Tag: Melbourne

Melbourne Chaos This Morning

We are not the only ones suffering transit issues

 

I saw this Tweet from The Age this morning:

 

Seems we in Auckland are not the only one suffering road and transit chaos (on a regular basis) with for some unknown reason last night the CBD jammed up and both cars and buses unable to move very far very fast.

Melbourne this morning is gripped with a major accident on one of its Free-ways which has brought road traffic to a stand-still while their City Loop suffered a fault causing a meltdown on the heavy rail network.

 

There was a common theme though between Auckland and Melbourne as I looked through The Age – well three themes:

  1. Decades long infrastructure deficits and neglect that both Auckland and Melbourne are trying to catch up on
  2. Governments self congratulating themselves
  3. Governments heading rather fast towards ineptness with major transport upgrades required (our Government with the CRL start date at 2020 despite the Prime Minister’s conditions for the speed up now being met, and the Melbourne State Government for differing its mass transit investment programs for two more electoral cycles (while hell-bent on their East-West Link motorway)).

 

Meanwhile I notice the very conservative Utah is continuing to push through its mass transit investment which patronage levels doing very well indeed. For that matter I am noticing more Northern Hemisphere Conservative Governments pushing through large mass transit programs while the Southern Hemisphere Conservative Governments fall behind the 8-ball. Not amusing when you live in one of those Southern Hemisphere countries…

 

Lesson From Melbourne

Auckland Transport: Take Note

 

Saw this via my Twitter feed a few moments ago:

Fare evaders allowed to do a runner

Michelle Griffin

 

Yarra Trams has ordered its inspectors not to pursue fleeing or aggressive fare evaders after a spate of attacks.

In an internal Yarra Trams memo obtained by 3AW, dated March 2013, ticket inspectors are told they:

  • Must not block the path of, or attempt to physically detain a person who attempts to walk/run away.
  • Must always maintain a safe distance between themselves and a person being spoken to – if possible.
  • Must not surround or corner any person being spoken to regarding an offence under the Act.

The edict was issued after 10 assaults on ticket inspectors on trams between January and March this year. According to a Yarra Trams spokesman, this is “slightly higher” than the number of assaults at the same time last year, and resulted in 15 minor injuries, such as sprains and bruises.

The edict effectively ensures that those who refuse to give their name and address and instead flee cannot be detained or fined.

This comes just as Public Transport Victoria orders an increase in tram patrols by inspectors, in an attempt to cut fare evasion to 7 per cent across the public transport network.

There have been several aggressive confrontations between inspectors and passengers reported in recent years.

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/fare-evaders-allowed-to-do-a-runner-20130426-2iid2.html#ixzz2RWdwDPO7

 

This is happening in Melbourne while we have this per Campbell Live: “SERIOUSLY AUCKLAND TRANSPORT?” that I covered recently. No wonder why Councillor Mike Lee is jumping up and down red and blue in the face. But in acknowledgement and balance: Dr Lester Levy of Auckland Transport is actively working on this situation – a man I can trust as a ratepayer to sort what is best for both AT/Rail and the city (AUCKLAND TRANSPORT TO RE-THINK STRATEGY).

 

But Auckland Transport – take note of Melbourne please SO WE CAN AVOID Melbourne’s situation…

 

 

Fare Evasion

Fare Evasion in Melbourne

 

Lesson for Auckland?

 

As AT-HOP continues to be rolled out across the Auckland public transport network (albeit late, over budget and full of bugs) I would like to remind Aucklanders of the Melbourne situation in regards to fare evasion from a similar system to ours which includes “enforcement officers.”

From The Age:

 

Thousands escape fare evasion fines

Date: February 25, 2013 Adam Carey

More than 21,000 people avoided paying a fine after being booked for fare evasion on Victorian public transport system last financial year – meaning almost 11.5 per cent of fines issued were not enforced.

Figures released to the Victorian Greens and made public on Monday reveal that people who challenge an infringement notice have a better than 10 per cent chance of avoiding the fine, despite high-profile advertising campaigns warning “there is no excuse”.

“[Public Transport Minister] Terry Mulder’s whole ‘get tough, no excuses’ line on fare evasion is hollow,” Victoria Greens leader Greg Barber said.

“Ticket inspectors sometimes get it wrong. Special circumstances sometimes apply and the courts form their own view. That’s why 11.5 per cent of all tickets aren’t enforced – a pretty poor hit rate by any standards.”

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The figures show that 188,566 infringement notices were issued in 2011-12 and 21,674 of those were withdrawn.

Most withdrawals, 17,152, came with an official warning, with just 591 notices being withdrawn completely after being reviewed. A further 2417 fines were waived after being challenged in court.

Mr Barber said the state’s system of using patrolling authorised officers to police fare evasion was inefficient. He called for a return of tram conductors and fully staffed railway stations, not seen since the 1990s.

“It’s a pretty inefficient way to try to reduce fare evasion,” Mr Barber said.

“You’ve got to make it normal to meet a human, buy a ticket, have your ticket checked, or you’re never going to get any progress.”

A Public Transport Victoria spokeswoman said everyone was expected to have a valid ticket, but that passengers had a legal right to appeal against their fine.

“By far the most common reason for fines being withdrawn is where a passenger travelling on a concession fare has forgotten to carry their proof of eligibility,” the spokeswoman said.

“Where they can later produce proof of their concession entitlement, the fine may be withdrawn. Clear cases of fare evasion, such as those travelling with no ticket at all, will get fined and no excuse will be tolerated.”

The fine for travelling without a ticket is $207.

Public Transport Users Association president Tony Morton said last month that much fare evasion was “opportunistic” because of the lack of customer service staff on the network.

“There needs to be a full staff presence at every station from first to last train … it is simply penny-pinching to not provide that staff presence now,” Dr Morton said.

“It is no doubt that some fare evasion on the train system is opportunistic evasion that might be avoided if there was a consistent staff presence on stations and people had an idea that they might get caught.

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/thousands-escape-fare-evasion-fines-20130225-2f162.html#ixzz2M45Q7Lit

 

Rather disturbing from Melbourne.

 

Now reading the Business Report from the February Auckland Transport Board agenda it states on page 19 that 16% to 23% of passengers travelling by rail were checked by roving Ticket Inspectors with an unknown percentage not having a valid ticket or tagged on AT-HOP card. 16% – 23% means a maximum of 6.000 individual checks done (according to the Business Report) where there is an estimate of around 30,000 passengers travelling per (week)day on the network across some 326 approximate services (Monday to Thursday, with more on Friday, and less on Saturday and Sunday). It means in technical terms that upwards of 23% of total revenue from rail passengers is protected meaning currently some 77% if total revenue if everyone paid their fare (or had a Super Gold concession) per day is at potential risk. In saying that there is safeguards at Newmarket and Britomart where you need a ticket or AT-HOP card one way or the other to get through the gate system, but the idea is to not get that far without a ticket.

77% of your revenue at risk from fare evasion – due to only 23% of all passengers being individually checked by roving Ticket Inspectors – big case of OUCH! So it begs the question would you take the risk on skipping out of your fare providing you were not passing through Britomart and Newmarket ? With those figures I quoted it would be a case of “Why Not!”

 

Now before anyone points fingers, I am a good citizen and tag on and off with my AT-HOP card when travelling by train – so I pay my fare as it is only fair.

 

What I am pointing out is that Auckland with AT-HOP has the potential issues as Melbourne does with Fare Evasion – although Melbournites face a stiffer penalty at $207 (Australian) and a higher chance of getting caught. Our poultry “penalty” fare is $10.30 and moves to $20 next month – however this limitation is due to legislation issues currently being sorted to address.

 

We also have the two issues with AT-HOP of: lack of customer service, and the reliability of Rail Ticket Machines and Tagging Posts (I usually do a post every fortnight on the machines breaking down over the weekends). I will write separate posts on these in due course however, those issues do not really inspire confidence in the public transport ticketing system to the point they could act as a catalyst to fare evade.

 

So a warning from Melbourne and another LGOIMA request to go fill out.

 

I wonder if “we” are taking in the lessons learned from our cousins in Australia?