Tuesday, February 13, 2007

So they're back...?

The SMS came through yesterday morning to advise that the Siemens trains were back on the rails and the Sandringham returns to normal service.

Of course we all know what normal service means... delays and cancellations at random times with minimal or no notification. It means the trains are still crowded and smelly. It means that when the mercury hits 30°C, as most of this week is predicted to do, the new trains have a hissy fit and refuse to operate. It means that there are no staff around to ask what's going on with your trains and any you do find are generally surly and disinterested. It means being hassled by armies of ticket inspectors, or are they customer service operators now? It means Bruce Hughes and co still being chauffeured to the door without having to soil his Gucci loafers stepping in somebody's regurgitated pizza and beer. It means continued use of the archaic PDP-11s with no upgrade future. It means century old technology limiting train capacities in some areas. It means no hope for updated commuter information systems that we can rely on. It means a state government that has no interest in providing decent public transport infrastructure.

It simply means despite all the interest of the media over recent weeks we're back to how it was, nothing has changed and nothing will change.

Yep, looks like normal service is all we have to look forward to.


Blogger noisy girl said...

Hi - not related exactly to your post, but would love to be able to forward you a copy of an email I wrote to The Age today (13/2) regarding a new Connex "blitz" on crossing tracks when the gates are down, riding bikes up ramps, and other "offences". I got pinged for this today (plain clothes officers)at Glenhuntly station and would love to get word out to warn people so that they too don't have to face a $250 fine. You can email me at die_komponistin@hotmail.com if you'd like further info. Just thought if you were willing to post something on your site people might get advance notice - anything to stop the Connex revenue raising to pay back their latest $10 million fine? Your blog rules, by the way...

13 February, 2007 13:22  
Blogger Chris said...

One of the blokes at work got done at Glenhuntly this morning, too.

While not advocating crossing the tracks while the gates are down (I don't see the point basically - so what if you're 20 minutes later to work) I wonder what the legality of this is. Does Connex control the level crossing too? I would've thought it'd be a state police offence.

The guy at work was unhappy about the whole thing as the 'authorised officers' refused to give their name/badge number. He's not so unhappy about being caught for the 'offence', more the manor in which it was done(and increasingly by who)..

I've just found this on the DOI site:

"The State Government, through its agency, VicTrack, owns the land and infrastructure associated with railway crossings. VicTrack leases the land and infrastructure to the Public Transport Division of the Department of Infrastructure, which sub-leases it to public transport operators."

So maybe they are allowed to enforce these laws....

13 February, 2007 16:22  
Blogger noisy girl said...

Interesting point Chris, about whether the tracks are state owned or not; I was just starting to wonder about this myself, wondering if it was a police issue or not as I couldn't find anything listed on the web under public transport fines relating to this. I might look into it. If the officers were genuinely concerned for people's safety, wouldn't they be standing on the other side of the track actually preventing people from crossing?

13 February, 2007 16:55  
Blogger Chris said...

Or just rocking up in uniform - thus being a visual deterent.

The focus here obviously isn't safety, as you've pointed otu.

14 February, 2007 09:44  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Given that it is quite ovious the intent is to fine rather than improve safety how annoying is it that these individuals are called customer service officers...

By the way, (chris) as far as i understand, if an inspector does not show id (and refuses to do so) you (or your workmate) are under no obligation to present your id nor do they have a right to hold you as they have not identified themselves... easier said in principle than practice i suppose.

14 February, 2007 09:56  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeap everything is back to normal!
The good old Connex coding comes to life again "IF TEMP>=30 THEN Error_handler('points failure','Jolimont','Disrupt lines')".

Taken from todays The Age:
A mechanical problem at Jolimont train station this morning resulted in disruptions for hundreds of city-bound commuters.

A Connex spokeswoman said a points failure meant that trains leaving Jolimont bound for the city loop instead had to run directly to Flinders Street.

The spokeswoman said the problem began about 8.30am and was resolved by 9am.

Seven train services on the Epping and Hurstbridge line usually run between Jolimont and the city loop during that period.

What a pathetic bunch of -beep- (Pardon my french)

14 February, 2007 15:53  
Blogger noisy girl said...

Chris - I have this info for your friend from the PTUA about officers who refuse to give their name and number:

Inspectors have the power to request your name and address if they believe “on reasonable grounds” that you have committed, or are about to commit, an offence under the Transport Act. This may include travelling without a valid ticket. Inspectors can only make this request if they believe on reasonable grounds that you have committed or are about to commit an offence. The inspector must advise you of the grounds for their belief in enough detail to enable you to understand the nature of the offence or suspected offence.

If an inspector has requested your name and address you are entitled to ask them to state their name and place of duty and to produce their authority. You can ask for this information to be put in writing. The inspector must also produce, on request, their identity card, which must include a photograph and signature of the Inspector.

If an Inspector refuses to provide their name, place of duty and authority, or provides false information, they can be fined and you may wish to report the matter to the Director of Public Transport. If you refuse to provide your name and address, or you provide false information, in response to a request by an inspector, you may be charged with an offence and will be at risk of arrest.

Also, I have the names and numbers of 2 out of 3 men who were on duty as officers at Glenhuntly that morning, and I'm quite happy to share these details with your friend - I'd love to see one of these guys getting fined for doing the wrong thing, what a reversal that'd be!!!

Let me know if your friend is interested and I will provide details via email.

15 February, 2007 10:35  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suppose then they'd have reasonable right to spread your details around too...

Sound's about right.

12 March, 2007 18:32  

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