Sunday, October 19, 2008

Melbourne train system is broken

The following report is in today's Age.
Melburnians want better system:

Commuters are crying out for a better public transport system while the State Government pours hundreds of millions of dollars into the city's roads. Almost one in three Melbourne drivers have reduced their car use in the past year, research by public transport promotion and information service Metlink found. And 94% believe the Government should be spending more on public transport. Extra spending on roads was supported by 55% of those surveyed. The survey comes as the State Government commits hundreds of millions of dollars to new road projects, including a $1.4 billion upgrade of the West Gate-Monash Freeway and a $700 million Frankston bypass, announced last week.

Metlink said Melbourne's "rail infrastructure has not changed significantly since the 1950s, yet the urban area has nearly doubled". Chief executive Bernie Carolan said the survey showed many car users prioritised investment in public transport over roads. "For this city to continue to be the sort of place we like it to be, we need a rich mix of public transport," Mr Carolan said. In its submission to Infrastructure Australia, Metlink calls for a new rail tunnel between Footscray and Caulfield - which would boost City Loop capacity by 40,000 passengers an hour - and for a rail line from Werribee to Deer Park. A Public Transport Users Association analysis shows money spent on new roads in Melbourne by state and federal governments since 1999 has been five times that spent on new public transport."

Well tell me something I don't know!! I have recently returned to Melbourne from rural Victoria for a few days a week to fulfill a consultancy contract. I catch the train from a Zone 1 station. Invariably trains are cancelled or delayed and are usually dirty .Recently I hopped on a train at Spencer St. (It may have a new roof but it is still dusty smelly Spencer St with little protection from the North winds). It was going to Werribee according to the boards and the announcements. By the time it arrived at Flinders St. it was going to Broadmeadows...only alerted by the conversation of passengers who got on at Flinders. Jumped off at at Melbourne Central with other confused travellers.And waited waited for the Werribee train.The other annoying failure is to be waiting on a station with your destination highlighted as the next train..then...boom ...the message reads Do Not Board This Train....Listen for an Announcement...Crikey talk about a lottery!! The system is broken!!!....does not work!!!!is staffed by defeated low morale workers who are clearly embarrassed and feed up!! Get Brumby and a few of his Cabinet apologists to stand around city stations for a few hours a week (if they know where the stations are). It is a really inefficient,drab, dirty,uncaring, insulting service to Victorian working people.Perhaps turn the system over to Intralot,Tatts, David White and Tony Sheehan who could sell us lottery tickets for a comfortable train ride!! Or send the Transport "Minister" to H.K. to experience a train system that works and does so with out drama, waste and corruption!

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