Friday, April 07, 2006

Fri 7 April - More on overcrowding...

I just wanted to take the opportunity to comment on some of the overcrowding issues that have arisen lately...

Firstly on bikes, thanks again to CB for this one... "Bicycles and surfboards may be carried on train passenger services free of charge at all times, provided that the comfort of other passengers is not affected" from a December 2004 Gazette. So what happens if other passengers are affected, as was the situation Wednesday morning? Answer... nothing! It's a meaningless clause that will be ignored by the inconsiderate and will already be understood and followed by the considerate.

Also there is a recent comment from Jackie on the ConnexWhinger feedback page that highlights the problem for people with injuries or disabilities. For those of us who are fit enough a crowded train can be a real annoyance, how much worse if you're experiencing pain as a result? This is an aspect of overcrowding that I've seen a few times and it does seem very poor. Obviously something "Comeng" who posts further down on the same page clearly has no sympathy for.

The 07:14 is on time.

The 18:01 just scrapes in at around two minutes late.

CW wins letter of the day in MX, here's the full, unedited letter...

In reference to this evening’s headline article, I completely disagree. I rarely see people holding doors and it is even more rare to see people attempt to open them after they’ve closed. Occasionally at Flinders Street somebody may come racing down the escalator as the doors close and make half-hearted attempt to open them again – usually the driver keeps on going, so there is no delay. I’m one of the accused referred to in the article who favours one particular carriage – the one next to the escalators - so if it were happening anywhere it would be there and I would see it far more often than I do.

The blocking doors issue is one that has had much discussion recently on my blog – http://blogspot.connexwhinger.com – with no real outcome. A simple and glib answer is that if the trains weren’t so crowded, people would not need to stand in the doorways. And if they did so in an uncrowded train it wouldn’t matter anyway.

But of course the answer is more complex than this. Those who spout the doorway dogma seem to have some idealised notion of how this should work that simply does not translate to reality. If everybody did force themselves to pack into the gaps between seats so that the doorways were kept clear, guess what? When they, or the people in the seats, arrived at their stations they’d still be fighting their way through other people to get out. The only difference is that they’d be doing so in the body of the carriage rather than in the doorways. Of course if we all formed ranks according to which station we planned to alight from, I’m sure that would help!

The bottom line is that both of these issues are trivial in comparison to the major factors that impede the delivery of a quality, reliable service to Melbourne’s hard-pressed commuters. Remove Peter “Weasel” Batchelor from office and replace Bruce “Sir Topham Hatt” with a competent CEO: start delivering service and we’ll quickly forget all about such diversionary nonsense.

Regards etc

21 Comments:

Anonymous Andrew said...

I agree and this goes back to one of my previous posts.

When a driver sees a passenger with obvious difficulties on the platform (they do watch the passengers as they get on board, dont they??), surely it is not too much to make a small announcement asking people to be aware of these people and remind them to help their customers. As we know, the considerate ones know this already, but the inconsiderate dont!

Perhaps gentle reminder announcements about other issues would be good too. Who knows, it may encourage people to look after the Connex property and behave better, which may encourage more people to use Connex!!!

07 April, 2006 08:26  
Blogger Carolyn said...

Yes Jackie's comment is very true, and there are also the injuries that occur due to over-crowding - one of my aerobics instructors fractured her arm when she tripped over on a crowded Frankston train last year.

07 April, 2006 08:32  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can anyone remember when you had to buy a ticket for your bike to take it on the train?

Everything comes back to politics and the reason Melbourne has such a bad train system is:

THE RACV AND THE BIKE LOBBY HAVE MORE SAY OVER THE STATE GOVERNMENT THAN ANY PUBLIC TRANSPORT LOBBY EVER WILL!!

While the government have spent 20 billion on roads in the past ten years they have spent 600 million on public transport.

The bike lobby forced the government to remove the fare for a bike and although Connex and Metlink tell bike users not to travel during peak they are not permitted to ban bikes because the government pampers to the bike lobby.

07 April, 2006 09:51  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon. - while I dont agree that the bike lobby has quite the power that you imply, thankyou very much for those figures. I had been casually looking for them to see the comparison between road and PT, and you have hit the nail square on head. PT simply doesn't have the representation that the road lobby has. This blog and the Connex Whinger website is pretty much the most commuter centric avenue to express their views on the state of PT (at least trains) I've seen.

Sam

07 April, 2006 14:39  
Blogger The Met said...

Andrew;

Drivers obviously have to pay attention to disable passengers, those with wheelchair vehicles and prams. Thos with bikes also take hint of drivers attention.

I too, had the idea of the occasional verse from the driver about crowding problems.

---
I see limited reason to actually take your bike on the train during peak, which mainly cyclists are workers?

You use bike to get from home to station. The you train and tram the rest of the way. If you work in the city, there should be less hasslye using a divers amount of trams.

Im not 100% sure, but isn't the last say to Connex/DOI about whats brought on their trains...

07 April, 2006 18:36  
Blogger The Met said...

The blocking doors issue is one that has had much discussion recently on my blog – http://blogspot.connexwhinger.com – with no real outcome. A simple and glib answer is that if the trains weren’t so crowded, people would not need to stand in the doorways. And if they did so in an uncrowded train it wouldn’t matter anyway.
True.

But of course the answer is more complex than this. Those who spout the doorway dogma seem to have some idealised notion of how this should work that simply does not translate to reality. If everybody did force themselves to pack into the gaps between seats so that the doorways were kept clear, guess what?

Well, that's just unrealistic. There's a balance, and now the scales are broken.

-
The bottom line is that both of these issues are trivial in comparison to the major factors that impede the delivery of a quality, reliable service to Melbourne’s hard-pressed commuters.
Yes, an a 'hard-pressed' network trying to cope, with the inefficiencies with the governement.

-
Remove Peter “Weasel” Batchelor from office and replace Bruce “Sir Topham Hatt” with a competent CEO: start delivering service and we’ll quickly forget all about such diversionary nonsense.

Bah, as i said that's one person, who controls a limited amount of power. It's an entire organisation, of people and operationale.

But, yes the leader has most control.

I doubt there will be much change if we elect some other government to solve our transport woes.

Will only be bombarded with 'substantiated' ideas that really open a door full of problems, over-priced and delayed promises.

Consider yourself lucky.

We could always go back to a 20th Century Spencer Street, ugly as it 'was' greeting newcomers these Commonwealth Games, leave our exterior rail corridors to fall to even more of a decrepid state, and live with our existing rolling-stock...

Bruce Hughes, may not be capable of doing much, but can you find someone who can? Don't forget the financial capacity, and the capacity that of; the network, rollingstock and infrastructure...

The only real answer is "Spend, spend, spend," of course where the money comes is usually left as a forgotten topic.
Regardless of it being Bruce Hughes, or Peter Batchelor.

You can alter their names poke fun at it, be immature in a way, but it won't be helping the problem.

---
People make mistakes; that's why we have erasers.

That 'eraser' in our system is money, or rather a lack of.

-
Hey, ideas on the springboard, get Peter Branson with his 'Virgin' marketing. He's done well with rail in the UK, topping finance and aviation industries. He could do well, but he also has a lot of money.

=

The only real instance of "CEO" will be Herbert Guyot, former CEO of Yarra Trams. An inspirition, and truly unforgettable leader of Melbournes tramway of today. He personally did well, but i won't drown you with facts. Within a solid foundation, we have our upper decks today with Dennis Cliche, hopefully a worthy successor.

Chris
http://whingingconnex.blogspot.com

07 April, 2006 21:02  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chris your a knob-head

07 April, 2006 21:22  
Blogger The Met said...

9:22, anon.
I really can't put up with so called Richard Cranium

That was just a retarded statement.

--
I'll have posted a large post, to place my ideas before i forget them, and too expand.

07 April, 2006 23:28  
Anonymous chris is a knob-head said...

Will you write it in English you knob-head?

Whats your first language?

08 April, 2006 07:48  
Blogger The Met said...

Ha, 'me' learn Englsih...


Where do people like you come from? So i'm supposed to take a suggestion from a person who's best 'insult' is 'knob-head.'

Perhaps you should learn "English" although with your standard of speech, I personally doubt you would be able to comprehend such a language. Go back to your nonsensical grunts.


---
Chris
http://whingingconnex.blogspot.com

08 April, 2006 19:55  
Blogger The Met said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

08 April, 2006 20:01  
Blogger The Met said...

Oh and, yes, my 'first' language is English.

Perhaps you need to learn the English language in order to understand it...

You, dear sir, may fit under the category 'illiterate.' Don't know what that means, perhaps use a dictionary, if you know what one is.

---
Chris

08 April, 2006 20:03  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh dear, someone insulted the little boy

08 April, 2006 20:59  
Anonymous chris is a knob-head said...

When your looking in the dictionary maybe you can find operationale and decrepid and tell us what they mean? Your own words knob-head

08 April, 2006 21:33  
Anonymous Steve said...

Now I see it coming. Watch this space.
Just a matter of time before Chris comes crying "but I have education and I can spelling".

Le réalité et toi, vous ne vous entendez pas, n'est-ce pas?

09 April, 2006 00:24  
Blogger Connex Whinger said...

Chris, I'm reluctant to get drawn into the debate about your English skills, since this blog is really meant to be about Connex and related issues. While I may not agree with CIAK-H's immature insults as an approach, you'd have to acknowledge that he has a point!

As well as the words your nemesis has highlighted, you wrote in your comment that you subsequently deleted...

"You, dear sir, may fit under the category 'illitarate.' Don't know what that means, perhaps use a dictionary, if you know what one is."

You attacked CIAK-H and called him "illiterate" but couldn't even spell it correctly yourself!

When you are checking that dictionary that you pointed CIAK-H towards, you might want to familiarise yourself with the word "irony"!

In all honesty, I gave up responding to your posts here and in your emails because trying to understand your messages was simply too taxing for my brain - no offence intended.

Phil

09 April, 2006 09:14  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Might wanna check that web address you wrote in your article.. blonde moment?

10 April, 2006 09:45  
Blogger The Met said...

anonymous 8:59

Wow, look another idiot, no quite untrue (i hope)

I'm not insulted, ill just say there is another injustice that ill have to put up with, and comment on.

--
CK-H 9:33

A minor spelling error. And posting your suggestions where they occur may be more useful.

---
steve 12:24

Your abilty to 'quote' me is highly ludicrous.
Sorry. Perhaps you can't really make sense of the future.

Le non, mais peut-être vous et l'intellect peuvent avoir un problème

---
Mr Whinger

I will only acknowledge his foul use of the language. "Knob-head" i'd like to see a definition. Making up words now?.. No, perhaps this time i will sink down to the level of value i'd expect from a person with no self-direction nor moral sense.

Yes i did delete a post, but you see your probably the only one to take note of that, i susbsequently deleted that post, aware of the spelling error, as such, I was assuming it would cause much "ado" about nothing; as it already has.

GET OVER IT! To those who have a massive problem of letter in it's wrong place, Geez, BIG DEAL...

And further more Mr Whinger,

Your comment, really only satisfies yourself, as if you were only the one able to witness the very minor occurence. Perhaps everytime you make an error, I will dedicate over half-a-page of posts?

You persisted for long, and yet give up now? Perhap long ago would have been a suitable time.


---
Chris
http://whingingconnex.blogster.com
(Too many blog site around anon, 9:45)

10 April, 2006 17:56  
Blogger The Met said...

eh.

http://whingingconnex.blogspot.com

gah.

10 April, 2006 18:52  
Anonymous Comeng said...

Hi,

I did not like you misquoting me in your main post. I am a user of the system who would give up his seat for a person in need such as "Jackie". Actually there are a number of seats in each carriage set aside for people with special needs. Therefore, it is not Connex who is at fault here, it is the inconsiderate passengers in the train who do not give thier seats for people like "Jackie".

I stand by my orignal post, the service on the Sandringham Line at least on paper is very good. Here is a quick summary of the service frequency on all the lines during the afternoon peak.

Broadmeadows - 10 Minutes
Upfield - 20 Minutes
Werribee - 20 Minutes
Williamstown - 20 Minutes
Sydenham - 20 Minutes
Alamein - 15 Mins
Belgrave - 15 Minutes
Lilydale - 10 Minutes
Cranbourne - Approx 15
Pakenham - 10 - 15 Mins
Frankston 10 -15 Mins
Glen Waverley - 10 Mins
Hurstbridge - 20 to 30 Mins
Sandringham - 10 Mins
Epping - 10 - 15 Minutes

As you can see from this Sandringham has one of the best frequencies of all the lines. Therefore if a service has to be cancelled, it is less intrusive to cancel it on a line with high frequency, such as Sandringham rather than one with a low frequency such as Hurstbridge, where if a peak train is cancelled a commuter can have to wait an hour for the next train.

The number of trains is a finite resource, currently Connex has 109 6-car trains to run the peak. This will reduce to 106 once the last of the Non-Airconditioned trains are removed from service. A number of these trains are out of service at any one time for maintainance or vandalism. If a train returning from lets say Sandringham is vandalised and has to be removed from service when it reaches Flinders St, what can Connex do for the service that train was to form? Another train cannot be sourced quickly because the yards are no longer close to Flinders St.

The government has let the system reach capacity. Lets take the Northern Loop for example. This services all the trains that go through Nth Melbourne. This is currently at capacity. No more trains can be added to ease the overcrowding on the Werribee, Upfield or Sydenham Lines.

Most of the problems that Connex has providing a train service are out of their control. Actually, I really want Connex to walkout sometime this year, to put the spotlight of these problems back onto Bracks and Bachelor, because these are the people who are in the fault not Connex.

Comeng

11 April, 2006 21:30  
Blogger Connex Whinger said...

Comeng - where did I misquote you? I didn't quote you at all, however the comment you made was "The Sandingham line has a train every 10 minutes in peak, so if one gets cancelled who cares" and that's the one I was referring to.

If you read Jackie's post and the other discussions properly you'd realise we're talking about overcrowding being so bad that you could not get near a seat even if one were offered. Your comment suggests nobody should care about the impact of cancellations and the resultant overcrowding, and seems to give no consideration whatsoever to impacts such as that experienced by Jackie. So explain how I'm misquoting you.

People who toss that "they're every ten minutes" line on the table miss the fundamental point. It's not about the wait for ten minutes, it's about the fact that even when they run ten minutes apart the trains are packed fairly solid with plenty of people forced to stand. You cancel one and you've just (more or less) doubled that train's passenger count. So you get jammed in like sardines, with sweaty people pressed up against you. It's uncomfortable for some, painful for others (such as Jackie) and probably somewhat dangerous.

So in answer to your rhetorical question, we care.

14 April, 2006 07:26  

Post a Comment

<< Home