seep past you in order to get in. And with passenger in between doorways is a safety hazard, and the driver cannot close the doors, delaying trains further.

AND then there are those who think they can get into a completelfy full train, but obviously can't because of the above reasons, increasingly DELAYING trains.

I CAN EASILY AD TO THIS LIST

So to everyone everyday commuter traveller, how some of you smart YOURSELVES up, before you take public transport.

No standing in doorways, move into the carriage, if the train IS FULL ITS FULL, DON'T COMPLAIN, If others are alighting, you can hop-off the train and hop back on again! WOW, isn't that really simple, well for some it isn't and THERES MORE, if i have to elaborate.

Chris

20 March, 2006 10:12  
Anonymous Andrew said...

For the deal on validating and revalidating tickets - refer to the Victorian Fares and Ticketing Manual 2006 - Chapter 10 http://www.metlinkmelbourne.com.au/victorian_fares_ticketing/2477_TM_Chapter10.pdf

Sorry Georgina - your view isnt quite right!

20 March, 2006 13:26  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

gee, a connex employee defending connex and dissing a connex customer for complaining about the company's customer service... obviously they look after their employees better than they do the other tens of thousands of commuters screwed by the operator every day. Funny how the operators seem to manage fine even with the annoyance of 'customers' in almost every other city in the developed world...

20 March, 2006 21:50  
Anonymous Chris said...

Um 'anonymous' @ 9:50PM

Your statement is, in bare term, is stupid, and incorrect.

Georgina, was merely making a statement on the stupidity of other passenger on the network; she was complaining on how customers are making Connex services bad. (As she and I have explained), making Connex appear bad.

----
The operators are 'screwed' by the customers who screw the operators up! I reckon the employees have the right to complain if the customer wants the company/operator/Connex to look bad OR RUIN the service PROVIDED.

Even better how 'funny' being a customer, is making the Operator LOOK BAD! [as i've mentioned, and will be happy to mention again, not necassarily holding doors].

Connex wouldn't have problems if they didn't have customers (Yes, true but unrealistic). If we want customers, we have to prevent them from crapping up the system.

21 March, 2006 11:14  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chris, dude, you seriously need to chill. Connex screws my life around almost 5 out of 7 days a week and even I'm not as angry as you.

You don't happen to be a certain Frankston line driver that has been in the news recently regarding his "stopping no stations" run???

21 March, 2006 14:11  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chris,

you can't be serious, blaming passengers for poor service! Is it the passengers fault that the trains are over crowded? Is it the passengers fault that connex fails to communicate to passengers why the train they want to catch is not turning up at its scheduled time? Is it the passengers fault that we have a moron ticket system? Is it the passengers fault connex bought trains with less doors than previous versions? No, its a moron transport minister, a moron Chief Exec, and a company (evidently, from you) full of moron employees and atiquated systems, procedures and EXCUSES.

The simple fact is connex has been using the same excuses for delayed/cancelled services since they started and have made no progress in solving the problems. This is however the first time i have ever heard anyone blaming passengers which makes me think you are having a laugh, or you are a sociopath.

21 March, 2006 15:38  
Anonymous Chris said...

Chris, dude, you seriously need to chill. Connex screws my life around almost 5 out of 7 days a week and even I'm not as angry as you.

Perhaps i do need to chill, but others need to no the truth. Im angry at people who think theyre right, when theyre not. Perhaps you do suffer more than I, but as i suggest to everyone, "Always allow time for your journey" - one of the first motto's of taking public transport.

---
You don't happen to be a certain Frankston line driver that has been in the news recently regarding his "stopping no stations" run???

Yes i'm very aware, and i'll agree that the actions made by the driver were a little extreme. Although you can speak of that person as an induvidual, not the entirety of Connex. AND NOR CAN YOU

---
Chris,
you can't be serious, blaming passengers for poor service!

Yes, but i stated it was unrealistic, and read below.

---
Is it the passengers fault that the trains are over crowded?
Well yes, read above/below

---
Is it the passengers fault that connex fails to communicate to passengers why the train they want to catch is not turning up at its scheduled time?

Ill agree ON RARE OCCASION to that statement, even though i said nothing about, about Connex and communication. Passengers or SOME could always be the cause, you can't instantly jump to "ITS CONNEX's FAULT." No that would be stupid, and unless you are stupid, so be it. Do you want to hear that someones taken their life, or at least attempted to?

Station staff, DON'T KNOW EVERYTHING, they also have to be informed, and if we aren't informed by 'Metrol' (Head of operations) we can't really assume that a train is late. WE CAN'T REPORT SOMETHING WE DON'T KNOW. Throwing abuse at staff, WILL NOT HELP!

"Attention platform 4, because someone has tried to kill themselves we had to delay a train? Although you wouldn't seem to care, your just worried that your train is late."

---
Is it the passengers fault that we have a moron ticket system?
Not, really, it's the people that use it. It's a moron system, because SOME PASSENGER AREN'T SCREWED TO PAY FOR A TICKET OR VALIDATE, But I will admit that there are flaws, ONLY BECAUSE SOME DON'T KNOW HOW TO USE IT OR ABUSE IT!

---
Is it the passengers fault connex bought trains with less doors than previous versions?
No but, would you agree that older trains are more comfortable? no air-con perhaps? But theyre better, more space, more room. No, because most of you want luxury.

AND loading/boarding time are practically identical, the two-door trains (Siemens) have WIDER DOORS, this is enough to compensate our regular trains, and the number of passengers that board. Well, SORRY YOU CAN'T WALK AN EXTRA FEW METRES!

Unfortunatly, there is a flaw with passenger movement within the carriage, some people are lazy, and can't walk a few metres into the carriage (AS IVE STATED ELSEWHERE!

---
No, its a moron transport minister, a moron Chief Exec, and a company (evidently, from you) full of moron employees and atiquated systems, procedures and EXCUSES.

Are you stating that IM A MORON, if so, if you don't like taking Connex's trains, DON'T TAKE them! If you have to, don't complain, THEY CAN'T HELP NOR PREVENT DELAYED TRAIN! They can't help if someone is having a heart attack,

i can't help if someones stupid enough to enter a completely packed train,
i can't help if someone crosses the tracks,
i can't help that someones broken a window a door, although you seem to think that it's fine for people to injur themselves,
i can't help if a car drives onto the tracks while the booms are down,
i can't help if seats have been torn out, or the vehicle vandalised by thugs,
i can't help if some passenger attempt to hold the door,
i can't help if we see druggies on board trains, smokers infringing on other passengers safety...

Unless you are denying the fact that passengers can't travel on Connex services. We can't prevent many things from happening.

Also, do you realise that these are THE PASSENGERS we have to deal with.

I do not believe the employees are moronic. Some may be stubborn, and others very friendly, but THEY ARE DOING THEY'RE JOB. Not just employees BUT EVERYONE, aren't Connex employees entitled to feelings too?

---
The simple fact is connex has been using the same excuses for delayed/cancelled services since they started and have made no progress in solving the problems. This is however the first time i have ever heard anyone blaming passengers which makes me think you are having a laugh, or you are a sociopath.

No, im not being stupid ITS PLAINLY THE TRUTH, and ILL WILL SAY AGAIN, that only SOME are stupid ignorant dumbasses (sorry but thats how i believe SOME people are). DO you know the meaning of SOME? It's NOT EVERYONE!!! Why would he have problems in the first place. Do i need to reiterate what ive explained above.

More than often the problems

And i'll say this now, IN NOW WAY HAVE I EVER SAID THAT CONNEX IS FULFILLING ITS DUTIES, but I WILL ALSO SAY THAT PASSENGER AND SOME PEOPLE HERE HAVE A VERY WRONG IDEA, AND ARE NOT KNOWLEDGABLE OF ANYTHING THEY SAY.

I will have to say, that passengers, are TO A DEGREE the problem of Connex.

---
Would you like to sit in spew?
Chris

21 March, 2006 17:28  
Blogger Connex Whinger said...

In response to the most recent post...

You seem to have gone from saying it's ALL passengers' fault (in support of Georgina) to SOME passengers. The fact is that Connex could do a lot more to improve the reliability of their services by investing in their infrastructure and people. Instead they squeeze as much out of the government and the public as they can and give the barest minimum in return. Get these problems fixed and issues such as overcrowding, people blocking doorways, people holding doors etc will become unnecessary.

It's all so simple really...

21 March, 2006 21:49  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Out of interest, who runs Metrol? Are they government or a private company seperate to Connex? And just to be clear, this Metrol is responsible for all train movements and communications about said train movements?

22 March, 2006 11:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Georgia, have you travelled on the Subway or the Tube?? I can tell you that their systems are far more reliable than ours.

You are right, we shouldn't blame Connex for everything... but I do blame them for not cleaning the vomit from the Sandringham city bound train the morning after the Com Games opening ceremony...

22 March, 2006 16:27  
Anonymous Whinging Connex (Chris/The Met) said...

Metrol, IIRC is owned by the government, and run by COnnex? Or along the lines on that, ill have to research. You are correct from what i know, about movements etc.

Hmm, cleaning up the puke - that effects on carriage of about 1000 people a day, or cancelling a train service that effect 1000 people in 2 hours.

I will say, that COnnex could of done it, but hiring cleaners at 3 in the morning just to clean a train isn't economical. Plus a little bit of negligence by COnnex, by not being able to notice it, our drivers need sleep too!

And, secondly note that this was an action by a 'passenger.'

Connex does need a large amount of investemnt, but certain things can't be done overnight, or immediately. SIgnalling is a long-term goal, fixing our doorway problems will need our fleets to be modified, costs, costs costs, And with the government on COnnex's back because of latetrains, and not providing much support, who can purely blame Connex?

I don't recall stating 'ALL' passenger, but i will indicate SOME, now. (raincheck on that)

I love London Underground, and i'll say from what i experienced was magnificent. Apart from a minor litter problem which is dissmissable, their service is probably better, although i avoided peak, so i really can't have a clue. If an overseas tourist made their way here, and didn't travel in peak, i could say they'd have the same experience as i've had in London.

22 March, 2006 18:35  

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