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Offline ozbob

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Article: Queensland Rail fined for poor service
« on: May 01, 2009, 03:52:43 AM »
From the Courier Mail click here!

Queensland Rail fined for poor service

Quote
Queensland Rail fined for poor service
Article from: The Courier-Mail

Ursula Heger

May 01, 2009 12:00am

QUEENSLAND Rail has copped a multimillion-dollar fine for failing to make trains run on time.

The rail provider was fined $6.7 million last financial year after its worst performance for cancelled and delayed trains in more than four years.

The number of on-time peak-hour Citytrain services has fallen consistently since the 2003-04 financial year, dropping to 91.15 per cent last year.

The TransLink Transit Authority, which oversees southeast Queensland's public transport network, requires QR to meet a contractual target of at least 92.4 per cent of services running on time.

TransLink also requires the number of peak-hour cancellations on the Citytrain network to be no fewer than 0.8 per cent.

The state-owned rail-provider looks set for another fine this year, with only 92.26 per cent of services running on time in the first nine months of the financial year.

Yesterday a spokesman for Transport Minister Rachel Nolan said action had been taken against the government-owned corporation, and an urgent performance improvement plan had been set up. He said QR would have to find the money in parts of its business that did not impact on commuter services.

But the fine eventually makes it's way back into State Government coffers, taken off TransLink's annual funding.

Opposition transport spokeswoman Fiona Simpson said the rail network needed greater investment.

"It is like a dog chasing its tail at the moment with QR. I'm critical obviously of QR failing to meet their targets, but there is an issue here with the investment in infrastructure," she said. "The new trains that are being brought online at the moment are barely enough to allow existing trains to go into maintenance.

"There is also not the capacity in the system for the trains to significantly enhance the services required to overcome overcrowding."

Commuter advocacy group Rail Back on Track spokesman Robert Dow called for a commuter compensation scheme, whereby the train passengers would receive an extra free trip if QR cannot meet its annual targets.

"There seems to be network failures all over the system these days, and that never used to be the case. They are in a downhill slide which is fairly unrelenting," he said.
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Offline ozbob

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Re: Article: Queensland Rail fined for poor service
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2009, 03:54:55 AM »
Previous media:

Media Release 19 October 2008

SEQ:  Call for a public transport compensation scheme for poor service outcomes by TransLink and its Operators

RAIL Back On Track (http://backontrack.org) a web based community support group for rail and public transport and an advocate for public transport commuters has called for a compensation scheme when buses, ferries or trains are cancelled or delayed for more than 15 minutes. Melbourne (1) and London (2) have such schemes, why not south-east Queensland?

Robert Dow, Spokesman for RAIL Back On Track said:

?The non appearance of timetabled buses and to a lesser extent rail services in south-east Queensland is a major issue for many public transport commuters.  During peak times many of the buses, ferries and trains are so overloaded that passengers cannot board, this is the same effect for those unable to board as a cancellation.  Often a cancelled service leads to much additional expense for some commuters. For example, a cancelled or late service can lead to excess child care charges as the normal time for pick up of children from the centre is exceeded. Arrival late at work can mean loss of income.?

?For some, delayed or cancelled services means that connecting services are missed.  There is a lack of pro-active integration when there are delays.  This in turn means long waits, missed appointments or costly taxi fares. Is this ongoing shambles acceptable??

?Commuters who suffer these delays should be entitled to apply for reimbursement of their fares. This is only reasonable.?

?It is time that the go card ticketing chaos is resolved, public transport properly resourced and some innovation put in place with respect to integration between the various public transport modes and for fares.?

?It seems the election winds are beginning to blow in Queensland. Public transport and its poor performance is no doubt going to be one of the major issues in the south-east.?

References:

1.   http://www.connexmelbourne.com.au/index.php?id=75

2.   http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/fares-and-tickets-supplementary-info-08-01-02.pdf

Contact:

Robert Dow

Administration
admin@backontrack.org

========================================

RAIL Back On Track - Media Release 2 September 2007

Queensland:  Time for a  commuter compensation scheme!

RAIL ? Back On Track (http://backontrack.org) a web based community organisation for the promotion of rail throughout Australia has called for a commuter compensation scheme to be implemented in South East Queensland to help provide an incentive for TRANSLink to actually provide adequate services, and some reimbursement for commuters left stranded by cancelled and congested services.

Robert Dow said:

?Citytrain cancellations have now reached chronic proportions.  Once a rare event, cancellations now seem to occur almost every day in increasing numbers on most lines of the network.?

?Many bus commuters are left standing at bus stops as full buses pass them by, or services simply do not arrive.?

?The CityCats are also unable to meet peak load requirements.?

?It is time that a TRANSLink Commuter Compensation scheme was implemented.  Passengers who are left stranded should be invited to apply for a free daily ticket for each time they are bypassed or their service is cancelled and does not arrive.?

?A similar scheme operates in Melbourne as an incentive for the operator, Connex, to maintain service standards. (1) It might be a breath of fresh air for South East Queensland commuters if a similar scheme was introduced here in Queensland.?

"The details of all services cancelled each day,  and the number of buses, catamarans and ferries that have bypassed because of full loadings should be publicly displayed on the TRANSLink web site updated daily.  The public is entitled to know this information."

Reference:

1. http://www.connexmelbourne.com.au/news_comp/index.asp

Contact:

Administration
admin@backontrack.org
RAIL Back On Track

http://backontrack.org

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Offline ozbob

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Re: Article: Queensland Rail fined for poor service
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2009, 04:11:52 AM »
Media Release 1 May 2009

SEQ:  Call for a public transport compensation scheme for poor service outcomes by TransLink and its Operators

RAIL Back On Track (http://backontrack.org) a web based community support group for rail and public transport and an advocate for public transport commuters has again called for a compensation scheme (1,2) when buses, ferries or trains are cancelled or delayed for more than 15 minutes. Melbourne (3) and London (4) have such schemes, why not south-east Queensland?

Robert Dow, Spokesman for RAIL Back On Track said:

"The non appearance of timetabled buses and timetabled rail services in south-east Queensland is a major issue for many public transport commuters.  During peak times many of the buses, ferries and trains are so overloaded that passengers cannot board, this is the same effect for those unable to board as a cancellation.  Often a cancelled service leads to much additional expense for some commuters. For example, a cancelled or late service can lead to excess child care charges as the normal time for pick up of children from the centre is exceeded. Arrival late at work can mean loss of income. Others miss long standing appointments."

"Some commuters have even lost their jobs as a result of chronic late running and cancellations."

"For some, delayed or cancelled services means that connecting services are missed.  There is a lack of pro-active integration when there are delays.  This in turn means long waits, missed appointments or costly taxi fares. Is this ongoing shambles acceptable?"

"Commuters who suffer these delays should be entitled to apply for reimbursement of at least their fares. This is only reasonable."

"It is time that the go card ticketing fare impasse was moved on with, public transport properly resourced and some innovation put in place with respect to integration between the various public transport modes."

"The Go Card is a tool that can be used to assist with the  management of congestion,  add off peak and incentive fares!  Time to GO!" (5)

References:

1.   http://backontrack.org/mbs/index.php?topic=1433.0
2.   http://backontrack.org/mbs/index.php?topic=213.0
3.   http://www.connexmelbourne.com.au/index.php?id=75
4.   http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/fares-and-tickets-supplementary-info-08-01-02.pdf
5.   http://backontrack.org/mbs/index.php?topic=1941.0

Contact:

Robert Dow
Administration
admin@backontrack.org
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Offline Derwan

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Re: Article: Queensland Rail fined for poor service
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2009, 09:51:31 AM »
My comment:

The government restricts QR operations by providing limited funding for infrastructure upgrades while expecting QR to run more trains - and then takes further funding from QR because it can't meet its obligations with the limited funding available.

The government should be providing MORE funding so that QR can meet its obligations - not taking funding away.
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Offline WTN

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Re: Article: Queensland Rail fined for poor service
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2009, 11:40:29 AM »
I'd rather see QR be forced to spend the fine on infrastructure and other improvements to fix the problems.  I do have to agree it doesn't make sense to take more money away and expect some magical improvement.
Unless otherwise stated, all views and comments are the author's own and not of any organisation or government body.

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Offline Arnz

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Re: Article: Queensland Rail fined for poor service
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2009, 04:45:53 PM »
Seeing that the Government is both involved in the TTA and QR (via ownership), it would really be the Government "fining itself" by the sounds of it.
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Offline stephenk

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Re: Article: Queensland Rail fined for poor service
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2009, 08:42:41 PM »
The last three comments have hit the nail on the head!
Evening peak service to Enoggera* 2007 - 7tph
Evening peak service to Enoggera* 2010 - 4tph
* departures from Central between 16:30 and 17:30.

Offline ozbob

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Re: Article: Queensland Rail fined for poor service
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2009, 05:39:05 AM »
Notionally 'fining' an operator for circumstances largely beyond their control just further highlights the dysfunctional set up we have with public transport in south-east Queensland.

It is time that QR Citytrain was given the network control it needs.  Maintenance has to shift in its emphasis to preventative rather than as a responsive process.  Government has to stop milking QR of its operating surpluses and ensure that adequate funds are made available, for below and above rail asset maintenance and capability.

It is good that there is a "urgent performance improvement plan under-way".  The figures speak for themselves.


 :P
« Last Edit: May 02, 2009, 05:43:22 AM by ozbob »
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Dean Quick

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Re: Article: Queensland Rail fined for poor service
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2009, 07:48:24 AM »
I fail to see how " FINING" QR for late/cancelled trains is supposed to somehow improve services?? What a joke. The time and effort spent in implementing and paying these ridiculous fines would be better spent on working out exactly where more funding for improvements should be directed. I still shake my head regularly at the stupidity of our so called transport experts!!!

Offline ozbob

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Re: Article: Queensland Rail fined for poor service
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2009, 09:08:34 AM »
Media Release 2 May 2009

SEQ:  Fining public transport operators is not smart!

RAIL Back On Track (http://backontrack.org) a web based community support group for rail and public transport and an advocate for public transport commuters has queried the wisdom of the so called fines that are levied on public transport operators when performance indicators are not met for events largely out of their control.

Robert Dow, Spokesman for RAIL Back On Track said:

"The Courier Mail has recently highlighted that fact that QR was fined $6.7 million last financial year after its worst performance for cancelled and delayed trains in more than four years (1)."

"Typical comments from RAIL Back On Track members in response to this bizarre revelation are:

'The government restricts QR operations by providing limited funding for infrastructure upgrades while expecting QR to run more trains - and then takes further funding from QR because it can't meet its obligations with the limited funding available,'

and 'I'd rather see QR be forced to spend the fine on infrastructure and other improvements to fix the problems.  I do have to agree it doesn't make sense to take more money away and expect some magical improvement,'

and 'Seeing that the Government is both involved in the TTA and QR (via ownership), it would really be the Government "fining itself" by the sounds of it.' "

"Notionally 'fining' an operator for circumstances largely beyond their control just further highlights the dysfunctional set up we have with the present public transport arrangements in south-east Queensland."

"It is time that QR Citytrain was given the network control it needs.  Maintenance has to shift in its emphasis to preventative rather than as a responsive process.  Government has to stop milking QR of its operating surpluses and ensure that adequate funds are made available for below and above rail asset maintenance and capability."

"It is good that there is an "urgent performance improvement plan under-way" (1).  The figures speak for themselves."

"Apart from addressing the network reliability issues, there are some other actions that will help in the immediate and short term.  For example, passenger education for travelling in peaks needs to be stepped up.  Passengers to be encouraged to spread out on platforms, and move down the aisles of carriages when on board.  Prepare for disembarking prior to arrival at your station.  Be punctual; arrive at the station a few minutes early.  Be considerate of your fellow passengers.  More proactive on board announcements and involvement, engage passengers.  Passengers have their part to play in helping public transport run on time."

"TransLink must also move forward with incentive ticketing to garner a shift out of peaks.  Encourage off, late and early peak travel.  The Go card is a tool that can assist in congestion management (2).  A high uptake improves efficiency of public transport.  Make the Go card attractive for ALL commuters."

"How long do we have to wait for real actions?"

References:

1.   http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,25411696-3102,00.html
2.   http://backontrack.org/mbs/index.php?topic=1941.0

Contact:

Robert Dow
Administration
admin@backontrack.org
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Offline ozbob

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Re: Article: Queensland Rail fined for poor service
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2009, 09:23:15 AM »
For information:

http://www.accc.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/3663

Above rail services

    * Rail transport services provided by passenger and freight transport operators.  Does not include ownership of rail tracks

Below rail services

    * Provision of rail infrastructure services to freight and passenger rail transport operators, including rail tracks and associated infrastructure such as signalling
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Offline ButFli

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Re: Article: Queensland Rail fined for poor service
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2009, 11:27:16 AM »
For all these fines that QR gets the State Government should double it and give it back to the QR as funding for infrastructure improvements.

Why is the State Government fining itself? It is ridiculous. Even a 5 year old could tell you it doesn't make sense. This is the sort of behaviour I expect of the NSW Government and is the reason I moved to Qld. Looks like I have to move to another state now. I would say Melbourne but the trains are even more messed up down there.

Offline brad C

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Re: Article: Queensland Rail fined for poor service
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2009, 12:22:26 PM »
Butfl
QR is a governmenr owned corporation operating in a commercial environment.
It operates commuter rail services as a contract to Translink. In doing so, it must adhere to the terms and conditions of the contract. Hence penalties for late running services.
There would be nothing stopping CONNEX or Veolia from submitting a tender when contracts are renewed in the future.
As for waiting around for more Government funded infrastructure, QR could do a little in-house navel gazing to help improve service reliability in the interim.
For example, maintaining a limited number of spare Units in outer suburban locations throughout the day to ensure contingencies are covered in the event of Unit failure. Reducing the number of long distance departures and arrivals during peak periods to reduce large windows left in the timetables for such movements.
And who sold off 14 or 15 SX sets some years ago to overseas buyers and then left the electric rollingstock fleet on a knife edge whilst waiting for more government funded increases to the fleet? At least the SX cars could have been retained on long haul express services until such time as the fleet was expanded.
In addition, QR passenger could take heed of comments made on this website around timetabling changes for its Football Yob services on a Friday evening - look at the shambles that this causes to regular commuter services.
Yes a little housekeeping could go a long way.

 

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