(Outgoing Yarra Trams CEO) Hubert Guyot criticised “so-called advocates of public transport”, saying he had found road lobbyists at the RACV more supportive than the Public Transport Users Association. — The Age, 6/9/2005
Hmm. Well PTUA represents passengers, whereas Yarra Trams is an operator, which while it is providing customer service, is also trying to fulfil its contractual obligations, preferably as cheaply as possible. We’re bound not to always see eye-to-eye.
Since I was at home, I rang in to an ABC Radio talkback segment later in the day. Despite the host trying to stir things up, both Hubert and I were conciliatory, and looking for points of agreement:
Guyot thinks … greater priority needs to be given to trams than cars. Bowen says he agrees with Guyot, apart from on some minor points. — 774 ABC Melbourne, 4:40pm 6/9/2005 (Media monitoring)
Followed up with a letter in the next day’s paper:
IT’S certainly true that the Public Transport Users Association has not always seen eye to eye with outgoing Yarra Trams boss Hubert Guyot on every issue. But we agree on a number of topics – none more so than the need for tram priority on our roads.
Melbourne’s trams (each carrying scores if not hundreds of people) continue to be delayed by cars on the road. Trams continue to wait needlessly at traffic lights. Trams continue to wait behind right-turning vehicles. The State Government and Melbourne City Council have shown complete unwillingness to fix these issues. Until we accept that we should be moving people around our city, not motor vehicles, and give public transport the priority it deserves, cars will continue to dominate – with dire consequences for Melbourne’s liveability. — Letter from Daniel Bowen, The Age, 7/9/2005