Thursday, January 15, 2015

Public Transport Trains Melbourne. Ombudsman 'Station-Skipping Wrong' 'Passengers should be advised' Herald Sun 14.1.15 & 13.1.15 Community Safety


Phantom Trains can Run,

but Metro can't Hide them



Pete Dowe





Transport Minister Jacinta Allan said she wanted the practice stamped out, describing it as “bloody frustrating.”


She said she was awaiting advice from PTV and Metro on how station skipping could be reduced.


Last year, the Public Transport Ombudsman blasted station-skipping as the “wrong decision” and said that passengers should be advised of it.




Snap expresses, skipping stations better than cancelling, says Metro boss

Commuters don’t know until they’re on the train whether it will skip stations.
Commuters don’t know until they’re on the train whether it will skip stations.
TRAINS would have to be cancelled if the controversial practice of station skipping were stopped, Metro Trains’ boss has warned.
Metro CEO Andrew Lezala made the comments after the Herald Sun reported on a secret dossier revealing the true extent of station skipping.
It showed 15 trains a day are switched to express mid-journey, so Metro can hit punctuality targets and avoid huge fines.
Under its franchise agreement, Metro must run at least 98 per cent of trains each month and 88 per cent or more must be punctual.
Trains are “on time” if they are from 59 seconds early to 4 minutes 59 seconds late.
COMPO CALL AS METRO TRAINS SKIP STATIONS
Mr Lezala apologised to commuters frustrated by station skipping, but said it would continue so as to minimise disruptions that could have knock-on effects inconveniencing thousands more.
“It’s never good to alter a service pattern but it’s better than cancelling the service altogether,” he said.
Metro chief exectuive Andrew Lezala. Picture: Valeriu Campan
Metro chief exectuive Andrew Lezala. Picture: Valeriu Campan
“We could cancel 0.3 per cent of services and not be affected financially, but that would not be a good outcome,” he told 3AW.“(Otherwise) what we would need to do, most likely, is to add some resources, trains and drivers,’’ he said — an option that cost more.
He said Metro was working with the Government and Public Transport Victoria.
Mr Lezala said disruption to the network, caused by vandalism, suicides, thefts of copper, weather and police intervention, was partly the reason about 15 of 2400 services daily skipped stations.
He is pushing for harsher penalties, including fines of thousands of dollars and jail, for those responsible.
“I want much more severe fines for anybody messing with this network, like what would happen at Tullamarine airport if you mess with an aircraft,” he said.
The PTV’s Adrian Darwent said it was preparing a report on station skipping and was working with Metro to eliminate it.
Transport Minister Jacinta Allan said she wanted the practice stamped out, describing it as “bloody frustrating.”
She said she was awaiting advice from PTV and Metro on how station skipping could be reduced.
aleks.devic@news.com.au

 

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/snap-expresses-skipping-stations-better-than-cancelling-says-metro-boss/story-fni0fit3-1227183982413











Herald Sun 14.1.15



Metro trains skip stations to avoid fines for missing punctuality targets

Pipiana Tapa from Oakleigh says she has often been inconvenienced by poor service on the
Pipiana Tapa from Oakleigh says she has often been inconvenienced by poor service on the Frankston line. Picture: Josie Hayden
RAIL bosses switch more than 15 trains a day into expresses to avoid paying millions of dollars in fines for missing punctuality targets.
A secret dossier obtained by the Herald Sun reveals the full extent of the controversial practice of station-skipping, which inconveniences thousands of passengers a week.
And commuters are calling for compensation for being stranded on platforms as trains whiz by, or being stuck on an express that bypasses their stations.
Leaked Metro documents show that between July and December last year:
■ 965 services were altered to allow station-skipping.
■ 1660 services scheduled to run through the City Loop bypassed it, so as to save about seven minutes.
■ 3806 trains were cancelled.
The documents reveal that during the first 17 days of December last year, timetables were altered on 73 occasions to create snap expresses, skipping stations at which the trains were due to stop.
Frankston line passengers were the worst affected.
Between January and December 17, 2280 services were altered to skip stations. Passengers are routinely unaware of changes until it is too late.
Station-skipping is not banned under Metro’s contract.
Station-skipping is not banned under Metro’s contract.
Under its contract, Metro must run 88 per cent of trains each month on time or face penalties, and also pay commuters compensation.Station-skipping to fast-track late services has been credited for Metro’s being able to meet its monthly punctuality targets, and avoid multi-million dollar fines, over the last two years.
Metro has an internal target of non-Loop station-skipping of 35 services a week. But the documents reveal the average is 40 a week.
Its internal standard for bypassing the Loop is 49 weekly services, but it averages 69.
Its contract has no explicit ban on station-skipping.
LOBBY GROUP: GIVE STRANDED PASSENGERS A FREE RIDE
Bob Neilson, speaking for Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan, said the Government had sought advice from Public Transport Victoria on how to reduce station-skipping and deliver more services.
Fining the train operator if commuters were not warned their train would not stop according to the schedule was one option being canvassed.
“Ultimately, we want trains stopping where they should stop, so the public can plan their journey with confidence,” Mr Neilson said.
“The previous Liberal government built their punctuality figures off the back of station-skipping and timetable manipulation.”
Metro spokeswoman Larisa Tait said the rail operator was trying to reduce station-skipping, setting lower targets for it each year.
She said that services became expresses when there were major disruptions or to avoid knock-on effects that would lead to major delays.
“We heavily monitor how often and which services are altered to run express and resort to the practice as infrequently as possible,” Ms Tait said.
“We understand this approach inconveniences some of our customers, but our aim is to ensure the majority get to their destination on time while delaying the smallest number of customers possible.”
She said that announcements were made to advise customers of any changes, and infrastructure was being improved to reduce faults that might delay passengers.
Last year, the Public Transport Ombudsman blasted station-skipping as the “wrong decision” and said that passengers should be advised of it.
When the Labor Party was in Opposition, it vowed to stamp out the practice on being elected.
aleks.devic@news.com.au



http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/metro-trains-skip-stations-to-avoid-fines-for-missing-punctuality-targets/story-fni0fit3-1227182708837





 


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