Thursday, October 11, 2007

A message to Bruce Hughes

Bruce, you and your executive team are doing your meet-and-greet fact finding over the coming months, but unfortunately I'll be interstate for your next session. So here's something to chew over in the meantime...

Yesterday evening typified what's wrong when you cancel a train. I needed to get home early to finish off a uni assignment due that day. I couldn't quite get out in time for the Sandy 17:16, so went for the 17:26 instead.

I reached platform 8 at 17:21, but there was a Frankston train sitting there and your fancy new monitor that theoretically tells us what's on each platform was full of "Listen for announcement" messages. No offence Bruce, but you're really not very good at making announcements! Besides, what's the point of all these new monitors if they can't be relied upon to keep your customers informed?

So I went up to the concourse to see if I could find some information - stap me vitals if that's not a bloke wearing a Connex customer service vest! So I politely asked him what he knew about the 17:26 to Sandy. He helpfully pointed me towards platforms 12 and 13, where the monitors were both suggesting we listen for announcements. Given that it was now one minute to departure time and there'd been no announcements, I think we both knew that was not going to help us.

So he led me to the impressive new bank of monitors that replaced the old departure board. And that said the next Sandy train was going from platform 12, but it was the 17:37! I'd had no SMS alert about the 17:26, I'd heard no announcement, and nor had your staff member, it completely vanished without word. Meanwhile the platform 12 monitor was still urging me to listen!

I caught the tram instead... slow but dependable.

Thing is Bruce, we all accept that the Sodor train set can fail from time to time. But when this happens, we really, really, really want you to tell us what's going on. But you never do.