transport

House-hunters: Still seeking zone 1 for cheaper fares? Don’t bother

I was chatting on Friday to a colleague who has just bought a house with her husband. They ended up in an area they are familiar with and like, and as a bonus, she said, it's in zone 1. I was the same when I bought my house back in 2005 -- it wasn't necessarily the highest priority, but I wanted zone 1. Anybody familiar with Melbourne's public transport fares will know why. For trips into th

transport

New Myki gates – about twice as fast as the old ones

I finally got around to going to look at the new Myki gates at Springvale station the other day. They've also been installed at Mitcham, and will be put in at Richmond soon. From what I'd heard, they are faster than the existing older Myki gates installed in 2012-13. The stories were true. They are faster. Looking at the video frame-by-frame, my totally unscientific comparison shows t

transport

CBD rail capacity myths: Loop tunnel usage, Stations served, the European solution

In this blog post I hope to address a few myths around Melbourne's rail system that I'm seeing floating around. The Loop tunnels have hardly any trains! I've heard from a couple of sources in the past week (one on mainstream radio) the claim that nothing needs to be done about rail capacity in the CBD, because trains only run in the tunnels every 10 minutes or so. It might be true in

transport

When the trip home goes wrong

Obviously I wouldn't normally do this, but let me tell you about my trip home last night. And then I'll look beyond it to the big picture. I wouldn't normally do it, because despite problems, it's usually pretty smooth. Last night... not so much. 5:20. Check Metro web site to see how the trains are running. The 5:41 from Flagstaff (to Frankston, stopping all stations) is cancelled due to dri

transport

Can you spot the problem here?

Back in the day, the PTUA ran a campaign called "Problem Of The Day". It highlighted a basic problem on the public transport network each week, by a way of a photo or a video. It was a good way of highlighting that many of the issues are not those that require billions of dollars to fix, but could be resolved with relatively little money and more thought from authorities as to how the system works

transport

Mckinnon, site of a pivotal moment in the railway security debate, looks set to get PSOs #SpringSt

Mckinnon station was the site an infamous incident in 2010 that perhaps, more than any other, solidified popular support for the state Coalition's policy of two Protective Service Officers on every station after 6pm. It was an unusual event, but very frightening for those involved: passengers coming home from Friday night football. Passengers had to fend for themselves for several minutes as th

transport

#Myki: Agonisingly slow compared to other systems (but may improve soon, hopefully)

I've remarked upon this before in comparisons with Perth and Brisbane, but of all the flaws of Myki, the top one must be the inconsistent and slow response times. Marcus Wong has captured this superbly in a video: Note that many of the people in the queue know that you can touch before the gate has fully closed... but it doesn't help because the readers respond slowly. Contrast this t

transport

Rail tunnel plans compared

There's plenty of confusion over the various rail tunnel proposals. The Coalition is pushing theirs, Labor's saying they'll stick to the original plan. On the bright side: The major parties aren't arguing about whether a rail line should be built, but which route it should take. Both schemes appear to achieve the goal of separating the major train lines as they reach the city centre, in

transport

#Trainageddon: What can be done to reduce and better deal with disruptions?

First I knew of last night's Trainageddon was when my son Isaac rang at 7pm. He and his friends were at South Yarra -- stuck. I said No problem! Catch a Sandringham line train, I'll meet you at Brighton... oh, that line's out too. Yes, a trackside fire at Richmond affected signalling, knocking out the Sandringham line between the city and Elsternwick, and the Cranbourne/Pakenham/Frankston lines

transport

A look around the new Springvale station

The new Springvale station opened earlier this week as part of the $159 million grade-separation of Springvale Road. Yesterday I took a quick look around. Arriving on platform 2, it reminds me a bit of Box Hill, with part of the station being under the road, which means plenty of rain cover is provided. Note the low ceiling, and how close to the top of the train the overhead wires are -- it woul