Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Why I Hate Connex

I've been meaning to write about why I hate Connex for a while now, but never really got around to it.

Then, in todays Age Kenneth Davidson appears to have done it for me!

'Connex and Yarra Trams have shown, almost from the start of their franchises, that they were not serious about making profits by improving service and lowering costs. They have performed as classic rent seekers whose profits have been based on their ability to extract generous subsidies from a captive government.'

Although I generally ride to work three days a week, having to endure Connex on the remaining two days is a real pain in the arse. They never run on time, the services have been cut to threadbare levels, they never stop at my station, and the timetables are just non-sensical in the first place (especially in the evenings).

It's time to get public transport serving the public again!

There is also the issue of them closing the manually operated boom gates down on beach road in Sandringham- I think there is a protest on this weekend, which sadly I won't be able to attend. The Tuesday night ride goes through those gates each week, and it would be a great shame if this service were to be 'rationalised'. Connex are saying that the manually operated gate should be replaced due to 'safety concerns'- despite its impeccable safety record. We all know the real reason behind the closure- cost cutting and improving returns to shareholders.


Blogger Treadly&Me said...

Connex is just another good reason to commute by bike. It's pretty rare for me to go by rail these days but when I do, I share your frustrations. The system has been well-and-truly rundown for years now, the newer rolling stock of both trams and trains are pretty woeful, and as you say the timetable is a joke. And what's with running three-car trains on busy lines as early as 7pm?

And did you hear Lynne Kosky declaring the other day that she doesn't want to run a railway? WTF? Maybe it's time we had a Minister for Public Transport who is interested in running the service!

9:15 PM  
Blogger timboy said...

Having witnessed Lynn Kosky in action as the education minister at Uni, its a good thing she doesn't want to run the rail network.

I especially bought Davidson's assertion that she had been captured by the bureaucracy. I remember when she spoke to us at Uni she couldn't say a thing without being prompted by one of her advisor's.

WTF? I think pretty much says it.

10:11 PM  
Blogger Alex said...

What I want to see is a detailed study showing what the cost of running the system is now to before privatisation, and what change in the level of service it is providing.

I actually pretty much refuse to catch public tansport anymore. It takes me 45-60mins to get to uni from my house via tram, but uni is under 10km away! And I have to pay an unreasonable amount of money for that pleasure.

But you have to look further to find the actual cause of the problem, which is Caroline Springs. Our cities are growing laterally rather than horizontally. Which will never promote a good public transport sytem. And what causes this move? Firstly, the Austalian dream ove owning a home. Secondly, middle class Australians kicking up a fuss at high rise apartments in their neighbourhoods. If we lived in a more dense city, a fantastic public transport system would then be economical.

10:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree wholeheartedly. I used to write to the local MP asking for the trains out here to be electrified, then I had to deal with Connex et al... and realised we VLine passengers have it soooo much better. The staff are actually helpful, particularly with bikes on trains.

Isn't there an option for the State Government to now take over public transport again? We've tried privatisation and clearly it's not what it was said to be.

9:11 PM  

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