This evening I was invited to speak on the 3AW Drive program with Derryn Hinch to discuss the ongoing issues facing Melbourne’s rail system.
While the Premier had announced a freeze on fare prices for months, this is nothing more than a cold comfort for Melbourne’s public transport users that have had to put up with an ongoing saga of cancellations, delays and excuses from Connex.
Instead of improving services, Connex has simply resorted to finding excuses in attempt to blame others for their incompetence and mismanagement. The State Government has allowed Connex to get away with far too much, simply because the Government benefits by gaining a financial windfall from the penalties imposed on Connex and has the ability to use Connex as a buffer to avoid taking any real responsibility.
The latest train debacle from the Siemems braking system comes on driver shortages, vandalism, weather conditions and numerous other excuses that Connex has attempted to throw at rail passengers to vainly defend its continuing poor service. The State Government must step in to resolve this ongoing saga by bringing forward the purchase of new train fleets and enacting a comprehensive review of the rail network’s efficiency.
Melbourne currently has the slowest rail speeds compared to other Australian capital cities and this has resulted in in severe inefficiencies and passenger inconvenience compounded by the latest woes facing Connex.