During January, as people return to work and international events such as the Australian Open are hosted in Melbourne, rail passengers have had to endure some of the worst levels of rail services across the metropolitan rail network, with one in 25 services being cancelled and a number of severe delays.
The Sunday Herald-Sun has reported on the ongoing litany of excuses provided by Connex as it continually fails to lift its languishing performance standards:
Connex blames weather, brake problems, vandalism and drivers being required on trains beyond the Middleborough Rd rail underpass project at Box Hill.
Unfortunately there appears to be little relief in sight, as passengers and tourists reliant on Melbourne’s public transport system, need to contend with both summer timetable cutbacks and a poor level of service.
Public Transport Users’ Association spokesman Alex Makin said Connex and the State Government were short-changing commuters.
“It has been an ongoing saga on reliability,” he said. “Connex seems to pick one excuse after the other.”
Ultimately the State Government must take responsibility for the failings of Connex and for failing to ensure that adequate backup systems (such as backup trains and backup communication systems) are available during times of disruption.
The State Government neglect is demonstrated by the fact that the backup system for Metrol, the central control centre for Melbourne’s rail network, was salvaged for spare parts due to the archaic nature of the existing system.