The new Customer Information Centre at Flinders Street Station is a funny looking structure. The native grasses growing out of the sides… well, I don’t know who thought of it, but it’s certainly distinctive. Staff will answer customer queries there, and additional staff will be on the platforms from November.
Extra staff on Melbourne’s busiest station? Got to be a good thing, especially given recent platform crowding issues.
Mind you, there’s over 100 stations out there on the network with no regular staff presence at all, and another 31 with only staff in the morning peak hour.
I was at the centre’s official opening last Thursday morning, and talking to a senior Connex manager about it, and asking specifically whether the staff held information on non-train modes. If a train passenger wants to know where to catch the bus to Port Melbourne or the tram to the Victoria Market, can they help? Yes they can. They have access to all the Metlink and V/Line information.
Just to underscore the importance of public transport staff knowing about the entire network — not just their bit of the empire — a couple of punters came up and asked how to get to Waverley Park. Footy tragics apparently, headed for the pre-Grand Final Hawthorn training session. Between us we managed to give them an answer: platform 7, train to Huntingdale, then the 900 bus.
Even though they were Hawks fans, hopefully they found it all right.
(A couple of people seem to have wondered if I’m upset the Cats lost. I’ve been a Cats fan for a long time, but I’m not exactly hard core. And anybody could see from the number of behinds scored that Geelong’s goal kicking was lacking on Saturday. But hey, they might have lost, but at least Geelong doesn’t have fugly colours.)