Metro achieves delivery, misses punctuality in May 2010
Metro’s performance results have been released, with the operator achieving a 99 per cent service delivery result, exceeding the target for the sixth month running. The punctuality result however, fell short of the 88 per cent target with 82.7 per cent of trains running on-time.
Metro’s acting CEO Raymond O’Flaherty said May was a challenging month for the operator’s performance.
“There’s no doubting May was a tough month for us, but we’re not here to make excuses, we’re here to fix what we can as soon as possible,” Mr O’Flaherty said.
“There were a range of factors that contributed to this unacceptable performance figure, including the collision at Craigieburn. The one and half days of bus replacement services on the line caused major delays on the Craigieburn line as well as disruptions to other lines.
“We had two cases of suspected vandalism that also caused major delays, with a damaged fire hydrant at Werribee causing the station to flood and suspending services for five and a half hours, and damaged overhead lines at Diamond Creek causing 10 hours of disruptions on the Hurstbridge line while repair works were completed.
“Motorist behaviour also hurt our punctuality in May. In the space of one week we had three separate incidents of cars driving onto tracks at Mitcham (21 May), Clayton (22 May) and Brunswick (25 May), all causing immediate and flow-on delays to services.
But Mr O’Flaherty conceded Metro needs to improve in the areas affecting performance that are within their control.
“We know we have limited influence over delays caused by external factors such as police operations, trespassers on tracks and speed restrictions, so we need to look at how we can improve in those areas we do have control over. An example of this is how quickly sick passengers are treated.
“Passengers requiring medical treatment on trains was an issue throughout May, with three major cases causing delays. In one case an ill passenger stopped trains on nine of our 16 train lines for up to 30 minutes while awaiting first aid to attend and treat the person.
“Everyone will benefit from reducing the time it takes first aid to arrive and treat the people who fall ill, so starting Monday we’ll have contracted first aid staff provided by St John Ambulance on-hand at five of our busiest stations to treat people who fall ill as quickly as possible. The Level 3 first aid staff will be in place during the morning peak at Parliament, Richmond, Caulfield, North Melbourne and Flinders Street stations.
“By reducing the time it takes to attend to and treat ill passengers, we will reduce the severity of the delays and flow-on delays these incidents can cause.”
Mr O’Flaherty also pointed to the new timetable starting on Sunday as another example of how Metro is tackling poor punctuality, with the first stage of simplifying the timetable aiming to reduce flow-on delays when disruptions occur.
“As well as platform initiatives to help reduce dwell times, we’re addressing crowding and reliability issues by adding more services to the lines that need them most, and simplifying the timetable to reduce train congestion and delays. The major changes focus on the Pakenham/Cranbourne and Frankston train lines, but another timetable change scheduled later in the year will address three of our lesser performing lines in Werribee, Sydenham and Craigieburn.
“We’ve also been analysing the exact causes of late trains, and during the coming weeks we’ll have the results of the most detailed modelling and analysis ever performed on the network.”
Metro’s maintenance blitz also continues, with nearly $2 million per working day spent on key maintenance, renewals and project works in May, continuing the $145 million dollars being spent within their first seven months – and the $200 million per year after that – to improve the condition of the railway.
“Step by step we’re changing Melbourne’s train system so it’s able to transport more people, more often, with fewer cancellations and less delays,” Mr O’Flaherty said.
Metro will pay customer compensation for falling below the punctuality target in May. Customers with a monthly, six-monthly or yearly Metcard may apply to receive two free daily Metcards.
Metro customers with an eligible myki pass may apply for compensation in the form of myki money to the equivalent of two daily tickets.
Eligible customers can apply for compensation by filling out a claim form available at premium stations or download an application form from metrotrains.com.au
About Metro’s performance targets
Metro’s Service Commitment Code specifies that no more than two per cent of trains can be cancelled and/or no more than 12 per cent of trains can run late in a month before compensation is triggered.
The Government has applied a tougher measurement system under the new train contract for both delivery (number of trains not cancelled) and punctuality (number of trains on-time). For example, a train that bypasses the city loop or doesn’t reach its final destination now contributes to the cancellation rate, whereas under the previous contract it was counted as a full service.
The definition of an on-time train is also different, reducing from the previous threshold of five minutes and 59 seconds to the current, shorter threshold of four minutes and 59 seconds.