Category Archives: PT Problem of the Day

PT Problem of the Day: Your next train is from platform 8, 9, 10 or 12

Williamstown/Laverton trains depart from platforms 8, 9, 10, or 12

Quite apart from their abysmal and impossible to remember timetable with trains every 22 minutes, Williamstown and Altona Loop/Laverton passengers aren’t too happy about evening peak confusion at Flinders Street. It’s not hard to see why — departures are from four different platforms, and passengers say these are often changed at the last minute. This problem also affects all passengers for Seddon, Yarraville and Spotswood, or those wanting the first train to Newport.

Also notice the sign mentions Werribee in the heading, but none of the trains listed go to Werribee. It might be helpful if it mentioned that all Werribee trains depart from platform 10.

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PT Problem of the Day: @VLine using Southern Cross platforms for stabling means a long walk to your train

Your train departs from platform 8B - will you make it?
V/Line uses platforms at Southern Cross as stabling

Your train to Geelong and Wendouree is about to depart — can you make it to platform 8B in time?

Thanks to V/Line’s lack of stabling, they are now routinely leaving trains in the platform at Southern Cross during the day, between the peaks.

This means passengers often have to walk a full city block along the platform, from the booking office at Collins Street to beyond Bourke Street, to platforms like 7B and 8B to catch the train. Some passengers end up having to run along the platform to avoid missing it.

One answer might be to provide more stabling, but another would be to keep more trains running throughout the day to plug holes in the current hourly gaps between services on lines to regional areas (as well as some outer-Melbourne stations).

This would help cut waiting times and crowding, and encourage more people to use trains more often.

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PT Problem of the Day: Metcards not available anymore – so why list them on this huge poster at Flinders St?

Why list Metcard fares when they are no longer available?

Luckily there are staff nearby, but why do they still list Metcard fares on the board at Flinders Street Station when they are no longer available for sale at any railway station?

In fact some of those listed (all of the Value Metcards, including 10x, weekly and monthly tickets) haven’t been available since June.

There’s enough confusion without continuing to display outdated information.

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PT Problem of the Day: Cryptic #Myki messages

The error you get at a Myki gate at the end of your trip if you didn't touch-on at the start

PTUA member Kevin spotted this: if you travel on an already-active Myki Pass (such as a Yearly), but forget to touch-on (being an active Pass, you are not fare evading), when you get to a Myki gate at the end of your journey, you get this cryptic error message telling you to contact the Myki call centre.

This advice misses the mark entirely. Ringing the call centre would be pointless when clearly the best thing to do when you’re at a gated and staffed station would be to approach a staff member to check your ticket and let you through.

Is it too much to ask that the messages on Myki readers be genuinely helpful?

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PT Problem of the Day: All-over train advertising severely limits visiblity

All over train ad limits visibility

Advertising brings in valuable revenue to help support public transport.

But this new advertising on trains makes it impossible to see inside carriages — meaning it’s difficult to see which door/carriage is least crowded, and difficult for staff including police and PSOs to see what’s happening inside.

And of course windows covered like this also make it hard for passengers to see out, particularly if it’s dark or raining.

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PT Problem of the Day: Lack of frequent services across most of Melbourne

Frequent routes (15mins)-weekend-2012

As highlighted in a study released last week, most of Melbourne lacks frequent public transport services.

Frequency is often overlooked, but is probably the number one factor in convincing people to get out of their cars and onto public transport. If you have a choice of driving or a public transport service every 30, 40 or 60 minutes, most people will choose to drive every time. This is particularly the case where you can’t time your trip around the timetable, such as making a connection from another service.

The map above shows weekend services that run every 15 minutes or better. As you can see, if you’re making a trip on inner-suburban trams, or along the Dandenong, Frankston or Ringwood rail corridors, frequent may be available, there are frequent services.

For other trips around Melbourne, you may have a long wait ahead of you.

In fact on weekends, just 9.5% of services run every 15 minutes. It’s a bit better on weekdays, but even in peak hours vast areas have no frequent services.

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PT Problem of the Day: #Myki machine smashed – staffed stations would reduce vandalism

Problem of the day: Myki machine smashed

We’re told it takes substantial force to smash the screen on a Myki vending machine, but vandals at Hughesdale evidently achieved it, preventing passengers from topping-up their Myki at the station.

Hopefully they were captured on CCTV and will be caught, but is enough being done to prevent this type of damage?

Hughesdale is an unstaffed station. Putting staff on stations would not only ensure there is help and information for passengers, but of course staff would also help reduce vandalism, at least while trains are running.

(Picture credit: Aaron S.)

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PT Problem of the Day: Hope Street bus scrapped – how about a Community Bus service?

Port Phillip community bus

Brunswick’s Hope Street 509 bus service runs for the last time this week.

Public Transport Victoria is adamant the route’s low patronage does not warrant the cost, and that it is too close to other services. The route is only 2km long, and does not connect to train services.

It’s clear that some residents, particularly those with limited mobility, will be affected by the closure. No wonder locals have made a short documentary about it.

Perhaps the answer is for the City of Moreland to step in and provide a community bus service along Hope Street. Across the river in the City of Port Phillip these buses are provided free of charge along two scheduled routes for those who can’t use regular public transport services, connecting to shopping, medical and recreational facilities.

And it would make sense for the state government to help fund it, given they and PTV have cut funding to the 509.

Overall there is a need to reform Melbourne’s bus services into more a direct, efficient, frequent, easy-to-understand route structure, to make public transport more competitive with driving. Providing community bus services where needed would ensure changes don’t disadvantage passengers with limited mobility, leaving them unable to travel.

(Note: eligible residents can already use Moreland’s Community Transport service)

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PT Problem of the Day: New tram stops, new signs, out of date maps

Swanston St maps out of date

At the brand new tram stops in Swanston Street are these brand new signs. You can tell they’re new because they have the new, up-to-date “PTV” web site address on them.

Problem is the maps are out of date. Just like older maps at other CBD tram stops, they still show bus routes that were changed in October 2010.

So don’t go to Lonsdale Street hoping to catch a 301, 304, 307, 308 or 319 bus. They’re now routes 905, 906, 907 and 908.

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PT Problem of the Day: Little or no policing of bus zones

POTD: Little or no policing of bus zones

It’s common to see vehicles (of all types, not just taxis) stopped in bus zones. There seems to be little or no policing of this — no wonder this bus driver repeatedly beeped in vain waiting for the errant taxi to move, causing a delay to services along Melbourne’s busiest bus corridor, Lonsdale Street.

And while other cities have fitted cameras to buses to ensure motorists doing the wrong thing are caught, there seem to be no such moves here.

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