Sunday, March 04, 2007

Kosky and punctuality

Firstly, in the vein of Keating and more recently Messenger (Qld), I need to make an apology about calling Lynne Kosky a "cloth-eared nuff-nuff". Sorry about that. I should've mentioned that this expression belongs to one GT, with whom I worked a few years ago. Naturally I should've attributed it to him!

There's been further discussion on Kosky's "preoccupied with punctuality" comments of last week here - http://www.theage.com.au/news/opinion/plebs-deserve-to-ride-on-time-too/2007/03/03/1172868809756.html - that provides an interesting slant. As Terry Lane points out, the real issue is that our public transport system is a welfare system. It's really only there for those of us who simply have no other choice.

It's pretty obvious when you say it that way, and certainly I've felt for years that I've had no other choice. A car and parking are just too expensive and not particularly enjoyable either. A motorbike is OK, but when el Nino's finished and we're back to wet weather it's not all that great. Trams are too slow. Buses are an unknown quantity but I just don't like them! The train in/cycle home approach is kind of working at present, but we'll see when we get into autumn and winter.

I was thinking about the whole punctuality thing one morning last week. We pulled in about three minutes late and a handful of people sprang out of the train like greyhounds after the rabbit. Why? Because they had no idea whether their connecting trains would be leaving on time or not, but they were barely going to make it if they did. And if they missed their connecting trains they might have a twenty minute wait until the next one. So those three minutes that the cloth-eared nuff-nuff is so dismissive about can quickly have a compounding effect. Similarly those who are attempting to connect with a bus that somehow manages to run to a timetable far better than Connex is able. Their train is only a couple of minutes late, but the bus pulls out of Glen Waverley Station bang on time, even if it's empty.

So, you cloth-eared nuff-nuff, the reason many people care about punctuality is that their train journeys are not taken in a vacuum. There are often consequences even from short delays. So take your job seriously and make some effort to understand that.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Steve said...

I suppose it the choice is either more frequent trains or punctuality of service.

The first requires investment and neither Connex nor Mr Bracks wants to make or alternatively squeeze the current system and blame the commuter and portrait him to be too demanding.

04 March, 2007 18:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like your point about connecting services being on time.
I have an hourly bus service that in the past I have regularly missed due to Connex trains running more than 6 minutes late during the middle of the day.
Another problem I have found is at night, when travelling home, and trying to get a connecting service at Flinders St to a train line that services where you live. The service frequencies often fall below half hourly. Because late running arrival trains at Flinders St can be switched around between lines, this means that its more likely that your connecting train will be on time - because it can be swapped with other trains in the city so that there is a train available. Thats great news, the train home will be running on time, except of course if your train from work to Flinders St is running a few minutes late and does not connect with the train from Flinders St to home!

04 March, 2007 22:20  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess I should give Kosky the PTA in Perth's phone number and website address, As ive said in previous posts our Trains in Perth are still government owned and operated our buses (Transperth) are still owned by the state government all painted in Sate Government colours but operated by 4 different private contrators Connex, Southern Coast, Path and sWAn Transit and they all seem to be able to work together on timetables that intergrate with trains and buses and keep to the timetable fairly well (our freeway makes the Monash look good). So one would think that it is not that hard to work the 2 together but hey they might have to actually do something in there portfolios and we cannot have that happening lol.

As promised lynne
PTA www.pta.wa.gov.au
www.transperth.wa.gov.au
Allannah Mctiernan Minister for Planning and Infrastructure 08 9213 6400 or email alannah-mactiernan@dpc.wa.gov.au

Might be able to link Kosky with Brian Burke the way things are going.

06 March, 2007 04:25  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hear hear. I am a V/Line passenger on the Geelong line, and work near parliament station. It normally takes 6 minutes to get to North Melbourne where I change over to V/Line. Last night it took 11 minutes to get to North Melb from Parliament, and as a result, I missed my V/Line train my 15 seconds or so.... Thanks Connex.... And that time does compound as I had to wait 15 minutes for the next train, which happens to be a stops all stations... That means I got home half an hour later than normal.... So yes Kosky, punctuality matters.

06 March, 2007 11:53  
Blogger Connex Whinger said...

I must admit I'd forgotten about my own experiences with connecting trains until reading the last comment - must've blocked it out of my memory!

I was working at the corner of Bourke and King Streets so was pretty close to Spencer Street Station. I'd allow about fifteen minutes to get there and then around to Flinders Street to catch the Sandy line. Sometimes you'd get there with several minutes to spare, but other times you'd pull in an another platform and look across at platform 8 just to see the tail lights of the departing Sandy train. And many times that was after sitting stationary for several minutes overlooking the aquarium, knowing that the connecting train that you're on is simply waiting until the Sandy train is ready to depart! Of course the train you're desperately wanting to catch manages to get away exactly on time so you just miss it, while the next train is always delayed or cancelled!

But hey, we're just the plebs and we're too obsessed with punctuality, right?

10 March, 2007 06:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

CW I would agree entirely with your previous comment about connections. However, even though the next service that you have to wait for may be unreliable, at least its not like on the Hurstbridge line where, even if everything does go well, peak hour train frequencies can exceed 30 minutes.
So yes, 5 minutes late here or there can mean you're at least 35 minutes late getting home with connecting trains.

10 March, 2007 08:13  

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