Saturday, December 24, 2016

Stop Press: QR is the Christmas Grinch

QR is The Grinch!
SE Queensland commuters have already had enough due to the 400+ axed services in the Interim Timetable Mk2, the forthcoming SHIT timetable, as well as last minute cancellations due to "operational reasons" lack of drivers, late trains, and abysmal customer service. On Christmas Eve, Brisbane's lacklustre rail operator Queensland Rail (QR) cancelled the entire Doomben Line service. For Christmas Day, QR really will be "The Grinch That Stole Christmas", as it has cancelled more than 150 train services - that's nearly 1/5 of all train services!

This announcement, was only made late on Christmas Eve, and thus most potential passengers will be completely unaware of the changes until they turn up for a non-existent train service. The changes will also be not be made to the TransLink journey planner. Whilst few people use public transport on Christmas Day, those who do rely on it to get to work or family gatherings, tend to have no other transport option. Some of the resulting gaps between train services will be up to 120 minutes (2 hours). There are even gaps of up to 90 minutes on the Airport Line that will quite likely result in passengers missing their flights. 

Whilst a last minute decision has been made to allow free travel on QR services on Christmas Day, this does not make up the massive disruption to travel for affected passengers. There has been mention of QR organising taxis for affected passengers, but this isn't much help when most stations will be un-staffed, and thus no staff to organise and pay for the taxi. 

Words can't describe how bad the public transport situation is in Brisbane at the moment! Just within a few hours of the announcement, there has been a huge backlash on QR's social media. How on earth blundering Transport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe is remaining in his job is a mystery to most commuters? 

TransLink's list of affected services:
https://translink.com.au/service-updates/111116

Update 25/12/16 5pm

The 150 cancelled services turned into 235 cancelled services, nearly 1/3 of all scheduled trains. The Shorncliffe Line service was completely axed from 1pm, which amusingly serves the electorate (Sandgate) of a certain Mr Hinchliffe. Going by social media commentary, QR's Xmas cancellations have ruined Christmas for many families, as well as locals and tourists trying to get to and from Brisbane Airport.

It is thought that this failure was due to a mixture of an over-ambitious Xmas Day timetable (half-hourly instead of the usual hourly), and lack of drivers able to work the Sunday shift (due to driver reaching max number of days working in a row, or QR relating on drivers having to volunteer to work some Xmas day shifts). Yet again, piss poor forward planning.

Just to rub it in, Sydney and Melbourne successfully ran trains to a high frequency Sunday timetable today with services generally every 10 to 30 minutes, compared to between 60 minutes to none at all in backwards Brisbane. 

4 comments:

  1. Meanwhile in Sydney and Melbourne there are trains running every 10-15 minutes on Christmas Day. From one extreme to another!

    I presume they will have no option but to arrange taxis for some as at least two of the canceled trains are the last service for the night.

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  2. This is depressing. I'm likely to move to Sydney when I'm older because Brisbane's Transport is just a piece of sugar honey iced tea. But busy cities annoy so me so maybe I'll end up in the Hunter Valley or something...

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  3. I have also noticed that the school holiday timetable is now called- Summer School holiday timetable.

    Perhaps QR did see the comments about calling the timetable - School holiday interim timetable and decided that a name change was appropriate before the acronym caught on haha.

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  4. Pissed,me off rock up to station to get Doomben train no show ask staff and they just shrug shoulders 'don't know'

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