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Article: Connex fined $6 million for poor performance
« on: February 21, 2009, 08:16:53 AM »
From the Herald Sun click here!

Connex fined $6 million for poor performance

Connex fined $6 million for poor performance
Article from: Herald Sun

Ashley Gardiner

February 20, 2009 06:00am

UPDATE 2:40pm: TROUBLED rail operator Connex has been fined more than $6 million for poor performance late last year.

The Department of Transport has today released its latest quarterly report on public transport services.

In addition to the $6.34 million fine for Connex, Yarra Trams was penalised $1.96 million and V/Line must pay $128,000.

The Track Record report period covers October to December, and does not include information about last month?s train system meltdown.

More trains were running on time during the report period than at any time in the last four years.

Trains ran late 5.8 per cent of the time, the best result since late 2004 when it was 5.5 per cent.

Tram punctuality slumped during the period when compared with the previous three months.

The fines come as State Government passenger counts last October found trains were becoming more crowded in the morning peak with passengers on the Pakenham and Sydenham lines suffering the most

But the introduction of new services was believed to be responsible for an improvement in the afternoon.

The Department of Transport's latest load standards survey shows that passenger growth appears to be slowing.

During the 12 months to May 2008, train passengers grew by 7.7 per cent in the morning peak.

But passenger numbers in the morning peak grew by only 2.4 per cent in the 12 months to October 2008.

Overcrowded trains are counted as "rolling hours". In October, trains were overcrowded for 40 hours, up from 38 the previous year.

A train is considered to be overcrowded when carrying more than 798 people.

The most crowded sections of track were between Pakenham and Hallam, and between Sydenham and Middle Footscray.

The survey found trains to be overcrowded as late as 10pm.

The survey also found a 40 per cent increase in early-morning train patronage.

"This rapid increase in passenger loads across the network during this time period appears to have been caused by the introduction of the Early Bird ticket," the survey report says.

The survey was conducted in October, when cancellations were much lower than the meltdown that occurred last month.

Overcrowding was, at times, much worse in January because of the regularity of train cancellations.

Public Transport Minister Lynne Kosky said timetable changes had delivered a better service.

"It's pleasing to see that the number of overcrowded trains in the (evening) peak period has declined," she said.

"This is a result of additional services added in April at a time when patronage is growing at 12 per cent."

Ms Kosky said further changes introduced last November, in which 328 services a week were added to the timetable, would see a further improvement.

Overcrowding would be further reduced by the 38 new trains on order.
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