VLP management are becoming very uncaring for their long suffering passengers evidenced by :
- More cancellations and reduced consists than ever despite the fact they have more VL sets now than ever to run a tt introduced 15 months ago.
- Last year this time we were told more and more drivers on the way, 10/2018 same timetable but we are still cancelling trains and heaven help if you are a regular punter on the 1510 Dn South Geelong or 1902 Dn Bendigo or 2150 Dn Seymour - its a game of real lotto there in all three cases .
- (Also dont be fooled by VLP crowing about improved timekeeping etc, as with so many train cancellations the numbers of trains being run is actually less ; so the % age of trains on time within 6 and 11 minutes has to be higher as they are actually running less trains !!!)
- No reasons given now, rarely bustitutions - just told to catch the next service (just hope that isnt running with a reduced consist)
- In recent evening peak meltdown at Sunshine affecting all South Western, Western & Northern services - VLP just told their pax "to make alternative travel arrangements" - most uncaring !!!
- In answer to Media Requests why 1510Dn South Geelong cancelled so often V/Line "spin doctor" fobbed off saying with trains every 20 minutes Geelong pax should be grateful, they can catch next train within 20 minutes !!! (Old saying in the rail game, "If something can go wrong it will - and usually in three's !" )
TAKE last Friday afternoons 'VLP - shambles" as an examples of why this sort of excuse just doesnt wash with the long suffering punters
- 1537 Dn Melton - AMEX no apology, no bustitution, just not there NOT on PIDS . Ask where it is and purple clad Customer Service - says not running today catch next train !"
- Intending pax however directed to catch 1530 Dn Ponds or 1550 Dn South Geelong and transfer to buses at Deer Park .
- So 1530 6 x VL in plat 16 full and over standing at 1520 to the point one cant get on .Departs OT at 1530 .
- So Overlow Melton pax and overflow Geelong pax directed to 1550 Dn South Geelong late platform change to platform 4B .
- Arrive at 4B to the usual incessant "Attention V/Line customers .... Do not board etc ..." to find only 3 VL set in platform . Second consist fails to materialize , "now available for boarding" so 3 cars full and over standing 5 mins before departure. So VLP considers it appropriate for many Seniors to have to stand as far as Wyndham Vale ?
- Departs on time grossly overloaded but express through a full platform at Footscray, and 3 deep at Sunshine .(Even a sardine would have been hard pressed to squeeze on. )
- 3 cars still grossly overloaded on departure ex Deer Park .
It almost seems that VLP are going out of their way to embarass the Minister in terms of cancellations and reduced consists leading up to the State election . Is this a concerted campaign to try and pressure the Government for more $ towards more new trains to replace the ageing N & Z cars ?
After 15 months of the current timetable on going cancellations of trains owing to staff issues and maintenance requirements, and increasing incidence of both cancelled trains and reduced consists despite the fact an ever increasing fleet of VL trains the punters patience is wearing very thin . Something is seriously wrong at and within VLP and the Government needs to be demanding immediate and on going action to address the current on going unsatisfactory performance . Something has to change after 15 months of this nonsense given it is getting worse not better . Both the long suffering travellers and Government/Minister have every right to expect that VLP will deliver a reliable passenger service day in/ day out on an on going basis where a cancellation or reduced consist is a rare not an on going daily occurrence .
Finally a further side disbenefit of the current situation is that VLP are experincing an increased rate of fare evasion after many years of low rates . No doubt this is caused at peak times by the chronic overcrowding situations where it is both very difficult for Conductors to pass through the trains, and secondly why should the hard working team of Conductors and drivers be subjected to passenger complaints of situations of overcrowding and cancellations where they have little or no influence ?