Saturday, June 30, 2007

If you have nothing good to say...

Everybody's mum must have said this at least once - "If you have nothing good to say about x, don't say anything at all" - I'm sure mine used to say it a lot.

But in the case of the ConnexWhinger blog it's the opposite, I have nothing bad to say so I've been saying nothing! The reason I have been so slack at blogging lately is that there's just not that much happening in my Connex life.

Having more or less recovered from the fall from the pushie a few months ago, I'm getting back into the fairly regular Perth trips. I catch the bus in most mornings now - it's clean, it's very reliable, it's not crowded, and most importantly it's not run by Connex! I sometimes get the bus home and sometimes the train, the bus is pretty reliable but can be slow, the train is pretty unreliable but is quick.

In the few weeks since I last posted, I've probably caught the train a handful of times. Sometimes it's been on time, sometimes on time©®™, and once late in anybody's language, I don't think there have been any cancellations of a train I've been aiming to catch. The trouble is I'm no longer a frequent enough user to judge whether it's any better or any worse than it's always been. I still arrive at the station and if it's a few minutes before departure time and no train is sitting at the platform, I automatically start wondering whether it will arrive on time, or at all. And as we sail past the scheduled departure time with no service announcement, I just stand there along with all the other sheep waiting and wondering where our train is. Just as we've been doing since Connex took over the Sandy line.

So to answer the couple of recent questions about when I'm coming back, it'll be when I have something bad to say about Connex!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good on your for making full use of the market substitution effect, by using Connex less! However, unfortunately not all of us have that luxury and Connex have a monopoly on public transport in many areas.

Oh, and I can assure you Connex still know how to run it late on the Hurstbridge line!

30 June, 2007 21:22  
Blogger PTA All the way said...

Interseting article in The Age 1/7 on how Connex (wince) want to run the system for another 11 years all up.

God I feel sick.

02 July, 2007 02:06  
Blogger PTA All the way said...

02 July, 2007 02:07  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Connex are still just as bad Connex me. My Williamstown line train has never I repeat never arrived on time in the 6 months I have been a user. It is supposed to arrive at Seddon station at 8 23am but instead it arrives at 8 27 or 8 28 and coming home from Sthn Cross it is meant to depart at 5 23pm but try 5 29pm etc..they suck

02 July, 2007 12:41  
Blogger PTA All the way said...

Ive been back in Melbourne the past week and commuting from Cheltenham, I dont even look how long until the next train or even look at the timetables anymore because we all no the old chestnut aint gonna be there on time.

It should be a like a Perth train every 15 mins no problems.

03 July, 2007 00:33  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Attention All Long Term Ticket Holders!!!!

Don't throw away your ticket you used during June!

Connex, unsurprisingly, failed to meet its performance targets, so if are one of the lucky few who are eligible, you can get your free daily ticket!,21985,22006985-2862,00.html

I think the compensation needs to be of substance. A good start would be to provide extra tickets if Connex fails to meet their targets in consequctive months. So say they fail to meet their targets 4 months in a row, 1 ticket for the first month, 2 for the second, 3 for the third and 4 for the fourth, providing 10 free tickets for long suffering passengers who have to put up with 4 months on end of terrible service. Just an idea. They could also make it payable in cash rather than tickets!

03 July, 2007 07:41  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The last part of this article ( explains why the State government is hamstrung in spending more on public transport. The basic problem is that most of Victoria's money for transport projects comes from the Commonwealth government's massing funding grants, who have the power to levy income taxes. However, unfortunately, these grants are conditional, that is, they cannot be used unless they are spent in the way that Howard and Costello direct under their AusLink program.

"But the State Government is hampered by the AusLink funding requirements because projects must be road or freight rail-based."

Thus, the State government can get massive transports grants for everything but public transport - because of Howard and Costello who don't believe in public transport.

04 July, 2007 07:45  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aren't you lucky. Not subjected to what Paul Mees aptly describes as a "system of a 1920's or older standard".

Still, can't wait to hear more from you.

And, for those of you who need to read someone's blog, check out mine at:

It's about connex and a little bit more.

08 July, 2007 18:35  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've recently moved to london where the underground system suffers from poor infrastructure and outdated, faulty signalling systems, however the one difference is the customer service ethic that the staff seem to have. I'm not talking about the station staff (yes most stations are staffed), but the train drivers. When a train comes to a stop between stations, the driver gets on the P.A. within 30 seconds and explains that there is a red signal and tells the passengers that he/she will get in touch with the control room and report back to them with any further information. Then the driver contacts the control room and comes back to the passengers shortly, apologises for the delay and explains the reason for the delay and when he/she expects the signal to clear and the train to get moving again. This hasn't just happened on one happy occasion, this has happened every time there has been a delay, on different lines with different drivers. All showing enthusiasm for their job and a desire to communicate and inform passengers about their journey. The same happens in the case of delays at stations. During peak hours there is a staff member on EVERY platform of every central interchange station, with a roving P.A. microphone, ready to update commuters.

Does this sound remarkably simple? Yes I think so. So why can't Connex do it? Because their staff morale must be so poor that they cannot engendr any type of service ethic in them. Melbourne's infrastructure is poor and outdated, but it's nothing compared to London's which suffered fom years of underinvestment. So why can't connex run a system that only has about one tenth of the number of users per day compared to London's underground? Because they are a mediocre company, with mediocre managers, trying to run the best mediocre public transport system they can. Only a proper investment and upgrade can deal with poor infrastructure and this will take time, but in the meantime, a communication revolution is needed if connex wants to address customer dissatisfaction.

I can think of dozens of occasions standing at richmond platform 2 waiting for a sandringham that never turned up, then the next one didnt turn up either. And no announcements, no staff in sight, no information on the screen. Absolutely pathetic!! Connex needs to adopt some high standards and work to attain them rather than sitting around all day being a victim of the poor infrastructure. If connex can't do this, maybe you need to franchise the melbourne railway system to Transport for London!

12 July, 2007 01:20  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can relate to the vacuum of customer service. Often when I have a cancellation, at the railway station, there is no annoucnement, automatic or personal, no staff, regularly no SMS and often the signs are never updated and keep showing the cancelled train. What is more, the signs at my station often say "Train not taking passengers" when it actually is, or display the wrong train and show the next train is going in the wrong direction.

Occassionally a driver on the Hurstbridge line will explain what is going on if we get delayed by more than 5 minutes waiting for very long stretches of single tracks to clear from a prior late running train.

12 July, 2007 14:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In relation to the Age article regarding Auslink - it's pure crap. If the state government wanted to spend their own money on PT infrasstructure they could. End of story. Do you think the federal government kept handing over money for the woefully over budget FastRail link and Southern Cross station? Of course they didn't. Where do you think the extra funds came from???? It's simply a case that the road lobby and rail freight lobby have more say with Bracks than passenger rail. Another example is the fact that we had that idiot Batchelor in charge for so long, and now useless Kosky.

24 July, 2007 19:24  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another day. Another Connex fiasco.
Train in - 8 minutes late. Train home - 14 minutes late.

26 July, 2007 14:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What I particularly enjoy (well, kinda) is the feeble excuses coughed up by Kosky and co. Connexwhinger showed us that link to the 7:30 report on Melbourne's (un)public transport. Kosky was quoted saying, "it's an ideological issue" in regards to people's demand to stop the privatisation franchising. What's so ironic is that the only reason why things are not functional, accountable or publicly run is because of ideological reasons. Jim Betts, the Director of Public Transport was the mastermind behind Kennet's privatisation 'gift'. Now he's still up there watching over his 'dominion' as upholding the irrational privatisation argument.

Let's be realistic, if you really wanna see change - vote for the Greens.

04 August, 2007 20:04  

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