Get a grip, you people

This morning’s train in:

Crowded train

And if you think that’s crowded, you should have seen the one before it.

Admittedly this was down to earlier cancellations, but regular peak hour travellers know this kind of thing isn’t that unusual.

So, are they buying more trains? No. (In fact they just scrapped a bunch.)

But hey, they are blowing a billion dollars widening the Westgate and Monash freeways by a lane each. Idiots.

PS. Train home just as crowded.

PPS. Thursday 6pm. Connex will offer compensation for January’s poor performance. V/Line are offering compensation for December. Details here.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

19 replies on “Get a grip, you people”

G’day Daniel,

I have been trying to find out the cheapest method of getting around Melb and all I can find is Mr Bowen’s site and the PTUA site. :-)

Anyway – here goes. I will be in Melb for a year or more and need to travel mainly around the city but maybe once a month or every three weeks I will need to get to Sunbury.

Any suggestions?

Saw your name in ‘the age’ today Daniel. I was so excited except I was at work and I didn’t think anyone else would be too thrilled to hear ‘a guy whose blog I read’s name is in the paper’.

Oh well!

Gia: If you’re travelling each day of the working week, buy yourself a Zone 1 yearly ticket. Purchase a Daily zone 2 ticket for the occasions when you’re travelling to Sunbury.

Almost every night last week it took me two hours to get home. This is shocking service. Seriously. Cancelled trains and late trains every now and then is one thing but every single day is ridiculous. I hope Connex gets HUGE fines and I hope that one day in my lifetime, the transport system will be back in the government’s hands.

Aren’t they a happy looking bunch of fellow travellers. They look like they could murder Batch… no Kosk… no Brac…no Kenne… no, a private foreign company running trains to make a profit, not as a service.

That is a shocking thing to read about. Excuses, excuses up the kazoo, too, I’m sure. Well, sadly, only floods of complaints to every level of government will likely “do” anything to fix it. I mean, if you all write an actual letter to say “THIS STINKS, literally, and figuratively” then perhaps, something will get done. Sad state of affairs to read about. My sympathies.

That must have been the 2nd train to come through Ormond yesterday that I was unable to get on. Whilst waiting, I noticed an empty Hitachi hurrying down towards Frankston, and about 20 mins later (a bit after 8:30) a practically empty Hitachi stopped at Ormond. Despite the 40 min wait in total, an un-crowded train (and a seat) was some consolation, although you’d think that poor Hitachi could have been sent Frankston way a lot earlier to ease the crowding… On the other hand, today’s train was much like the picture, but at least I wasn’t 45 mins late for work…

I saw a semi trailer on the Hume Hwy and the trailer body was an old Hitachi carriage. Had normal truck wheels under it. Looked pretty funny. And long, too.

Do they stagger the start and end times for working people? Where I work (provincial government), people start anywhere from 7 am to 9 am and end any time after 3 pm (to about 6 pm)and work 4 or 5 days a week – we work extra hours to get the extra day off. I grew up near a military base (federal government) that has a lot of civilians working there as well. Because the traffic was so bad, they decided to stagger the start and end times of the workers. You can REALLY tell the difference now!! The people that live in the suburbs try to get to work as early as possible (driving). If you can get on the main road into town, before 7:00 am, you can get into town in 15 minutes. If you leave 15 minutes later, it takes half an hour to get into town. (Our bus system is not bad, but it could be better. We are not big enough or rich enough to have Light Transit – trains)

j :):)
Just my 2 cents worth!

Anon: [WARNING: EXCESSIVE DETAIL OF RAILWAY TIMETABLE] Judging from the SMSs and the summer timetable (and using times at Cheltenham for consistency) it was the 7:31, 7:43 and 7:59 were all AWOL on Wednesday morning. The latter two don’t stop at Ormond, but when you’re trying to pack peak loads into half the number of trains expected for that period, it’s not surprising the trains that actually ran were so packed. The Hitachi you saw would have been the short run from Cheltenham, getting back to Ormond at 8:33. That one’s usually got space on it (though not as much as years ago when I could regularly get a seat on it at Glenhuntly).

Janice, lots of people work flexible hours (indeed I tend to start around 9:45 most days), but many head in in peak hour. Not that people’s working patterns is to blame in this case – it’s mismanagement of the railways that resulted in the situation shown.

I remember regularly catching a train with Daniel when we were going to high school. He’d get on a couple of stops before me and we’d always go to South Yarra. In those days it seemed like the service was reasonable – I do not recall any major regular problems. Seems like privatisation was done in this case quite badly.

this is one of the reasons when i move to melbourne in 2 months i’ll be living in the city if at all possible. after living in sydney i’m sick of public transport making my work day longer than it needs to be!

When I look at pictures like that I remind myself why I live in the outback. I’d be clawing, sweating, turning blue till someone shoved me out!! No personal space!

Now I know why some people in the express line at Coles stand so close to me that I can feel their breath on the back of my neck eewww!

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