Thursday, May 13, 2010

Out of the Connex and into the Metro

Customers of Metro Trains, which took over Melbourne’s train system from Connex about six months ago, can arrange to receive text messages advising of delays and disruptions to services.

The text will usually read something like as follows:

Minor delays Pakenham line: citybound trains may be delayed up to 15 minutes

To which one might ask: What kind of suburban train operator would consider fifteen minutes a ‘minor’ delay?

Fifteen minutes is not a ‘minor’ delay unless we’re talking about something like a trans-continental flight. But for someone travelling by train from, say, Dandenong to the City, fifteen minutes represents around a third of the traveling time.

This isn’t Spain! In the context of a suburban train ride, fifteen minutes delay is ƒυςќιηģ major!

Sadly, it seems customers of Metro Trains have not only to contend with chronic delays in their train service. They’re also insulted daily with the debasement of language which seeks to deny the problem.

And there’s no end to it in sight. Unless...

Perhaps Melbourne’s employers might initiate a class action against Metro Trains to recover the millions they’ve lost in productivity, through thousands of their employees being needlessly and uselessly confined to rail carriages for a significant portion of each working day.

Metro customers might help get the ball rolling by clocking in to work 10 or 15 minutes earlier than when they arrive, and tell their employers to invoice Metro Trains for the difference.

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