Has DOO in Melbourne caused any of the major problems that current plague the network?
While I agree there some tasks the guard could and at times does provide, in reality most of the guards role has become redundant due to technology and the man hours could be better used in other ways and certainly there are plenty of examples in other countries of this happening. The IU trains are not in the same boat as the Suburbans.
The answer to that is probably 'yes'. There have been fatalities. On-time running is hard to achieve when the driver has to get out of the cab to load wheel chair passengers. Many stations are difficult to see the end of the train, often requiring more time to ensure safety before closing the door. In the event of DOO infrastructure (platform monitors), it takes about 5 mins to lock up, walk to the middle cab, close doors and return. Security on trains is poor, with no-one staring at the CCTV, there is a feeling that 'anything goes' among ferals. If you compare Sydney trains with CCTV to those without, you can see that those with are a lot less vandalised, thus the assumption that the guard is monitoring the train has some sort of behavioural effect.
When Melbourne got rid of guards, patronage was low. With current patronage, I think a modern Melbourne system would think twice about getting rid of them. Having said that, they won't bring them back!
So people have been killed because there are no guards in Melbourne ? That's what you are saying? So where are the recommendations or reports from the Coroner?
Agree, OT running is more difficult if the driver has to get out and help, but the total delay isn't because the driver is out of the cab the entire time, its just a bit longer because its the driver, not the guard. The key point here is also frequency of having to do this? To be honest we all know the wheel chairs are not very frequent and certainly I've caught trains in Melbourne for a week and I think maybe once, the driver got out.
Many stations in Sydney are difficult to actually completely impossible fro the guard to see, driver or guard!
Why is the driver walking to the middle cab?
CCTV monitoring for the purposed of overall security should be centralised in this day and age. Older trains need to be either phased out or upgraded to CCTV. This has nothing to do with the guard.
So, what you are saying is Melbourne got rid of guards when patronage was low, the numbers have since boomed without the service provided by the guard and the govt should consider bringing them back because now there are larger numbers? I agree the more people who use the train, the less the issue of cost.
Please remember, Sydney is not proposing to remove guards from the suburban fleet, its the IU fleet, completely different arrangement. I've said this a few times now and we keep falling into the issues of Suburban Melbourne. As a former long term commuter on the route proposed to remove the guards, I am a bit surprised, but in reality most of the guards role has been removed by technology and while the continue to sit in their dogbox I think removal is probably best outcome for the Taxpayer who pays for this.
However having traveled in Italy IU (from Florence, 2 stops both ways) where I saw the guard (older female) be a true customer service role, I would support retaining the guard. In the 10min we sat on the train before we left and 15min ride to our station and return.
- She walked the length 8 car train multiple times
- Checked tickets
- Sold tickets
- Helped a DAA passenger to her seat and move others out of the most suitable seat, confirmed her destination and said she would be help her at that station.
- Cleared the train from any door
- Answer questions by travellers (tourists not speaking Italian) in their seats
- Answer questions by travelers on the platform
- Helped a woman with a pram and small children and many items to her seat
- Checked some technical issue with driver
- When not busy she was with the driver (we were in front car and could see)
That's customer service!