Saturday, September 23, 2017

Transdev Disgrace

In the early 1980s in Melbourne, the newish state Labor government, new public transport department, took over Melbourne and Brighton Bus Lines, under the auspices of the Melbourne tram system. Melbourne's tram system already ran many bus services, based at depots in Doncaster, North Fitzroy and Footscray. Brighton Bus Lines had taken over closed tram lines and ran some newer bus routes. It used to compete with trams, offering a cheaper fare to the city where its bus routes intersected tram routes. The tram system cut their fares at these points to match the buses.

Brighton Bus Lines buses looked modern and smart enough, yet as soon at the tramways bus mechanics looked at them, they were put off the road immediately as being unsafe. They were unroadworthy to the extreme. The government had taken ownership of the former tram depot, now a bus depot, in Elwood.

Trust unregulated capital and private enterprise? I don't. Trust governments to enforce regulations? I don't.

Then came the evil Jeff Kennett conservative government who privatised the operation of our trains, trams and buses. I have never seen any good come from that. So, Brighton Bus Lines changed to The Met ownership with nice new air conditioned buses, government, then let the routes out to tender by private bus operators under the Kennett government.

Many years later in this year 2017, Transdev is the current operator of the same bus routes, combined with other routes. Some three decades later from when Brighton Bus Lines buses were condemned, I've heard 59 of Transdev's buses that travel the same routes have been put off the road as being unroadworthy. Many services have been cancelled, and very old substitute buses from other companies, hopefully roadworthy, are helping with the shortfall.

This is an utter disgrace. I believe Transdev runs buses in Sydney. I hope they are checked. Nothing on Transdev's website that was obvious about the problem.

PS This really needs a heavy edit, but I don't have time today and by tomorrow it will be yesterday's news.

9 comments:

  1. Like you I don't trust unregulated capital and private enterprise, Or that governments will enforce regulations. We are caught between a rock and a hard place.

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    1. EC, it sends me to despair, unsafe buses, unsafe buildings. There is no one to trust but oneself.

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  2. Privatisation of the community's vital facilities (eg public transport) is immoral in principle and inefficient in practice. Privateers care about profits, not about the public good!

    What was the government's reason for not supervising regulations, do you think?

    Hels and Joseph

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    1. H&J, I suppose the authorities are enforcing the regulations now, but how did it get to this stage? Why was there not a PTV approved bus maintenance schedule in place and followed? As much as the government would like to absolve itself from responsibility, it cannot.

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  3. We have a few buses here that rattle and shake so much I think they dragged them off the dust heap to replace buses that need repair.

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    1. River, like the Grenfell fire, often people never know until it all goes terribly wrong. Most countries and cities replace their buses often.

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  4. Private bus enterprises are good for competition but (in our country) safety regulations go for a toss.

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    1. Haddock, I cannot agree that competition with buses is good for the public. Well run bus lines serving and filling the public need is too important to be left to profit making private companies who will always act for profit and shareholders.

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    2. And, as you say, safety goes out the window.

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