Network performance: Ron Bria has managed Metrol, Metro's nerve centre, since March 2012.
Network performance: Ron Bria has MANAGEDMetrol, Metro's nerve centre, since March 2012.
The overseer of Metro's station skipping policy has been promoted to one of the most senior positions in the company after steering Melbourne's RAIL operator through its best ever period of running its trains on time.
Ron Bria has MANAGED Metrol, Metro's nerve centre, since March 2012, which is the last month the operator missed its punctuality target of 88 per cent of services.
The practice of skipping stations to get late-running trains back on time was ramped up in April and May 2012, when train DRIVERS logged about 130 incident reports with the Rail, Tram and Bus Union.
April 2012 is also the month in which Metro's unbroken stint of running more than 90 per cent of trains on time began. Metro has received more than $17 million in incentive payments from the state government since Mr Bria took charge of Metrol and has paid customer COMPENSATION four times, for missing its 98 per cent cancellation target.
Metrol is the operations centre where the suburban rail network is monitored and controlled and where decisions are made such as whether to cancel a train or alter its stopping patterns.
Mr Bria, a former MANAGEMENT CONSULTANT from Britain, began managing Metrol two months after he joined Metro in January 2012 as a "change implementation MANAGER", according to his LinkedIn profile.
In September this year he was appointed general manager of operations, one of the most senior positions in Metro. A staff bulletin said he had been put in charge of "network performance and control, operational safety, operational planning, train services and timetables". 
A well-placed Metro source said Mr Bria had "done a good job cleaning up the culture of Metrol, but his main brief is the bigger game, to deliver the higher performance figures and MAKE MORE MONEY for the shareholders of Metro".
"He's doing that, but not without consequence to the people who have to use the train each day," the source said.
Metro is contractually obliged to run 88 per cent of services on time, meaning no later than four minutes and 59 seconds late at destination, or pay customer compensation.
The 88 per cent punctuality target is the lowest of all Australian cities, a report published on Tuesday by the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics shows.
Sydney's trains have a 92 per cent target, Perth's 95 per cent and Brisbane's 94.2 per cent. Adelaide has no target, according to the report.
Phillip Oude-Vrielink, a workplace culture consultant, said Metro skipped stations because it was rewarded by a contract with flawed performance measures.
"For the behaviour to change, the only way to do that is to change what is measured and what is rewarded," Mr Phillip Oude-Vrielink said.
He said the practice would only end when Metro's contract with the government was rewritten to remove the incentive to skip stations.
"Because there is an established contract, what would need to happen is for the government to rethink the next contract," he said.
Metro's FRANCHISE AGREEMENT with the state expires in 2017, but contains an option for a seven-year extension.
Labor's public transport spokeswoman Jill Hennessy said Labor would investigate whether the agreement could be altered to remove Metro's incentive to skip stations.
Mr Bria did not return a call from Fairfax Media. A Metro spokeswoman said station skipping occurred just six times a day on average in 2013-14 and had become 20 per cent less common since 2012-13.
She said Metro's improved punctuality was down to a number of factors, including putting first aid responders at central stations to help ill passengers and conducting daily reviews of where and why disruptions took place.