Saturday, April 19, 2014

Complain and complain often

I complained to Yarra Trams about the delays to trams in the evening peak traffic when cars block the intersection and trams can't cross Flinders Street at Swanston Street. The tram just sits there at the blocked intersection as minutes pass, and eventually the tram will be able to proceed. This is a snip from their response that tells me nothing and I don't give a hoot about Northcote or route 96. Yarra Trams did not address my specific complaint.

Thank you for contacting Yarra Trams regarding delays caused by traffic congestion at the intersection of Swanston and Flinders streets. I would like to apologise for the frustration and inconvenience which you have experienced.



Yarra Trams is committed to providing a reliable and efficient service for all passengers and appreciates your interest in improving tram punctuality. We do work closely with external stakeholders including VicRoads and local councils to work on improving tram efficiency across the network.



I can confirm that the busy traffic conditions at the intersection of Swanston and Flinders streets can delay tram services. This is most often evident during the evening peak hour period.



Yarra Trams has recently worked on projects to improve tram punctuality on busy areas of the network including High Street in Northcote, Domain Interchange and currently along the entire Route 96. The intersection of Swanston and Flinders streets, the busiest on our network with 12 different routes passing though it, provides a unique challenge greater than other areas on the network.



We will continue to work closely to provide the best possible service on all tram routes and use your feedback to assist our planning for upcoming improvement works.

I wanted to use the bus to town on Labour Day, but because of the Moomba Parade in St Kilda Road, the buses were diverted, so I caught the tram. I had a look at the diversion. Instead of travelling up St Kilda Road, then through Southbank, past the Casino and over Queensbridge to Flinders Street, the bus routes 216/209/220 turned into Kingsway and travelled on to Flinders where they turned right and picked up the normal route. There was no information about temporary stops and why couldn't the bus turn into Kingsway and then right into Sturt Street and pick up the normal Southbank route? I can't find my email now, but I don't think I would have suggested using Power Street, but if I did, Transdev is quite correct that Power Street can't be used, but the bus could pick up the normal route in Southbank Boulevard. Transdev is a big company, owned by several companies, yet it does not employ a serious professional to respond to complaints, suggestions and queries. Make of its response what  you will, replete with spelling errors. I make spelling errors, but no one pays me to write.


We are writing to you in response to your feedback dated 8th of April 2014; case number 01612008, regarding the 216/219 and 220 services this year on Labour Day. Thank you for taking the time to contact us and giving us the opportunity to respond.



Public Transport Victoria is the body that is responsibly for the placement of temporary bus stops and in the case of the Moomba Festival the reason that there are no temporary stops put in place is because the diversion for half of the day. The drivers are unable to pick up customers from a non-designated but stops, only bus stops; the diver can incur a fine and loss of demerit points for doing so.


The main reason that the buses don’t go down Sturt and Power Street is because there is only an exit, no entrance for the freeway.

If there is anything further we can help you with, please do not hesitate to call 03 9488 2100 or to leave additional feedback please visit our feedback and comments page on our website: http://www.transdevmelbourne.com.au/talk-to-us/Feedback-and-Comments/

20 comments:

  1. Isn't it infuriating to get a response - which isn't.

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  2. I fine it to be so EC, but I have also come to expect it.

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  3. I like trains better than trams and buses for just this reason but when there is a delay with trains it is usually a long one.
    Merle.

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    1. Merle, it is a real disadvantage with rail transport. I find trams to be a bit slow, but no slower than buses.

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  4. This would drive me nuts: "Yarra Trams is committed to providing a reliable and efficient service for all passengers and appreciates your interest in improving tram punctuality." Firstly I don't want to hear their crappy Mission Statement that means nothing but sounds sort of caring. Secondly they are a private company - they care about profit, not community service.

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    1. Hels, the crux is in your last sentence. They are both private companies, not to provide a service, but to make a profit.

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  5. I wonder what sort of selection criteria they use when hiring folk who have to put together such non responses. Maybe they give them free drugs!

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    1. Nah, Fen. They just pay them a lot of money for doing fuck all.

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  6. Some years go I sent a letter of complaint to the Minister for Transport of the day which I copied for information to my local MP as well as to a particularly well known Sydney 'shock jock'.

    The result was fascinating.

    The shock jock sent me a reply which I received impressively just two business days later. In essence he complimented me on how well written was my letter ('I like you too Duckie', I thought) and he said that as I had copied my MP on the letter I should wait for her response. Should I be dissatisfied with the local MP's response he (the shock jock) would then be happy to intervene.

    Six weeks after my letter, the local MP wrote using the wrong post code for my address (remember this was my local MP) and effectively just acknowledging my complaint without taking any interest in the issue.

    Three months after my letter I received a reply from the minister's office (but not from the Minister) saying that the individual who was the subject of my complaint had denied my allegations but that a record of my complaint had been placed on his employment record anyway.

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    1. Oh Victor, that radio broadcaster. I don't mind that you use them for your benefit. I would do the same if the need arose.

      Not sure who your state MP is. That would be showing an unhealthy interest in Sydney. Ok, I did look, but upper house or lower. No matter.

      So, did a bus pull out in front of you?

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    2. The local MP at the time, of all people to make that mistake, was Clover Moore.

      The complaint was that a bus driver had shut the door on an elderly woman trying to follow her husband off the bus (he made it, she didn't) and then refusing to let her off for the next four stops. When finally he stopped at the fifth stop and she asked how she was to get back to her husband he flippantly pointed at the bus stop across the road.

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    3. I guessed something like that. Ok, I have forgotten my Clover history. She was a South Sydney councillor? You weren't South Sydney were you?

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    4. Clover for a long time was the Independent member for the state seat of Bligh centred on the Eastern suburbs. The seat was abolished and she became the Independent member for Sydney (CBD, Kings Cross, South Sydney) and then simultaneously Lord Mayor of Sydney until Barry O'Farrell introduced legislation preventing people from hold both Mayoral and Parliamentary offices (legislation seen as directly targeting Clover but also affecting other dual office holders in NSW). Clover did not stand for re-election to Parliament choosing to remain as Lord Mayor but her protege gay Alex Greenwich was elected as Independent in her place thwarting both the major parties who had their eyes on the vacancy.

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    5. Thanks. It is clear now. I don't believe a person can fully serve as a councillor and parliamentarian. I am pleased she has gone with the former. You left out 'the not unattractive Alex Greenwich'.

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  7. I think Hels has the problem outlined. It is a private company...........

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    1. Diane, I can't say the trams were better when government run, but I think something like my tram complaint may not have happened.

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  8. "...the intersection of Swanston and Flinders streets, the busiest on our network with 12 different routes passing through it...."
    see that? the BUSIEST with TWELVE different routes passing through.
    That has to be a challenge for the network/company trying to get everybody going where they need to go without too much hold up and/or dramas. There are cars and buses to consider as well as trams and pedestrians.
    are you complaining about a few minutes delay or an hour? Because if it is only a few minutes, then tsk tsk.

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    1. River, you have to understand that our trams on our busiest tram corridor is a moving beast. Trams have to keep moving for the system to work. One tram is delayed and five pile up the first one within a few minutes. Hundreds if not thousands of people per hour are moved along the Swanston Street/St Kilda Road tram routes. Any delay causes mayhem to the system, and a delay might be a stupid or selfish car driver who blocks an intersection.

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  9. Well I don't know about the tram service Andrew but the spelling errors would drive me crazy :) reminds me of just yesterday when my six year old great nephew gave me his school report to read and in the very first sentence it read 'Lincoln is 'an' quiet and attentive pupil' seriously! The reply from Yarra Trams sounded like it was written by a politician :)

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    1. Grace, fingers crossed that my sister does not write such clangers. She uses very abbreviated text language with sms, but I think she can write proper.

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