Posts Tagged ‘trains’

Tram Woes and Myki

The media loves to jump on a good public transport bashing, even when unfounded. Yesterdays article in The Age, was about Melbourne’s 59 Combino trams having major cracks that needed to be repaired.  So you assume it’s going to be like our train systems, and trains will have to be canceled, people left waiting but…

“The cracks pose no risk to safety,”

“Siemens will fix the trams at no cost to the Government.”

“An increase in maintenance scheduling by Yarra Trams means that no tram services will be cancelled while the trams are being repaired. Two of the 59 trams have already been fixed and a third is under repair.”

So, it won’t affect services, it won’t affect safety and the government doesn’t have to pay for the repairs. Where’s the story?

“Public Transport Users Association president Daniel Bowen said the repairs raised questions about whether the trams should have been bought.”

Sure, but if they are going to fix it for free then who cares? Speaking of Daniel Bowen, he recently tried out the Myki system on one of the buses down in Geelong. Watching the video he took and reading some of his observations, it seems that this system still has a long way to go before it is ready to be deployed. The scanning system seems remarkably slow and at a cost of $1.3 billion, you would have thought they would have developed something better.


The Age: Latest model trams found to be cracking up I got a Myki, and it only cost $1.3 billion

Free public transport Dec 24 & 25

Connex is definitely getting into the festive season this year and to think I was going to buy a ticket tomorrow. All trains, trams, and buses are free from the first service tomorrow until the last service on the 26th 25th. V/Line trains will be free only on Christmas day. A great little freebie before they raise all of the prices by 5% in the new year. Myki?

Metlink: Public transport this festive season [via Ozbargain]

Connex Freebies

Ho ho ho!

Ho ho ho!

Connex does a great job with it’s website, events, advertisements, and it’s technology. The only thing it can’t do right is run trains in a timely manager but hey, you can’t everything.

All this week, Connex has been offering commuters free coffee and chocolates at various train stations. Tomorrow they will be offering these goodies at Flinders Street station.  In addition to those freebies, the company has started a free rewards club called Connex Plus. The rewards club can get you discounted juice at Boost Juice, 10% off the Eureka Skydeck and various discounts to retailers around the city.

A bit of a wag the dog scenario to distract the ever mounting train chaos but hey I’ve never turned down chocolate.


Free Coffee & Chocolate [via Ozbargain]

Connex Plus [via Ozbargain]

Ban Bikes on Trains


Someone obviously got their wires crossed when they lifted the ban on bikes on trains. Simon caught this great moment at South Yarra Station recently.

Motorbike on Connex Train [via Digg]

North Melbourne Mayhem

north melbourne stuff up 1

north melbourne stuff up 2

Early morning commuting. Peak hour traffic. The Sydenham train to the city decides to stuff up at North Melbourne. Train stalled for ten minutes. People standing the cars start getting uncomfortable. Fidgety and such. Peeked out and I saw the train driver walking into each car informing them of the bad news. I’m left stranded, along with hundreds of other commuters. I’m late for work. So are they. All in a day’s work I must say. No love lost for Connex there.

And in today’s headlines

More trains in railway overhaul

Clay Lucas, Transport Reporter
April 9, 2008 – 11:41AM

Yay. Time to pop the champagne and watch the fireworks.

Standing room only

First it was no bicycles during peak hour train rides but they retracted that. Now, Connex is thinking of ripping off all the seats and provide ceiling straps for passengers to hang on to for standing room only train carriages. What’s next? Passengers on the roof? Passengers are not allowed to carry bags?

More passengers should just mean adding more trains to the schedule, not thinking of ways to squeeze more people into a limited volume.

Imagine what you will do with those ceiling straps? I’ll be swinging like a monkey! Assuming I can reach one!

News Link
Herald Sun “Train plan a third world joke”

Melbourne hates the Western suburbs

Oh boy Melbourne really likes fucking with the Western suburbs. Have you guys not noticed how bad news from the supposedly richer and more Anglo (read: less immigrants) Eastern suburb is always lame one liners like ‘Missing Dog Found’ or ‘Fire In Camberwell Put Out No One Is Seriously Injured’ but news from the Western suburbs always come out bad.

‘Woman Found Murdered And Dumped In Footscray’

‘Gang Fight In Sunshine Believed To Be Racially Motivated’

And I remember reading this in the papers once, it went something along the lines of:

‘I was sitting in Sunshine train station, where the bus depot is, and I saw gangs of Vietnamese and Africans sitting in groups. Sunshine and the Western Suburb is a dangerous place to live. The difference races do not integrate and they clash often.’ – some bloody politician

It infuriates me when I see how biased the media is towards the Western Suburbs. I’ve been living here for over half a year now, and although I cannot say that it’s the safest area, the old rhetoric such as ‘OMG you live in Sunshine? You’re gona be fucking murdered.’ is so old.

The Western suburbs, particularly Footscray and Sunshine, have definitely cleaned up and if anything, young couples are looking towards these areas for their first homes.

But I digress.

Now would anyone believe me if I told you there’s a conspiracy by Connex to screw Western Suburbians as well?

Well, two things.

How else does one explain why at peak hour in Melbourne Central platform 3, there are 2 EMPTY trains leaving for Cragieburn within 5 minutes of each other while the PACKED LIKE SARDINES train leaving for the Sydenham line leaves every 20 minutes.

Also, why are there less Zone 1 stations in the Sydenham and Werribee lines compared to every other lines? People living in the North, East and Southern suburbs have Zone 1 stations extending as far as Huntingdale or Reservoir, while the Westies have to cough up Zone 2 fares. This isn’t so apparent along the Werribee line, as the first Zone 2 station – Aircraft – is considerably far away from the Melbourne City Loop. But along the Sydenham line, how is Ginnifer a Zone 2 stop? It’s only 9 stops out of the City Loop!

Here’s a link to the Connex train network and tell me I’m wrong!

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