Friday, June 01, 2007

Sack Connex!

Sack Connex was the clear message at last night's public meeting. It is up to us, Melbourne commuters, to convince Steve Bracks to return Melbourne's trains to public hands.

Rob Gell presented first and gave some pretty compelling arguments as to why we should have a decent and reliable public transport system. He came across as a little too rabidly anti-car for my taste, and if he had publicly renounced the use of cars altogether he might've been more convincing. I just couldn't help thinking of Jeremy Clarkson on Top Gear challenging various celebrities about their ownership of a Toyota Prius!

What Rob Gell lacked in sincerity was amply made up for by Fiona Taylor from If that is not the most sincere, intelligent and motivational speech I've ever heard, bar none, I don't know what is. Fiona is one of us, an average Melbourne commuter who has simply had enough and is not going to take it any more! I sit here and whinge with the luxury of a train, tram or bus all within a ten minute walk, while those in outer suburbs have literally nothing for large parts of each and every day - if you can't afford a car, that's it, you simply stay at home. Yet this is 2007 and we have had a Labor government for years. is not prepared to let Connex keep its franchise and has a number of ideas on how to tackle this. Head over to their website and give them some support.

Lastly we had Dr Paul Mees. As always, a very clear presentation of what's wrong with our public transport system and how it can be done much, much better. It was along the lines of his article in The Age a day or two ago. Clearly if other government bodies can operate an efficient, integrated, cost-effective public transport system, so can we. As Paul pointed out, their solutions are there to examine and copy, we don't even have to work it out for ourselves.

So what are we going to do about it? It's more than two years since I started blogging. Initially I wanted people to get off their backsides in joining me to tackle the apathy of Connex staff and management. Over time, as is clear from my evolving blogs, my focus has shifted more towards Batchelor and Bracks, followed by Kosky the cloth-eared nuff-nuff. Kosky is obviously just a waste of space, so the answer must lie with Bracks. Just like Howard, Bracks is a pollie who doesn't like too much negative publicity. We need to find ways to keep this issue under his nose leading up to the November decision on whether to renew Connex' contract. Personally I think is the organisation to do that with.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Kosky bereft of ideas?

Seriously, is this the best she can offer? What hope is there for Melbourne's commuters?

We recently had the fanfare when nine services were added across all lines in peak times. As Paul Mees said - "The system now carries 600,000, so adding 7000 extra spaces a day is 1 per cent," he said. "Patronage has gone up 18 per cent. To respond to that massive rise with this is not quite meeting our public transport challenges." Does this cloth-eared nuff-nuff have any understanding at all about our public transport systems? Is she even qualified to be involved at all in the Connex contract renewal decision? I'd suggest not.

Now the latest revelation is this mob was warned nearly a year ago that the system was in crisis, so why weren't our new trains ordered then? Oh, I see, Batchelor was in charge - how convenient for the nuff-nuff. All they had to do was head down to one of the loop stations in peak hour to see what the problem was!

Anyway, on to the CENN's proposal to deal with this issue... change all the schools' start and finish times. Honestly, that's her answer! Don't worry about the huge impact that's going to have for people who have arranged their lives around the current school times. Unbelievable!

Anyway, don't forgot the meeting this Thursday, details below.