Morning radio can be very fast-paced. In the case of yesterday morning’s two-and-a-half minutes on Jon Faine’s programme, about railway security, I’d been dashing around, and only had a couple of minutes between hearing their voicemail and being on-air.
Maybe that’s why they call it the “hectic half-hour“. Not sure it excuses me being unable to pronounce the word “represented” though.
Inevitably, seconds after it finished the things I should have said came flooding into my head. Principally:
Yes, putting staff back on stations would cost a lot of money up-front (in the region of tens of millions per year), plus some infrastructure works to get stations (particularly booking offices and toilets) up to scratch… BUT
Against that would be reduced cost in vandalism on stations, which more broadly across the system costs $11 million per year.
…and it would cut the costs of fare evasion, particularly “accidental” fare evasion where people have difficulty buying a ticket because of problems with the machines, and give up.
…and most significantly, it would result in more people using trains (and thus more fare revenue), particularly after dark, when many have safety concerns. Which is the whole point of the discussion, of course.
Far from costing a fortune, overall the exercise would probably come close to revenue neutral. Anyway, the state government has a $38 billion transport plan — in all that somewhere can they not afford to employ a couple of hundred station staff?
- Listen to Jon Faine’s hectic half-hour for Wednesday 10th June — the discussion on trains starts at 17:00.