ONE WORD FOR TODAY: CONNEX!
I arrived at work today later than I usually do, but at least it was my own fault.
That wasn't the case last week when on 2 entirely different days (Monday and Thursday) I raced down to catch a particular train and missed that one, the next train was cancelled which was followed by a train that ran late by about 5 minutes. Both times it meant I arrived at work a full 30 minutes later than I planned.
Oh, and get this, you can't set your clock to the time used by the trains because they run 2-3 minutes ahead of regular time. That makes it interesting catching a train and being somewhere else on time.
And the perpetrator of this is, of course, our beloved train operator Connex.
I love this photo of a train in the railway siding, a few minute's walk from home.
Now Connex is a French company specialising in rail transport. I don't know if they have a reputation for efficiency in Europe, but they are complete crap in Melbourne. They couldn't run the proverbial piss up (in Australian slang that's a beer party) in a brewery!
Their efficiency level in Melbourne is around 93-94% and that's against rules that don't counte cancelled trains and a train has to be running more than 5 minutes late to be considered at all! That should give you an idea of how bad 93-94% reall is.
Connex manipulates the statistics by cancelling as many trains running over 5 minutes late as possible and that worked at first. More recently we've become short of trains in general, and if Connex cancelled as many trains as they used to we'd be lucky to get to work at all!
Do I seem bitter ... not really, but it definitely annoys me. Will I stop catching the train and drive ... no, I believe too much in my right to a public transport service and its value over private transport.
But do I wish it was better ... hell, yes, and wonder when I'll get the train service I deserve. (Or do I already?)
UPDATED 2 JUN 09: Check this article in the The Age, Melbourne's newspaper, for 'proof' if you need it of how bad our train service is and possibly why: http://www.theage.com.au/national/brakes-on-timetable-as-one-in-10-city-trains-late-in-may-20090601-bt0b.html.