Tuesday, 13 November 2012

A day in the life of a commuter

There were no major mishaps or problems yesterday, but there were a whole heap of minor "niggles" as I travelled to the city and then home via Glenferrie.
No cancellations - inbound, anyway

Citybound, on arriving at the station, there was an announcement about a cancelled train.    On this occasion, it was going in the other direction, so I was not directly inconvenienced, but it set the tone for the day.

I usually change to a loop train at Richmond.   On arrival there, there was an announcement that the next loop train was 11 minutes away, so it was suggested that we stay on the train and go on to Flinders St.  Points to Metro for ensuring that the announcement was in fact made before it was too late to get back on to the train, but it's a pity that there was a need to make the announcement at all.

Flinders St is always an "information black hole".   There are no video displays in the Elizabeth St subway to tell changing passengers when the next train to anywhere is departing, let alone a loop train, and although there is a display in the Degraves St subway, it doesn't tell you much (in particular, it doesn't tell you which trains are going through the loop, only their ultimate destination).   However, I relied on experience to make my way to platform 1.  There, displays are thin on the ground and the train departed without an announcement being made, but at least it headed in the right direction.
The view of Flinders St station is better from a distance than inside!
Returning home, I thought I would collect a printed timetable at the station with the new schedules that will apply from next week.  I thought I had read that they were going to be available from 2 November, but I may have been mistaken.  Anyway, they're not yet available.   The staff, in an attempt to be helpful, told me that they were hopeful that they would be available "soon", but anyway, things on my line were only changing by a "minute or 2", so would I like an about-to-be-superseded version?

I took a homeward trip via Glenferrie.  There I noticed that all the displays were out of action.   Since there were 3 platforms in use when I was there, how intending passengers knew which platform to go to remains a mystery to me.

Finally, I caught the tram along Glenferrie Rd.   The route number shown was 72.  Only route 16 trams operate in Glenferrie Rd, but I took the gamble that this was just a mistake and that the tram wasn't going anywhere unexpected, and in fact arrived home safely.

I am the first to admit that none of these annoyances were major.  But they did all occur in the space of a single day.   Each may have led to inconvenience for a  visitor or occasional user.   Regular users are perhaps so used to issues such as these that they hardly notice but the the cumulative effect is surely disheartening.

No comments:

Post a Comment