We need better public transport, not free public transport

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 15 Jun 2018 08:34
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Interesting read but makes a lot of assumptions wherre I would like to see some evidence.

That’s money that wouldn’t be available for upgrades, which are a far higher priority, because the main reason people don’t use public transport isn’t the fares, it’s the service quality.
Somebody

Service quality is important but fare costs are also very important which is linked loosely to fare evading.  The costs of fares in Melbourne is high in my view.

Finding $800m in funding which would be the ticket revenue loss if the services were free would not in my view be so difficult at all and would come from:

Removal of fare boxes and machines
removal of ticketing contract maintenance
removal of Ticket inspectors
Removal of the marketing crap associated with ticketing

Savings would also come form:

More use of public transport leading in many cases to higher productivity gains for business and people.  Less cars on the road leading better better productivity.

How many people the network prior to the Myki fare start times each day?

We need better public transport, not free public transport

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  mejhammers1 Deputy Commissioner

Interesting read but makes a lot of assumptions wherre I would like to see some evidence.

That’s money that wouldn’t be available for upgrades, which are a far higher priority, because the main reason people don’t use public transport isn’t the fares, it’s the service quality.

Service quality is important but fare costs are also very important which is linked loosely to fare evading.  The costs of fares in Melbourne is high in my view.

Finding $800m in funding which would be the ticket revenue loss if the services were free would not in my view be so difficult at all and would come from:

Removal of fare boxes and machines
removal of ticketing contract maintenance
removal of Ticket inspectors
Removal of the marketing crap associated with ticketing

Savings would also come form:

More use of public transport leading in many cases to higher productivity gains for business and people.  Less cars on the road leading better better productivity.

How many people the network prior to the Myki fare start times each day?

We need better public transport, not free public transport
bevans
Sorry Bevans but that is the biggest load of crap going. Fares are LOW in Melbourne by World Standards. Just see if you could travel nearly 60 kms for under $10 for a daily ticket in most first world jurisdictions.

More use of Public Transport? With the sort of network we have in Melbourne? This not London Underground, this is Melbourne Metro. A system that is barely 60% that of Sydney's and at least 10 years behind? Bevans you are having a serious laugh. PT can barely cope now. If you want a decent system, not the old antiquated mess we have now, you have to pay for it and some of it must come from the farebox, if only to meet Operational funding.

Michael
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Free PT for Mel would deny the state revenue $100m's which is used for upgrades etc that has to come from other sources. Bevan's I think your assumptions well overstate the cost of revenue collection and revenue protection is also asset protection.

Consider the level of "packed" trains, the ability to take more is limited and unlikely to see a significant increases of growth anyway.

Isn't before 7am free and the change to free didn't have a significant increase on ridership?

I think Bevans your heart is in the right place, but in reality the free PT option is simply not practical.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Free PT for Mel would deny the state revenue $100m's which is used for upgrades etc that has to come from other sources. Bevan's I think your assumptions well overstate the cost of revenue collection and revenue protection is also asset protection.
RTT_Rules

It may just be me but I cannot see how the state would loose millions in state revenue?  I see the equation from the opposite viewpoint in that movement between modes of transport would SAVE the government money.

I would add however, trams kin the CBD are now at crush point and almost unusable during most of the working day.  I believe this is caused in part but critically be the reduction in stops meaning people are on the tram longer when they are only after short CBD journeys.  There is also the overcrowding issues now at superstops.
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
The crowded tram is an interesting scenario and I have no doubt it is partly caused by free travel in the CBD.  I frequently use the  number 11 tram from either Elizabeth Street or Swanston Street stops to go home to North Fitzroy. On a weekday, at any time during working hours, the tram is packed at both stops with some getting off, and others crammimg in. Then, at 101 Collins Street about half the passengers get off, with many more leaving at Spring Street. All of them are in their business clothes and commuting between offices by the free tram, where they would probably have walked previously.
The weekends are busy, but nowhere near the scale of the working days.
  Madjikthise Assistant Commissioner

Free transport and removal of Authorized Officers. I can see that going well seeing the level of ferals currently on the network even with fares.
  michaelgm Chief Commissioner

Have used the free loop tram once on my one and only Melbourne visit. And it was excellent. The next day the entire network was on strike, Kennet/privitisation.  Wore out lots of shoe leather, as did everyone else attending GP. Using a free service, in my view anyway, removes ones right to complain about said service.
And Valvegear, yep some people really are lazy, when it's for nix,watched a young fit bloke jump on a free bus in Parramatta, one stop, 100 yards max.
  footscrazy Station Master


Finding $800m in funding which would be the ticket revenue loss if the services were free would not in my view be so difficult at all and would come from:

Removal of fare boxes and machines
removal of ticketing contract maintenance
removal of Ticket inspectors
Removal of the marketing crap associated with ticketing
bevans

Bevans,

Did you even read Daniel Bowen's article in it's entirety before putting it on your news page?

He goes on to say:
"So yes, ticket systems cost a lot of money. But even if you supposed that on top of the $100-$150 million per year for the ticket system, ticket inspections were costing another $50 million per year (and assuming those staff aren’t needed anyway for other purposes such as safety), that’s still around $600 million per year lost if fares aren’t collected.
Or to put it another way: if Myki hadn’t been built, instead the system could have been fare-free… but only for about two years."
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Public Transport fares in Melbourne are LOW by World standards .

Peak period daily commuters travelling on heavily discounted Periodical tickets who dictate the fleet and crewing rqeuirements, crazily pay the lowest per km fares of all tarvellers .

FREE travel as in the CBD Free tram travel is crazy in that it has created severe overload problems resulting in a need for more trams at huge capex running more trips wrequiring more drivers - for no extra revenue . Absolutely stupid .

The CBD travel should be at a nominal rate like $ 1 a touch on, and FREE for Penshos & Students . In that way we would raise $ millions per annum in extra revenue to offset the extra running costs .
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Public Transport fares in Melbourne are LOW by World standards .
"kuldalai"
So they should be. Melbourne's public transport performance is low by world standards.
  mejhammers1 Deputy Commissioner

Public Transport fares in Melbourne are LOW by World standards .
So they should be. Melbourne's public transport performance is low by world standards.
Valvegear
Hear, hear.

Michael
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Public Transport fares in Melbourne are LOW by World standards .
So they should be. Melbourne's public transport performance is low by world standards.
Hear, hear.

Michael
mejhammers1

In that case we should be exceedingly grateful we have low fares because in England where people complain as much as we do about the provision of PT services, they pay often pay over 400% higher fares than we do.

Mike.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Public Transport fares in Melbourne are LOW by World standards .
So they should be. Melbourne's public transport performance is low by world standards.
Valvegear

The Melbourne Rail Network has been voted worst in Australia for years.  What has the government done about reversing this position?
  mejhammers1 Deputy Commissioner

Public Transport fares in Melbourne are LOW by World standards .
So they should be. Melbourne's public transport performance is low by world standards.

The Melbourne Rail Network has been voted worst in Australia for years.  What has the government done about reversing this position?
bevans
Bevans, I agree a lot of it is ad-hoc, but the Andrews Government has done more for Melbourne Rail then any other, and that is on the record. The Melbourne Rail system is in the absolute toilet and has been for a long time, so expecting a Government to reverse it after just one term is just so unrealistic Bevans.

Michael
  mejhammers1 Deputy Commissioner

Public Transport fares in Melbourne are LOW by World standards .
So they should be. Melbourne's public transport performance is low by world standards.
Hear, hear.

Michael

In that case we should be exceedingly grateful we have low fares because in England where people complain as much as we do about the provision of PT services, they pay often pay over 400% higher fares than we do.

Mike.
The Vinelander
Yeah and if the good people of the UK had the level of provision of PT that Victoria gets, they would be at the headquarters with pitch forks and burning effigies. The Melbourne system is on the verge of collapse, but hey Mike as long as you pay next to nix, everything is OK. Really? Really? Get those rose tinted glasses off man. The Victorian Rail system is in the toilet.

Michael
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
The Melbourne Rail Network has been voted worst in Australia for years.
bevans
Surely not! We are a Global Leader in Public Transport!

https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/melbourne-to-host-worlds-biggest-public-transport-summit/

BG
  mejhammers1 Deputy Commissioner

The Melbourne Rail Network has been voted worst in Australia for years.
Surely not! We are a Global Leader in Public Transport!

https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/melbourne-to-host-worlds-biggest-public-transport-summit/

BG
BrentonGolding
I see the art of the spin is alive and well. What utter bollox. Whilst Melbourne's Tram system is up there with other Tram systems, our Rail and Bus Networks are totally crap. This is weapons grade spin at its best.

Michael
  Radioman Chief Train Controller

Hello All,

re the above discussion , a few facts may be of interest.

1 / Population of Greater Melbourne is 4.8m , Greater London is 8.78m, Greater Paris is 11.9 m.

2 / Area of Greater Melbourne is 9,990 sq Km , Greater London is 1,569 sq Km , Greater Paris is 12,012 sq Km.

3 / Melbourne Metro has 218 stations on 17 lines for 869 route kms.

    London Underground has 270 stations on 11 lines for 402 route Kms. ( Excludes Overground and former BR NSE )

    Paris Metro has 303 stations on 16 lines for 214 route Kms.
    Paris RER has 257 stations, 33 within the Metro Area, on 5 lines for 587 route Kms.

It should be noted that Melbourne has approximately double the route kms of either London or Paris yet has approximately half the population.

4 / Melbourne Metro has 2 Multi Mode Fare Zones , London Underground has 6 to 9 Single Mode Fare Zones, Paris Metro has 5 multi Mode fare Zones which includes the 33 RER stations.

5 / Both London and Sydney use Opal tickets which are designed specifically for Multi modal use on Single Mode Fare Zones , ie when you change mode you are charged a new fare.

Currently Myki Fares are 2hr Zone 1 or Zone 1&2 Full fare $4-30, Concession $2.15. Weekly 7 Day fares Zone 1&2 Full Fare $43-00 ( $6.14 per day ) Concession $21-50 ( $3-07 per day ), Zone 2 Full Fare $29-40 ( $4-20 per day ) Concession $14-70 ( $2-10 per day ).

A cup of coffee in a Cafe is between $3-20 and $4-50 depending where you buy, a 2 qtr Fresh Milk is $3-00 ( cheaper than water ! ) UHT Milk is less , a newspaper is between $3-00 and $4-00.

So on a cost basis Melbourne Public Transport fares ARE cheap , and as Public Subsidy is currently $2-00 per journey , so approximately 55% of each journey is covered by the ticket sale revenue.

6 / Melbourne was one of the first Public Transport Networks in the world to introduce Multi Modal tickets in 1969 and Zonal Multi Modal tickets in 1981 ( http://www.robx1.net ) . Subsequently, multi modal zone tickets have become commonplace , though clearly neither London nor Sydney is a believer !

While our PT system is not perfect , when compared to the above , I would suggest that it is a lot better , especially from a value for taxpayers money, than we realise .This could be an example of not seeing the wood for the trees.

This does not mean there is not room for improvement. I personally think that we should aim for a 10 minute frequency on all rail lines and a 15 minute frequency for buses.

In relation to Polls and People's Voting Surveys, these are heavily influenced by the questions ( which lack a comparison to a comparable system ) and by generally negative media scrutiny. Polls in Sydney seem to indicate that Sydneysiders also think their Public Transport is awful, yet when I have travelled to Sydney I have generally found it be better than Melbourne's though I admit that this is probably influenced by Sydney's better information displays , something which Melbourne has, at least in my view, far too often fallen short.

The other comment is that I found that LT buses had good displays whist LT stations ( much to my surprise ) varied from reasonable to awful , and the Paris Metro information displays are quite superior on both buses , bus stops and railway stations.

For your consideration.

Best wishes and regards, Radioman.
  mejhammers1 Deputy Commissioner

Hello All,

re the above discussion , a few facts may be of interest.

1 / Population of Greater Melbourne is 4.8m , Greater London is 8.78m, Greater Paris is 11.9 m.

2 / Area of Greater Melbourne is 9,990 sq Km , Greater London is 1,569 sq Km , Greater Paris is 12,012 sq Km.

3 / Melbourne Metro has 218 stations on 17 lines for 869 route kms.

    London Underground has 270 stations on 11 lines for 402 route Kms. ( Excludes Overground and former BR NSE )

    Paris Metro has 303 stations on 16 lines for 214 route Kms.
    Paris RER has 257 stations, 33 within the Metro Area, on 5 lines for 587 route Kms.

It should be noted that Melbourne has approximately double the route kms of either London or Paris yet has approximately half the population.

4 / Melbourne Metro has 2 Multi Mode Fare Zones , London Underground has 6 to 9 Single Mode Fare Zones, Paris Metro has 5 multi Mode fare Zones which includes the 33 RER stations.

5 / Both London and Sydney use Opal tickets which are designed specifically for Multi modal use on Single Mode Fare Zones , ie when you change mode you are charged a new fare.

Currently Myki Fares are 2hr Zone 1 or Zone 1&2 Full fare $4-30, Concession $2.15. Weekly 7 Day fares Zone 1&2 Full Fare $43-00 ( $6.14 per day ) Concession $21-50 ( $3-07 per day ), Zone 2 Full Fare $29-40 ( $4-20 per day ) Concession $14-70 ( $2-10 per day ).

A cup of coffee in a Cafe is between $3-20 and $4-50 depending where you buy, a 2 qtr Fresh Milk is $3-00 ( cheaper than water ! ) UHT Milk is less , a newspaper is between $3-00 and $4-00.

So on a cost basis Melbourne Public Transport fares ARE cheap , and as Public Subsidy is currently $2-00 per journey , so approximately 55% of each journey is covered by the ticket sale revenue.

6 / Melbourne was one of the first Public Transport Networks in the world to introduce Multi Modal tickets in 1969 and Zonal Multi Modal tickets in 1981 ( http://www.robx1.net ) . Subsequently, multi modal zone tickets have become commonplace , though clearly neither London nor Sydney is a believer !

While our PT system is not perfect , when compared to the above , I would suggest that it is a lot better , especially from a value for taxpayers money, than we realise .This could be an example of not seeing the wood for the trees.

This does not mean there is not room for improvement. I personally think that we should aim for a 10 minute frequency on all rail lines and a 15 minute frequency for buses.

In relation to Polls and People's Voting Surveys, these are heavily influenced by the questions ( which lack a comparison to a comparable system ) and by generally negative media scrutiny. Polls in Sydney seem to indicate that Sydneysiders also think their Public Transport is awful, yet when I have travelled to Sydney I have generally found it be better than Melbourne's though I admit that this is probably influenced by Sydney's better information displays , something which Melbourne has, at least in my view, far too often fallen short.

The other comment is that I found that LT buses had good displays whist LT stations ( much to my surprise ) varied from reasonable to awful , and the Paris Metro information displays are quite superior on both buses , bus stops and railway stations.

For your consideration.

Best wishes and regards, Radioman.
Radioman
Radioman, I did say that our Tram system is up there, but surely you cannot argue that our rail or bus systems are anything but crap, held together by gaffer tape. The Rail network is on the verge of collapsing. Good value for money? I want what you are on. The Bus system for a good 70% of the routes is every 30 minutes weekdays and hourly on weekends. Moreover a lot of the Buses are not fit for purpose. Some are unroadworthy and some of them are just bus bodies on garbage truck chassis made and purchased on the cheap. The fact that you are mentioning the Melbourne Bus system in the same breath as London's is laughable.

Sydney's Rail system especially is much better than Melbourne's and is at least 10 years ahead of Melbourne's, and that from a system that is far more complex than ours. They complain because Sydneysiders demand higher quality for their PT than we do in Melbourne.

Michael
  Radioman Chief Train Controller

Hello Michael and others,

I agree with your comments re the tram system. The Rail Futures Institute / RFI has published a very interesting article on extending ( and transforming ) our trams , thereby making a good system even better.

The problem with railway maintenance , or lack of it, is decades of neglect. I think one could sustain the argument that the VR never fully recovered from the Great Depression and WW2, and the antipathy of post WW2 State Governments, despite the fact that many overseas experts who toured the VR in the 1950s and early 1960s were generally quite impressed.

From an railway operations perspective I have been fortunate to speak to visiting Consultants from BR, LT and Canac , and all thought the VR was actually quite a well run system, especially considering the financial restraints it was under. I think a lot of Australians do not realise just how well run various government organisations in this country were run , especially when compared to overseas counterparts , and I would argue that after nearly 30 years of Private Sector "expertise" the last 30 years have not been a resounding success, though they have been very profitable for a small group of companies which has been at the expense of the community.

Sydney's rail system has fared a lot better capital replacement wise than Melbourne's , and its had a better rolling stock replacement process since WW2 than Melbourne . Part of this stems from the fact that the NSWGR has enjoyed considerable and consistent mineral revenue which has supplemented the grain revenue. Pre WW2 , a poor harvest meant that the NSW State Treasury suffered a major revenue shortfall , ( and the political consequences that flowed from this ) and this was ameliorated by increasing minerals revenue Post WW2. This did not happen in Victoria, where grain was THE major traffic flow.

I fully agree that the bus system is a major problem. this is partly due to the Private Operators ownership of Bus Routes and Bus operating zones, hence the reason for the PTV now wishing to purchase the Private operators PT networks , the Private Operators will still retain their non PT operations post the sale. Like Adelaide, PTV has decided that the only way they can make Bus Routes meet future demand is to own all PT bus routes in Metro Melbourne . ( It should be pointed out that Transport for London / TfL , as successor to the London Transport Passenger Board, later London Transport Executive / LT , do retain ownership of all of the former LT Red bus routes , and tendering is based on this, )

The really worrying thing is that bus patronage is falling, and as you indicate, low frequency , poor interchange connections, Cook's tour bus routes and slow journey times all contribute to falling patronage. Melbourne's road network also does not help bus operation as in many instances getting a bus into a potential interchange location is problematic, as is getting in and out of bus lay-bys on busy roads. A worse case example of this was Spring Vale Rd from Glen Waverley to Springvale where relatively newly installed bus lay-bys were removed due to buses effectively not being able to re-enter the traffic flow, especially in the peak periods where the service practically ceased to run.

I think the other aspect people need to realise is that Public Transport in Melbourne is essentially Government owned, including the bulk of the Urban buses, all those Orange liveried PTV emblembed buses are Government owned and leased to the private operators. In effect we, the taxpayer, pay private companies a lot of money to run a government owned transport system . This allows the pollies to pass the buck, both literally and figuratively.

At the end of the day, Parliament decides how much, or how little is spent on PT. One would hope that we get value for money, and to some extent I think we do. I was trying to point out the positives, all too often we as a society concentrate on the negatives and loose sight of what is actually done well. This then makes improvements difficult to achieve because very little credit is given for what are good results.

For your consideration,

Best wishes and regards to all, Radioman.

PS / of late I have been primarily drinking tap water and avoiding sugars , so I doubt that counts as mind altering or illicit substances !
  woodford Chief Commissioner

For what its worth, I agree with most of what you say Radioman,most of us are far to negative. A REALLY good example is the RFR project it was shot down at the time as a waste of 900 million dollars by almost everyone including almost everyone on Railpage. I toured the works extensively at the time and only saw good in the project.

One has to REAL carefull when reading ANY reporting on rail (including trams) projects as all media INCLUDING the ABC regular spread lies about these projects.

woodford
  woodford Chief Commissioner

A number of points for the discusion............

1: One needs to be VERY carefull when comparing Melbourne to most cities around the world. Melbourne metro area is VERY spread out. One of the main things this means is that there is far more system per population meaning the system is more difficult to resource.

2: Melbourne has the worlds most extensive tram system, the financing of which cannot be sourced out of fresh air.

3: I assume everyones forgoten about, (a) the level crossing removal project, (b) the metro tunnel project. both of which are pushing many billions into Melbourne metro rail system, in an attempt to try and bring it up to modern specs.


Why would ANY government put money into rail projects when NO ONE give them any credit for doing so...............................

woodford
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
For what its worth, I agree with most of what you say Radioman,most of us are far to negative. A REALLY good example is the RFR project it was shot down at the time as a waste of 900 million dollars by almost everyone including almost everyone on Railpage. I toured the works extensively at the time and only saw good in the project.

One has to REAL carefull when reading ANY reporting on rail (including trams) projects as all media INCLUDING the ABC regular spread lies about these projects.
woodford
The RFR project was to my mind visionary considering it came from Victoria.  This was a great vision which was shot down by the Liberal Party and has proved now to have been essential and game changing for the 4 lines it upgraded.  The only downside of the project was the removal of the dual track north of Kyneton which was a major mistake.  (caused by a Queensland Rail executive who was hired to show the government how to save money, well that worked, NOT).

The RRL again an ALP initiative was not the project it could have been and was to my mind more a metro project as the line location it could be argued is metro.  This was poorly implemented in the end and again the Liberal Party curtailed its benefits through scope reduction and shifting money to road projects.  The department delivering the project also slapped the backs in saving some capital which has bitten us in the end.  the NET NET of the project is that it has NOT delivered the business benefits outlined in  the business case.

Did the RFR any know?
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Public Transport fares in Melbourne are LOW by World standards .
So they should be. Melbourne's public transport performance is low by world standards.
Hear, hear.

Michael

In that case we should be exceedingly grateful we have low fares because in England where people complain as much as we do about the provision of PT services, they pay often pay over 400% higher fares than we do.

Mike.
Yeah and if the good people of the UK had the level of provision of PT that Victoria gets, they would be at the headquarters with pitch forks and burning effigies. The Melbourne system is on the verge of collapse, but hey Mike as long as you pay next to nix, everything is OK. Really? Really? Get those rose tinted glasses off man. The Victorian Rail system is in the toilet.

Michael
mejhammers1

As I look out of my living room window and see the basics of the construction of the Ballan Crossing loop underway, I have a degree of difficulty in agreeing with you.

Mike
  steve195 Train Controller

It is utterly insane that we pay the same fare to travel 60km+ on peak hour trains as we do to catch a bus 2km to the shops in the middle of the day.

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