Friday, May 05, 2006

Fri 5 May - You there Andrew...?

Several weeks ago I thought it worth having one more go at some constructive dialogue with Connex management. I sent an email, spraying it to everybody whose address I had, to about 10 or 12 senior Connex people. The gist of the email was that I thought there would be a number of relatively easy things that Connex could do in the area of passenger information that could greatly improve people's travelling experience. I did my best not to be confrontational (that's a challenge for me) and tried to spell out how easy I thought these things would be, they would have minimal cost impact and I thought there would be real benefit from doing so.

Eventually I received a slightly patronising response from Andrew Cassidy that explained how difficult it was to do anything and how technology was a limiting factor. Since one of the ideas was for the train driver of a crowded, delayed train to announce over the PA how far behind the next train was, I politely suggested that he might want a rethink. After all that has actually been done once (and only once to my knowledge), so we know that there is no technology barrier in implementing this, simply a lack of corporate will. That was two weeks ago and I haven't heard from Andrew since.

So that probably answers the biggest question - do Connex give a rat's about passengers? Nope.

The 07:14 is on time again.

Home on the 18:01 and they don't even bother to tell us that it's running late tonight. We're wet and cold anyway, so a delayed train can't make things any worse. We arrive at Ripponlea about seven minutes late.

30 Comments:

Blogger The Met said...

If Connex didn't give a damn about passenger, we wouldn't have any metropolitan rail services (although it seems that way to you doesn't it?)

Time to rethink that question of yours. You also contradict yourself by saying your train was on time. Snap.

---
Now the idea of drivers announcing the 'next train.' Yes, there is a technological barrier, although it's still possible to do it, but with great hassly.

Drivers don't really have access to much information about whether there even is a service behind theirs. (And to a degree neither do station staff).

There is a communication barrier between operations and what passengers need to know. SMS update worked in it's early days, but im seeing less and less of them.

There are over 400 drivers at any one time on this network, perhaps more. "Metrol" which is practically the brains and operations centre, doesn't have the exact capability to communicate with even half those drivers.

Plus most stations are unattended, they really can only put "Connex apologises for the inconvenience," it's very hard to put announcement up on the station PA system, detailing about the problems, let alone the frequency of them!

Maybe if Connex did run on time, there wouldn't be any need.

Chris.

05 May, 2006 09:46  
Anonymous Sam said...

There are over 400 drivers at any one time on this network, perhaps more. "Metrol" which is practically the brains and operations centre, doesn't have the exact capability to communicate with even half those drivers.

Horse. Shit.
If Metrol cannot communicate with ALL of it's operational trains at any given time, then someone needs to call a journo and expose this as that is chaos and lives are being put at risk. How many taxis are on the streets at any given time? All of them can communciate to HQ.

The problems, I suspect, are bad practices, faulty procedures, and a lack of communication and staff.

05 May, 2006 12:38  
Blogger The Met said...

Metrol; communication is only necassary to drivers when;

- emergency
- driver issues (timetabling/shifts etc)
- vehicle issues
- probably more

The operation is merely safeworking systems (ie, signalling, track switching etc) -
THIS is why drivers aren't being alerted about a service behind them being late, it really isn't necassary or part of usual operation.

If theyre late, theyre late. Trains are still required to stop at the next station. NOTHING can be done to make a train faster than it can already be. Only in some cases is priority given to certain trains, eh.

To add to that list, we would need more staff, merely for the fact less than 200 people are extending their waiting time by half an hour...

It's a very minor thing. Overall, your probably better off listening to 774 AM ABC Local Radio to see if your train is cancelled. Delays are here to stay (as we can already see)

---
Now tram wise, it is far more superior. At YT HQ one person can communicate with everytram. AND announce to passengers AND drivers about suspected faults, and indications. Although it is only usuall when there is a broken tram, major fault, or special event.

Chris

05 May, 2006 14:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chris,

Connex can't please every individual every day.

The whinger travels on the Sandringham line, which has the greatest frequency of any line in Melbourne.

He has recently said that he gets no cancellations anymore. As the service is getting better he needs to find other things to complain about.

Let him go on his rant and don't bother reading the site.

Until Connex provides a rail pod that picks him up and takes him where and when he wants to go (too bad for everyone else) he will not be happy.

He readily admits to being a whinger. Again don't give him and his cronies the satisfaction.

05 May, 2006 16:30  
Blogger The Met said...

ignorant bliss i suppose.

05 May, 2006 17:57  
Blogger The Met said...

I feel like it's like it's war, and a person is saying 'run, run while you still can'...

05 May, 2006 18:41  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If a stranger offers you a ride, i'd say TAKE IT!

05 May, 2006 18:59  
Blogger Connex Whinger said...

Chris, the idea is very simple... the driver of train A, let's call him Alfie, is delayed due to some minor fault. His 17:38 train leaves Flinders Street at 17:47, nine minutes late. The train is jam packed but everybody squeezes in because they have no idea when the next train will be.

The driver of train B, let's call him Bertie, departs a minute late, at 17:50. So he's nominally three minutes behind Alfie, but probably gaining on him as he doesn't have anywhere near the number of passengers getting off and on.

Bertie advises Mick at Metrol (hopefully he already knows this) that he's on the way. Mick tells Alfie that Bertie is three minutes behind. Alfie can then tell his passengers that they only have to wait three minutes and they can confidently get off and wait.

Without this advice from Alfie, nobody is likely to take the chance. For all they know, Bertie's train could be 15 minutes behind and even more crowded. But through the simple process of Mick having a quick chat to Alfie and Bertie, Alfie can offer his passengers enough information to make a decision. And it costs nothing!

So explain why that woudln't work, please.

05 May, 2006 20:04  
Blogger Connex Whinger said...

Anon, you said The whinger travels on the Sandringham line, which has the greatest frequency of any line in Melbourne.

Have you thought about why they're more frequent? Because there are more passengers, dummy! At peak hour the trains are every ten minutes, but they're full as a goog. A one minute delay means that you have (on average) 10% more passengers cramming into an already full train. Two minutes late and you've got 20% more passengers, three minutes, 30% more. I'm sure you can figure out the sequence for yourself.

So the fact that they are every 10 minutes doesn't somehow make us special, it is simply the frequency that's required to have any hope of keeping up with passenger volumes. Please don't try to insinuate that we are being treated any more favourably than any other line's passengers.

And no, I don't want my own pod, I simply want the advertised service that I and my fellow commuters are paying for. And when they're failing to deliver I want them to give us some basic customer service and keep us informed.

You may be one of those people who is happy to accept sub-standard service, I'm not. Presumably if you go to a restaurant and your steak is cold and chewy you simply accept that? If so, you're the bloke in the minority, not me!

Perhaps you should follow your own advice to Chris?

05 May, 2006 20:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dangit...

I can't agree anymore with that...
Trains often seem to get so croweded...

Its saddending me...


:<

Connex Suxs
-off to bed

06 May, 2006 01:08  
Anonymous sam said...

Let him go on his rant and don't bother reading the site.

Do as I say, not as I do eh anon.?

He readily admits to being a whinger. Again don't give him and his cronies the satisfaction.

Chris doesn't have to when there are people like you posting here.

Oh the irony.

Sam

06 May, 2006 10:13  
Anonymous Steve said...

I suppose Andrew got shot by Corporate Affairs and now has to clean the rails with a toothbrush for not following corporate policy!

06 May, 2006 11:13  
Blogger The Met said...

Mr Whinger, yes your idea in certain aspects works, but not enough to make it plausibly necassary.

But OK, look at it realistically.

Alfie whos ahead places an announcement on board saying there is another train which is ANOTHER 15 minutes. (And lets face it, as if you'd believe Connex would be as reliable as their words)

At this stage, anybody could do the same thing without having to be told!; but nobody would do it, nor does it.

Nobody wants to wait. We even see at station: a train is full, yet people still attempt to get on it.

Now, people actually IN the train; what more could you expect.

It's the matter of telling people at THE STATION, not really when they're onboard. Even thought people attempt to get onto a full train. There is always another service. (Unless it's very late at night, where you'd be better off walking)

But even then we cannot precicely do (customer service-wise) that as ive said far above.


---
Now in relation to what people are exactly paying for. A service to the city really. They still get there if the train is delayed or even if its 'chokkers' - it seems that way for now.

-----
PS, goog is not listed in the dictionary.
-
Also 'to' should be 'too'
-
AND, a statement saying that the Sandringham line gets the most frequency. He was stating the truth, nothing but the truth, so help him 'god.'

Well, you've made it a big whoop again. Sorry I had to pick on that.
-
Sam, I can decide for myself, thankyou very much.
-
Steve, unnecassary comment, but not for me to go on and on about it. Nor did he say he worked for Connex.

Chris.

06 May, 2006 15:54  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PS, goog is not listed in the dictionary.
-
Also 'to' should be 'too'


You are the last one you should this advise! And since when did you take an english course?

06 May, 2006 18:33  
Anonymous Chris is a cheesedick said...

Nor is cheesedick in the dictionary but it describes you perfectly smegma-boy.

06 May, 2006 22:29  
Blogger Connex Whinger said...

Chris, of all the many things you might tackle me on, my use of English is probably not one of them. I have already acknowledged that I do make the odd typo, and this is especially so when I am really worked up and trying to get the words out quickly. But now you're being plain silly...

"Full as a goog" is a colloquial expression that is commonly used and understood in Australia. Once you've grown up and get out and about a bit, you may encounter many such vernacular expressions in your life. Best you temporarily accept them at the time, then go home and Google them so you can work out what they mean.

As for my use of "to" when it should be "too", you are mistaken. I assume you are referring to the sentence "Perhaps you should follow your own advice to Chris?" If so, maybe you should ask an adult to explain it to you. (Or should that be too you?!)

Having dealt with your misguided pedantry, I suppose I have to refute your other rubbish too...

I suspect you still have not grasped my Alfie, Bertie and Mick scenario. Perhaps read the Dec 13 post and that'll help - that day the driver did exactly what I'm proposing become normal operational practice.

With respect to this bit AND, a statement saying that the Sandringham line gets the most frequency. He was stating the truth, nothing but the truth, so help him 'god.' you are deliberately distorting the truth, just as most children do...

You are omitting the key point - yes he did state that, but quite obviously he was implying that we have the most frequent service so should be grateful. I merely pointed out that we have the most frequent trains because we have the highest passenger volumes, so that frequency is no additional benefit to us.

Anyway Chris, much as it's been lovely chatting, I think I'd prefer to have debate with adults!

07 May, 2006 08:03  
Blogger The Met said...

Ah, I see Mr knob-head again. Thought there was an unnatural silence, and a decreased amount of sh** flying around.

---
I do acknowledge on occasion, about the accidental typographical error. I don't need to waste my time checking over mere letter, much like you having to complain about waiting for a train.

Ill stop commenting on yours, when everybody else stops making it a big 'whoop' of my typing.

I merely made a mistake, you didn't state clearly enough to who exactly the statement was directed, to suggest I take my own advice to 'run, while i still can.'

---

Now to the main point; yes I do grasp your 'Alfie and Bertie' situation. But if you had the capability to read my post, you will see how:
A)it could be possible
B)it's unlikely though
C) not entirely necassary
D) other factors that are influence why it isn't necassary

TO save you having to scan above:


At this stage, anybody could do the same thing without having to be told!; but nobody would do it, nor does it. (Hopping off the train to catch the next)

Nobody wants to wait. We even see at station: a train is full, yet people still attempt to get on it.

Now, people actually IN the train; what more could you expect.

It's the matter of telling people at THE STATION, not really when they're onboard. Even thought people attempt to get onto a full train. There is always another service. (Unless it's very late at night, where you'd be better off walking)

But even then we cannot precicely do (customer service-wise) that as ive said far above.


---
"Having dealt with your misguided pedantry, I suppose I have to refute your other rubbish too...
SO this site must be a tip?

An understatement, get a mirror and what do you see?

---
Chris.

07 May, 2006 12:42  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

just fucken read what he said you fucken cheesedick

07 May, 2006 17:25  
Blogger The Met said...

I did, did you Mr Knob-head?

CAN YOU READ, WHAT I WROTE?

Or does the only thing come out, are pointless insults, that happen to be ineffective.

You, dear sir, is an A**EHOLE. The only thing that come out of you is PURE SH**

No, in a more subdued manner i will continue:

Now, Mr WHinger, I didn not 'distort' the truth. IT WAS THE TRUTH! It was a simple statement, and it was utterly correct. I ignored the fact of hime stating in a more You exaggurated (what you seem to call distortion) and i did exaggurated on what you exaggurated.


Seem, that you've MISSED THE BELOW THRICE!
Now to the main point; yes I do grasp your 'Alfie and Bertie' situation. But if you had the capability to read my post, you will see how:
A)it could be possible
B)it's unlikely though
C) not entirely necassary
D) other factors that are influence why it isn't necassary


If there were any larger textx or any 'bolder' blod, i would use it.

07 May, 2006 17:49  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

just for my input, Sandringham doenst have the most frequencey.

07 May, 2006 19:15  
Blogger Connex Whinger said...

Chris why won't you actually stop and read? I even helpfully provided you a link to the Dec 13 post where I and several other people got off the train and waited for the next one when the driver told us that it was only a few minutes behind.

07 May, 2006 21:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can someone explain what "/* means for me?

08 May, 2006 13:28  
Blogger The Met said...

Mr Whinger, yes i did read. I also read the linked whinge too.

Look. Either people are stupid or you need a person to tell them. Not you specifically, but what you mean after taking the next train.

In any circumstance, and i mean any, there will always be a train service behind yours. (relating to morning peak).

That driver that you speak of. Metrol would not of contacted him about a train behind his, he too was probably aware that he was late or something.

At the end of the Sandy Line, drivers can see other drivers on their tail, after changing end. Its and estimate guess.

THIS CAN BE DONE! WHat was done above, can be done, but it doens't involve Metrol either!

AS I HAVE stated: yes your idea in certain aspects works, but not enough to make it plausibly necassary.

I have also stated why.
---
Plus any amount of my complaining does not constitute any change within Conne management, apparently nor does yours...

You simply 'advertise' trains are late, which many people now already. You are that person who draws attention to it.

It's 'that' attention is whats going to bring change (or 'supposed') change in Connex.

They are an organisation more than 5000 people make up. You and your followers (unfortunatley even i have to be defined a follower) is practically less than 100!

It's one of those moments where i can't stop typing.

I also reflect, that it was blatantly obvoius.

08 May, 2006 18:32  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You cheesedick are fucken illiterate

08 May, 2006 19:13  
Blogger The Met said...

Mr cheesedi** i won't bother tolerating your insincerity. Your crude and indecent comments are merely a waste of time and space.

09 May, 2006 19:54  
Anonymous A sensible fellow said...

Insincerity? He seems pretty sincere to me and I'd guess you've chosen the wrong word again you moron.

11 May, 2006 01:36  
Blogger The Met said...

Your crude and indecent comments are merely a waste of time and space.

11 May, 2006 18:22  
Blogger The Met said...

Ahh and I forgot.... I am a waste too!

11 May, 2006 19:23  
Anonymous Harry said...

Keep it on CW. Ignore sporadic poor moron... he cant get what he cant get.

12 May, 2006 23:37  
Blogger The Met said...

"Mr Imitation Met"

comes with new idiotic comments...

13 May, 2006 10:56  

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