Started by ozbob, November 06, 2015, 10:07:58 AM
QuoteLate and cancelled services have now outstripped the myki card as the main source of frustration for Victorian public transport commuters.New figures released by Public Transport Ombudsman Treasure Jennings show poor service delivery is now the biggest concern for passengers.The Ombudsman received 1085 complaints over late or cancelled services in the past financial year, up by 41 per cent on the year before.It is the first time in years that the myki system has not been the biggest source of concern reported to the watchdog.Ms Jennings said a surging population and delays created by upgrades to the transport network were the main causes of service problems."Given the level of scheduled disruptions, we were expecting an uplift in complaints, and the increase is within the expected range," she said."Overall, it seems that planned disruptions were reasonably well managed and accepted by the community."However, unplanned disruptions ... are understandably less well received."Public transport operators need to be vigilant in ensuring that when unplanned disruptions to service do occur, the correct information is provided to the public in a prompt and (focused) manner, so people have a reasonable opportunity to change their travel plans."The total number of complaints handled has also risen by 4 per cent.And the number of detailed investigations of matters such as compensation and staff performance surged 38 per cent.Figures from Public Transport Victoria show that in October, on the metropolitan network, 5558 trains and 61,507 trams did not arrive on time. Only about 87.2 per cent of V/Line services were punctual — well below the government target of 92 per cent.Last month, the Herald Sun revealed that over the last four years the number of late trains across the regional network had soared while cancellations had doubled.Investigators with the Public Transport Ombudsman are also examining systemic problems after passengers complained of trains at Southern Cross Station changing destination without warning.Other investigations have been focused on short-shunting trams, replacement bus services during upgrade works, and the high cancellation rate of the 3.37pm service from Southern Cross to Melton."The changing public transport landscape means that complaints to our office are becoming more complex," Ms Jennings said."While the (total) number of complaints remained steady, we are undertaking more and more detailed investigations into disputes that cannot be resolved in the first instance."Metro Trains was the transport operator that was subject to the most complaints. Public Transport Victoria handled more than 1000 disputes involving the myki system.Work on public transport network upgrades is due to ramp up during summer.Travel is currently free for rail commuters living in parts of Melbourne's southeast, as buses replace trains between Westall, Cranbourne and Pakenham until December 16.Further disruptions between Dandenong and Cranbourne will continue until December 23.In the last financial year more than $33,000 in payments was organised in resolutions sought by the ombudsman. But 489 complaints were satisfied a by personal apology.The Public Transport Ombudsman is a free service to help the public sort out public transport complaints and improve the system.
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