Now that we’ve finished talking about names of yet-to-be-built stations, let’s talk about some recently built ones.
Last Saturday a steam train ran to celebrate a year (and a bit) since the new Bentleigh/McKinnon/Ormond stations re-opened, following level crossing removals.
K153 leads a Steamrail special into McKinnon pic.twitter.com/6XISB3b2t1
— Metro Man (@The_Rail_Life) November 25, 2017
But while they’ve now been in use for well over a year, the stations aren’t actually finished.
Even leaving aside the controversial Ormond tower, there are numerous little things that haven’t been completed.
The bike cages at Ormond and McKinnon seem to be in use (after some delays), but the one at Bentleigh is suspiciously empty, leading me to believe the issues with its construction are still not resolved — though Bentleigh is listed on the Parkiteer web site.
— Update: LXRA tells me that in fact, the bike cage is in service. Perhaps they need to promote that fact.
The retail space at Bentleigh and McKinnon hasn’t been leased… it hasn’t even been fitted out! I’m told this is in VicTracks’ hands. This should be a prime location. How much revenue (that could offset the project cost) has been foregone? (Ormond doesn’t have such a space.)
— Update: LXRA tells me the fit-out won’t happen until a tenant is found.
The Smartbus signs at Bentleigh still aren’t operational. The eastbound sign hasn’t been fully working since 2011 when the train departure times were switched off. It was removed completely for the level crossing removals, and then put back — but even the bus times are not displayed at present. Its smaller twin (with space for bus times only) for westbound buses doesn’t work either.
The small picnic area between Bentleigh and McKinnon appeared to be completed, and was looking nice, until recently when someone took away the benches. Only the rubbish bin has been left. It’s not clear why, nor if it’s permanent.
— Update: LXRA tells me the removal of the picnic facilities is permanent, and was the council’s decision.
This is just what I’ve noticed when using the stations. There seems to be a steady stream of workers still doing little jobs — is it maintenance, or are there other things not completed?
The achievements of the level crossing removal project — a massive upgrade that has benefited motorists, pedestrians, cyclists, public transport users alike — are to be celebrated.
But with dozens of similar projects underway around Melbourne, it seems to me they need to get better at ensuring everything gets finished so they can draw a line under it and move on.
I noticed another thing: despite me asking Metro about it multiple times, the signage at Patterson advising which trains use which platforms at which times, removed during the project, still hasn’t been replaced:
And: Liberal Bentleigh candidate Asher Judah has posted this on Twitter, about the Smartbus sign:
#Bentleigh Smart Bus Fail! (Route 703, Centre Rd). Fix this display! @ptua @ptv_official @McKinnonSC @DavidHodgettMP @danielbowen @JacintaAllanMP #Springst @moorabbinleader @MonashUni @LiberalVictoria @BusVicTweets pic.twitter.com/pIybROICHj
— Asher Judah (@asherjudah) December 3, 2017
Update: After a shaky start, the Smartbus sign at Bentleigh station resumed operation (for bus times, not train times):
Tonight the #Smartbus sign at #Bentleigh is working. And we see two problems with the 703 in this one pic:
Funding – the last bus is too early
Punctuality – the last bus is too late*
*or the sign isn't really working properly pic.twitter.com/dxm8iGhpKG
— Daniel Bowen (@danielbowen) February 21, 2018