Andrew Breese

Musings of a professional geek

Poor transit service

Recently we moved house, so now have to use a train to get to work rather than walking. From day one I missed the walk as it was relaxing and a good time to prepare for work. I was only dependant on myself, and could wander through the backstreets away from other people and traffic.

Now that I’ve had to suffer through the Sandringham train line’s lack of service for months, I miss walking even more. It is typical for at least one of the three trains around 7.30 am to either be delayed or cancelled every morning. Think about that – the trains which are not at the highest load are totally unreliable.

A possible solution would be to catch a later train, except the trains are so full that you can’t get on those either. From around 7:50 am you’re pretty much kidding yourself if you think you’ll always get on the train.

This morning (a) the ticket machine could not process eft-payments, (b) the 7.26 train was cancelled, and (c) the 7.36 was delayed. It is a cruel joke that people have no choice but to use public transport to get to work, the ticket costs increase every year, but the service is unreliable and continues to degrade.

The platform attendant (I don’t know what the person’s realy role is, but they stood near the entry and apologised to everyone) suggested that the “modem connection failed” message from the ticket machine might go away if I tried my Eft card instead of my partners. What? This presents two problems: the modem connection has nothing to to with the card type, and what in heaven’s name would a passenger do if they were not traveling with somebody else? I can’t just ask the next stranger to use their credit card! Perhaps I should carry a spare modem too?

The fall back was to walk around the corner and up the street to a shop and buy a metcard. FFS. When the train station can not sell tickets we have more than a small problem. Travel should be free for these days.

If you think its not that bad I challenge you to log your travel for a month and count how many delays you have. The Melbourne Train Man is doing just that, and his data is damning.


2 responses to “Poor transit service

  1. typhoonandrew May 3, 2011 at 12:12 am

    And this afternoon on the way home another train was cancelled. The train for Sandringham are a joke.

  2. jholko May 16, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    Insert Key, Start Car….. There is something to be said for convenience.

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