@railblogger I do not understand rhe point you are trying to make. The fact that a the network is failing through lack of investment and the contract has nothing to do with metro at all. A state run railway will see jack improvements unless the austem is adequately funded and that comes from the government. NSW rail system runs better because it has been properly funded not just because it is govt run.The point I'm trying to make is that the government does not have full control over the system - they may control over the infrastructure, number of services or punctuality targets but they do not have control over the operation of the system, thus Metro can do whatever it wants so long as it abides by its contract with the Government - no matter how they go about doing it.
In addition to this, during the negotiations relating to the contract, Metro can (at least attempt to) squeeze whatever it wants out of the government - even if it isn't in the interests of the taxpayer (which is most likely).
I still don't understand.
The govt controls the major infrastructure upgrades and funds them, ie new Metro tunnel project
The govt controls thew timetable, fare structure and performance targets
The govt controls the contents of the contract, don't like it, next!!!
What the govt doesn't control directly is the day to day operation. Rostering, wages, training, hiring, firing, sickness, career development, maintenance (not most newer commuter trains in Australia are not maintained by the operator), painting, crowd control, cleaning the toilets, a late running service from Eltham, public relations, fare protection etc etc.
Do we really want our govt to be involved in this crap or focus on the bigger picture? The problems with Melbourne's trains is not the operator, was it much different under previous operator, or even when the govt ran it? The current and previous operators have operations elsewhere, you would think they have at least half a clue. A few years prior to the franchise the operation was a basket case. Focus on the big picture, fix in the inbuilt structural issues in the network that cause the delays, cancellations etc etc. If the govt is starving them of funding, then change in control isn't going to make the slightest bit of difference. Ultimately as far as the tax payer is concerned, the buck still stops with the Transport Minister.