Tuesday, October 23, 2007

How did I know?!

I never travel without a valid ticket. Never. Just one of those things that I don't do.

Today I inserted my 10 x 2 hour ticket with six empty slots and got the dreaded "re-try" message. Tried it in a second machine, same result. So I've gone over to the customer service guys and they've had look at it, opened the barrier and let me through. I was heading down the stairs and suddenly thought "hang on a minute..."

I've gone back and pointed out to them that I didn't actually have a validated ticket - slight hint of irony there! So they tried it, same result. The woman then scraped it with something, they tried it, and it now worked. One validated ticket.

Unbelievably, we pulled into Ripponlea and there were the ticket inspectors. I don't think I've ever seen them there before, yet by the biggest coincidence I was within a whisker of getting caught for no ticket!

No doubt they would've had no problem accepting my story and letting me off, had I not clicked back at Flinders Street...!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Banished to the back blocks

Here's the problem: while I was out of town a few weeks ago, the Sandy line was permanently banished to platforms 12 and 13. We now have an extra few hundred metres to walk, but that's not the issue.

The problem is that you get to platform 10 and you can see a train way in the distance on 12 or 13. And the question is whether that's the previous train running late, or is it the next train already sitting there?

Knowing how unreliable Connex can be, there's a massive compulsion to get on the train that's there, since there's no confidence that the next one will run. So do you run for it, just in case? Or do you walk normally only to see it pull away, knowing that's the cue for the next one to be cancelled?

How hard would it be to put one more big plasma/LCD screen on platform 10 summarising all platforms, as they have on platform 8? If Connex management actually used their train system, I'm sure they would've already done so!