V/Line launches cost-cutting program to save $20 million

 

News article: V/Line launches cost-cutting program to save $20 million

A UNION has claimed that V/Line will be hit hard by a $20 million cost-cutting drive.

  trainbrain Deputy Commissioner

A UNION has claimed that V/Line will be hit hard by a $20 million cost-cutting drive.

The public transport operator has been ordered to find the savings after shaving a similar amount off its bottom line last year.

Management consultants have been called in to identify inefficient work practices and examples of waste as part of a month-long trial that started this week.

In a memo to staff, V/Line boss Theo Taifalos said he wanted everyone to focus on three things over the next year.
V/Line launches cost-cutting program to save $20 million


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Management Consultants to be called in, TYPICAL, and at what cost cutting amount of $20m are they going to be paid? Crazy........................

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  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
This is wrong because...?
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
The private sector does these on a regular basis, why not the public sector?
  JimYarin Chief Commissioner

Location: Adelaide, South Australia
where are these consultants hoping to save the money from?

what areas?

perhaps catering.

http://www.railpage.com.au/news/s/v-line-operates-a-lean-hungry-service-as-buffet-service-shut-down
  seb2351 Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
The private sector does these on a regular basis, why not the public sector?
RTT_Rules

Hear Hear.

Inefficiency means YOUR tax dollars going down the drain.
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
Does the buffet service pay it's way?  If not, it's legitimate to question its existence.

I can see them going to self-serve and one conductor, a much better use of resources.
  JimYarin Chief Commissioner

Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Does the buffet service pay it's way? If not, it's legitimate to question its existence.

I can see them going to self-serve and one conductor, a much better use of resources.
ZH836301


whilst other rail companies overseas are going in the other direction.
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
Which would you rather, a half-heated blob that resembles lasagna, or more services?

I'd rather the latter, rather than paying a second conductor to read the newpaper.

Why can't chips, nuts, and most of the other crud they sell be sold from a vending machine.

The other option is outsourcing the risk to a private business to operate and staff catering.

A win-win, since such a business would probably actually have an interest in offering decent food.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
whilst other rail companies overseas are going in the other direction.
JimYarin

Unlikely on like for like services. There is probably a magic bench mark of x many passengers per staff for this time of service.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Which would you rather, a half-heated blob that resembles lasagna, or more services?

I'd rather the latter, rather than paying a second conductor to read the newpaper.

Why can't chips, nuts, and most of the other crud they sell be sold from a vending machine.

The other option is outsourcing the risk to a private business to operate and staff catering.

A win-win, since such a business would probably actually have an interest in offering decent food.
ZH836301

What I noted in Sweden was their similar train length and run time type passenger services just had a series of vending machines, 4 to 5 if I recall correctly. Only the much longer train length services had actual people serving food.

Cold drinks, hot drinks, lollies, healthy food, hot food. No staff required. I assume just the vendor supplier refilling the trains on return to major starting points/depo's.
  JimYarin Chief Commissioner

Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Which would you rather, a half-heated blob that resembles lasagna, or more services?

I'd rather the latter, rather than paying a second conductor to read the newpaper.

Why can't chips, nuts, and most of the other crud they sell be sold from a vending machine.

The other option is outsourcing the risk to a private business to operate and staff catering.

A win-win, since such a business would probably actually have an interest in offering decent food.
ZH836301


it that would victorian public transport has become?  nuts and vending machines.  how common. no wonder people fly
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
it that would victorian public transport has become? nuts and vending machines. how common. no wonder people fly
JimYarin

*If* the staffed buffet doesn't make a profit (considering the overall picture) then people clearly aren't willing to pay enough for food from a staffed buffet.  If they aren't willing to pay for it, they why have it??

The rise of low cost airlines indicates that this move is not unique to rail transport.
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
it that would victorian public transport has become?  nuts and vending machines.  how common. no wonder people fly
JimYarin

When people fly, they pay for the service.  And they won't cater if it isn't in their business interests (ie. profitable).


When people travel by train, they pay a mere fraction of the service cost.  Are you prepared to front the full cost?
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
With food on trains, just as with other services, surely "bang for bucks" has to be a major consideration.
When analysing on train catering, one should consider:

- Does the profit on food sold pay for wages, cleaning and a sort of "imputed rent" on the space the catering booth takes up which could otherwise be used to seat passengers.
- What percentage of passengers actually buy food or drink
- Are the products available actually what people want and would be prepared to pay for?
- Could an outside contractor do things cheaper and/or more to the wants of passengers?

- Other newer ideas like a phone/tablet app where one could order things from a set menu that a local bakery would deliver to long distance trains when they stopped at a major station. The conductor could help the 2% of passengers who don't have a phone or tablet.

. . --oo0oo-- . .

beyond just on train catering, we must always try and shave costs and improve customer satisfaction, otherwise Vline will end up as another fat and bloated bureaucracy unconcerned about customer satisfaction or how much ordinary taxpayers fork out to subsidise it. Sometimes the fresh eye of an outsider is needed to question habits and practices that are so ingrained that no one involved in a company or organisation questions them. In that sense consultants may be useful and the savings they suggest may save 100 times more money than the cost of hiring them.
  seb2351 Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
it that would victorian public transport has become? nuts and vending machines. how common. no wonder people fly
JimYarin

Yes, I frequently have troubles with airport security at Warranambool....
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
it that would victorian public transport has become? nuts and vending machines. how common. no wonder people fly
JimYarin

How many of V/line routes compete with air?

And of those few that do, what sort of plane are you on? Probably lucky to have a toilet, or its a typical QantasLink apple and an juice if you travel at meal times.

EDIT: I just looked up what Qantas services as Vic intrastate services. The only one listed is Melbourne - Mildura which is not serviced by V/line rail and yes its a Q-400 with meals listed as "refreshment"
  mickamious Junior Train Controller

To many people are in cushy jobs.....
Not in head office or such.. more so those in yards etc.
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
How many of V/line routes compete with air?

And of those few that do, what sort of plane are you on? Probably lucky to have a toilet, or its a typical QantasLink apple and an juice if you travel at meal times.

EDIT: I just looked up what Qantas services as Vic intrastate services. The only one listed is Melbourne - Mildura which is not serviced by V/line rail and yes its a Q-400 with meals listed as "refreshment"
RTT_Rules

I use it occasionally, the Qantaslink to Mildura is a Dash-8 (usually Q400), a small 2x2 twin turboprop, no meals.

Virgin runs narrow body fun-size twin-jet E-190s, not sure on the catering.

The people who choose bus/rail on such a market are captive - you could take all the seats out and they'd still use it.
  Lad_Porter Chief Commissioner

Location: Yarra Glen
There are no extended train journeys in Victoria.  The longest V/Line train trip is around four hours, give or take, which really doesn't warrant onboard catering.  Vending machines dispensing sandwiches and drinks would be fine, or people could bring their own food and drinks.  If a service to Mildura did exist, it would take long enough to justify something better, but it doesn't.

Interstate trips are something else, but V/Line doesn't operate any of those (except buses) that I know of.

On the long bus trips, I believe the bus will stop somewhere for 10 or 15 minutes so passengers can get something to eat or drink.  Similarly on train/coach trips such as Mildura via Swan Hill.  

And those who use that particular service are not necessarily captive - it's a matter of time versus money.  If you need to get there quickly and can afford it, you will fly.  If you are not pressed for time, and/or you cannot afford the air fare, you will take the bus/train option.  The full economy return fare for that trip is $90.40, whereas Qantas is quoting $85 one way ($179 return) until today, August 27th.  After that it will be $129 one way ($258 return) - and it only gets you to Tullamarine, not the city.  You may argue that the train/bus fare is underpriced and does not reflect the true cost of the service, and you may be right, but that's the way it is.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
it that would victorian public transport has become? nuts and vending machines. how common. no wonder people fly
JimYarin

You obviously haven't flown anywhere in recent times. One recent Virgin flight MEL to BNE was a muesli bar and tea/coffee or water.

I never fly V/Line's longest (7+ hours) journey to Mildura which I do on a regular basis as I find the bus/train option to be economical and enjoyable...and direct without requiring expensive buses or taxi's at each end.

In Victoria there is no airline that competes with a train that serves food. Mostly it's possible to get a reasonable feed on a V/Line intercity train. Some items are sold as a reduced price package.

Juice or soft drink.

Muffin, heated or not. Cakes and slices.

Vegie, sausage, spinach & ricotta or chicken roll.

Many varieties of sandwiches. (white or wholemeal)

Cheese and crackers.

Pretty good espresso type coffee (cappuccino or latte etc.)

Lots of the aforesaid crisps, lollies and chocolate bars.

Sadly no wine/beer on V/Line trains for many years.

Having said that...perhaps the whole catering dept could be privatised with more enthusiastic staff that don't act like they drew the short straw.

Mike.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Rumour has it the dinning car provided by West Coast Rail on a Friday evening out of Melbourne was quite popular.
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
Plane 1 hr.  $250

Car/bike 5 hr.  $150/75

Vline 7.5hr.  $100

Sorry Mike, no matter how you spin it, Vline is the method of last resort - if you aren't rushed for a plane, driving/riding nails Vline to the wall.

No messing around getting to Soco, breaks wherever you want, bring whatever you want, listen to whatever you want (as opposed to the lyrical stylings of crying baby or loud mouthed derro), no ferals, and most importantly transport once you're in Mildura.
  waynes Junior Train Controller

Location: Victoria
Rumour has it the dinning car provided by West Coast Rail on a Friday evening out of Melbourne was quite popular.
bevans


I used that dinning car on more than one trip. It was as you say bevans popular.  A great way to wind down on the service from Melbourne to Warrnambool.

Makes you wonder what happened to the dinning car?
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
I used that dinning car on more than one trip. It was as you say bevans popular. A great way to wind down on the service from Melbourne to Warrnambool.

Makes you wonder what happened to the dinning car?
waynes

Sounds like a great idea, especially on a Friday PM service and more so if it has alcohol. You would think maybe this would make a few bucks, but if its no longer then maybe it didn't.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Sounds like a great idea, especially on a Friday PM service and more so if it has alcohol. You would think maybe this would make a few bucks, but if its no longer then maybe it didn't.
RTT_Rules


The dinning car service stopped IIRC when West Coast went back into the Vline fold. Dining Car services were then withdrawn. Good old fashion Vline service.

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