What would be like to be back in Melbourne and not complain about our public transport.
Friday I just missed a train and filled in the time by studying timetables and using the toilet
on the Flinders Street Station concourse. I was shocked. Here is the message I sent to Metro Trains. They have not responded as yet.
I have recently been travelling in Europe and England and nowhere during my travels did I come across toilets as disgusting as that on the concourse at Flinders Street Station. It was filthy, plenty of graffiti and very shabby. There appeared to be no hot water and the air from one hand dryer at least was cold. It is an absolute disgrace. Clean toilets are not difficult. You just employ someone to clean them, regularly. I can forgive shabbiness and graffiti perhaps but not filthy.
Meanwhile Yarra Trams is busy cutting services, but they have painted the cuts as improvements.
Route 112 is to be divided into two, and this does seem to be an improvement. If service intervals are maintained, the Collins Street service will be better. At the moment route 112 is an eight minute service during the day.
But 'in order to make catching a tram and knowing where it will go be as simple as possible' we will cut them out. The loss of the 31 will be ameliorated by the extra service by the division of the 112. But the St Kilda end of route 112 that passes through Albert and Middle Park I am sure will be reduced. It only gets such a good service now because the West Preston end of the route is very busy. I can't see an 8 minute service for the new route from St Kilda to Victoria Gardens.
Route 24 is an evening peak service (used to be morning too), but the loss of it will mean a reduced service in the already underserviced Latrobe Street.
Bourke Street will lose its extra route 95 service, put in place to help with overcrowding of trams in Bourke Street and with only two routes in Bourke Street and a tram seldom on the horizon in Melbourne's main east west street, the service will be dreadful. I have not seen any mention in an increase in the service of the two routes, 86 and 96, in Bourke Street, so that will mean longer waits and more overcrowding. Why is the service so neglected in Bourke Street?
Route 79 will disappear. It now only runs at night time, whereas it used to run all day Sunday and I can remember back to when it was a full time daily service. It is the North Richmond to St Kilda Beach service. The cut will mean it will run as route 78 permanently, to Brighton Road, Elwood. Some people will benefit from the change, with the Chapel Street service extended to Brighton Road at night time, one stop, but so many will lose by having to transfer to a 16 tram at Carlisle Street. Imagine missing a tram in Chapel Street and having to wait 20 minutes at night time, and then just missing the 16 at Carlisle Street to get to St Kilda and having to wait another 20 minutes. We will see how the timetables shape up, but even if there is only a five minute wait at Carlisle Street, both the 79 and 16 trams have the worst on time records of any routes and what might appear to work well on timetables, may not work at all for passengers.
This may seem all so esoteric, but it is not if you are actually waiting for a tram.
What Yarra Trams is doing is cutting services more than they are improving them but dressing them up as improvements. Well, when you the give the operation of your public transport to private companies that must give a good return to overseas shareholders, this is what you get.
While the bulk of this was written some time ago, subsequently Daniel wrote a more detailed and sensible piece on the changes.
Over two weeks later, I have yet to hear back from Metro Trains about the filthy and disgusting toilets at our premium suburban station.
Later edit: I have heard back from Metro Trains. It was the waffle I expected. There are permanent cleaners on duty to look after the toilets during the day and outside of these hours they are on a thirty minute cleaning cycle, which makes the toilets' filthiness rather mystifying. This bit was a bit interesting, As you may appreciate, the cleaners are required to work around our customers,
making the task more difficult.
Whatever, I don't think I am being unreasonable in expecting clean toilets at our premium railway station.