Connex and Yarra Trams dumped

So, both Connex and TransdevTSL (operating as Yarra Trams) are being shown into the departure lounge, with MTM (MTR) and Keolis to replace them.

I don’t think the former is a surprise, though the latter is.

Some are celebrating. I know this for a fact, as yesterday morning at the station I heard one man say to his wife that he’d be opening a bottle of champagne if Connex got dumped.

Just another crowded train
(Note the newspaper advert!)

But how much will really change? If it’s the same old dodgy infrastructure (tracks that buckle in summer, signalling that fails, trains with unreliable air-conditioning, a lack of tram on-road priority), the new companies will face much the same issues. Just because MTR runs a great system in Hong Kong doesn’t mean they can magically do it here.

And who’s taking responsibility for planning the greater PT network? You know the sort of thing, actually ensuring that buses, trams and trains are timetabled to meet properly at interchange points, rather than the un-coordinated mess we have now? Like the infrastructure, that should be a role that sits with government, not the individual operating companies.

That said, there are things the operators can do to improve things: better cleanliness and maintenance, more staff, better handling of disruptions.

It’ll be interesting to see how they go.

PS. Lunchtime: Audio of Mr Brumby fluffing the announcement, accidentally saying Keolis would run the trains. (MP3, 27 seconds, 218Kb)

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2 Replies to “Connex and Yarra Trams dumped”

  1. Heard you with Tracy Bartram this morning Daniel, nice interview.

    BTW Iphone outright unlocked special for you, $599. Get it while it’s hot :D

  2. Some better cleanliness would be welcomed. Many of the cloth seats on the trains and trams are filthy with chewing gum and various spilled substances. Vinyl seats like the ones on the older trams would be a better and cleaner idea for all of the trains and trams. Some of the train stations have public toilets and it would be nice if they were actually unlocked so people could use them. I know that vandalism and maintenance can sometimes be a problem but this is true of any public place and if they can maintain the toilets at the major stations it would not be much more of a problem to maintain all of them.

    In spite of the sometimes major and minor problems I think Melbourne’s transit system is wonderful compared to the sparce transit systems in many of the places I have lived. In my previous life I needed a car every day. Here in Melbourne I only need it once or twice per week.

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