One year on, the Andrews Labor Government’s new contracts for Melbourne’s train and tram operators are delivering a better overall passenger experience including fewer faults and cancellations.
New data shows passengers are seeing significant benefits, with new measures and reports from mystery shoppers resulting in clearer announcements, less graffiti and cleaner stations.
Since the introduction of the new contracts, greater investment in maintenance has seen train faults on the metropolitan network drop almost 20 per cent, and infrastructure faults reduce by almost 30 per cent.
Tram cancellations, and short running – where trams don’t complete their full route – have also seen a 25 per cent decrease. Tram reliability is set to improve further with 85 per cent of the tram fleet to be refurbished and the preventative maintenance program at the new Super Depots at Preston, Malvern and Southbank.
Yarra Trams has seen a 15 per cent drop in complaints compared to a year ago, including a 40 per cent reduction in complaints about passenger information.
Results of the independent Customer Satisfaction Survey conducted for PTV shows metropolitan train and tram satisfaction levels increasing under the new contracts, and trains recording a 22-year high in the November 2018 quarter.
The introduction of passenger experience measures and mystery shoppers into the new contracts is also providing an extra measure against which the performance of operators is being regularly monitored. Since January 2018, a team of 22 mystery shoppers have been conducting around 1,000 surveys on metropolitan trains and stations across the network every quarter, and 1,300 surveys across trams and tram stops.
The passenger experience measures and penalties are in addition to the higher thresholds for punctuality and reliability that operators must meet under the new contracts introduced by the Labor Government.
As noted by Acting Premier Tim Pallas
“We introduced tougher new contracts that put passengers first and it’s great to see that’s exactly what they’ve done.”
“We’re investing in rolling stock, better training for frontline staff, extra Passenger Information Displays and in cleaner stations and tram stops – that’s why we’re seeing happier passengers and more reliable services.”
As noted by Minister for Public Transport Melissa Horne
“After just the first year of the new contracts we’re already seeing significant improvements across the network.”
“Passengers have told us they want to see cleaner trains and stations, more reliable services, more timely and accurate information and less graffiti and that’s what these contracts are delivering.”