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Media Release

30/05/2005

New Customer Charters Highlight Transport Neglect

The Public Transport Users Association says the new train and tram customer charters highlight that performance of the public transport network is getting worse, not better.

The new charters include additional triggers for passenger compensation, and extra tickets where performance is particularly poor.

"Through its continued neglect of investment and maintenance, the government has been forced to put compensation measures in place for even lower levels of system performance. These are situations that should never occur yet the government has allowed the system to run down", PTUA vice-president Chris Loader said.

"Under the new charters, there will be no compensation if you are late for work because your train is cancelled three days every week - that's not acceptable for Melbourne commuters", Mr Loader said.

The compensation codes allow for passenger compensation only when the metro-wide average level of cancellations or punctuality reaches certain thresholds for trains or trams. Because of the averaging process, people on worst effected lines miss out on compensation. In addition, most compensation is only payable to holders of monthly, six-monthly and yearly tickets.

"Because of the way performance is calculated, very few people will actually receive compensation. The bulk of penalties paid by the operators will continue to go to the government, whose continued neglect of the infrastructure helped create these problems", Mr Loader said.

In other components of the charters:

  • The Yarra Trams Customer Charter states an aim to reduce the number unpunctual services by 20%, but offers no changes to existing punctuality targets.
  • The PTUA welcomes raising of the cancellation threshold for Connex from 96% to 98%, but believes the old threshold of 96% was too generous.
  • Connex are not penalised for running trains up to five minutes early. When trains run early passengers arriving at their station on time could be forced to wait up to 40 minutes for the next train.
  • The charters reference the need for better inter-modal connections, yet Yarra Trams is in the process of removing tram stops from important bus-tram interchanges in Collins Street, Victoria Parade and Kew Junction.

Contacts:
PTUA Office 9650 7898


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Last Modified: 23 May 2005