Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Translink Brisbane Needs to Change

I have just extracted, with great effort, a free daily ticket from Translink. On February 5th this year, a bus was half an hour late and then drove past me when I was frantically waving at it with both hands. After 18 days (and two follow-up calls from me to the call centre) the complaint I made about this was finally returned. However the smooth arrogant so-and-so that I talked to refused to look into other issues I've had with this route, and rotten things I've seen - they refuse to open a case for you unless you call the call centre.

So for every single incident you want to complain about, you have to lodge an individual complaint and wait a fortnight.

Obviously this system is deliberately set up to make it difficult for people to make complaints, so Translink can claim that people love them. I'm sick and tired of this, and I want to do something about it. Everyone knows how desperately unreliable Translink, especially Brisbane Transport, is and their pretence that they offer a good service is sickening.

I don't expect Translink to spend the millions of dollars it would take to put on enough bus routes and raise drivers' pay enough to fix the problems of poor weekend service and missing buses (I understand that when a driver is sick or absent, the run is just cancelled, which is why sometimes buses just don't turn up). That's a political decision, made by politicians in Cabinet, and would need a lot of pressure from the public.

However, some things that are reasonable to expect:

1) Translink actively tries to find out what problems people are having with their system, rather than passively relying on peope to lodge complaints with the call centre. This would include (but not be limited to) a translink officer opening a case when people complain about Translink on Twitter, since Translink now has a twitter account. Other social networking sites, like this one, should also be monitored to find out problems

2) Translink replies to complaints within one working day

3) Translink supplies drivers new to a route with adequate maps (unlike the ridiculously un-detailed maps that the drivers are given) so that drivers do not have to rely on asking passengers for directions (I have seen this twice)

4) Translink immediately reviews all timetables to make sure they are realistic. This would mean that bus drivers are under no pressure to drive dangerously, putting passengers at risk of being thrown to the floor.

If you agree at least partly with me, I'd like your help.

1) Can you please tell about any experiences you've had on Translink public transport. This means we'll be able to prove to people that Translink's spin

2) Can you please discuss my suggestions or add your own.

I realise that a lot of the problems I've talked about here are with Brisbane Transport. But since BT don't deal with your complaints, and Translink does, they are the ones we need to go to in the first instance. In any case, the more public fuss we raise, the more pressure we put on people to start making some changes.

I've also started a Facebook group about this

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Brisbane Political Satire: @iamtheborg vs @NannaBligh

Some enterprising Brisbane comedians (I don't know who) have set up blogs (and Twitter accounts) taking the mickey out of Queensland Premier Anna Bligh, and Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg. I hope this means we'll get some quality political humour in this year when we're going to have a State Election.

The links to the blogs are above, and you can click here to see the @NannaBligh Twitter account, or click here for @iamtheborg on Twitter.

If you're on Twitter, a service that lets you find out what people are doing, you might want to follow the Brisbane Blog's Twitter account and you'll get updated every time there is a new story on the Brisbane Blog. Or if you want more, follow my personal account (David Jackmanson) and find out what I'm up to.

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Monday, 16 February 2009

Brisbane Music: Emma Dean plays the Judith Wright Centre on Friday February 20th

Brisbane singer Emma Dean is playing this Friday, February 20th, at the Judith Wright Centre, 420 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley. The gig starts at 7.30pm, and tickets are $25 reserved and $17 unreserved concession. Click here for a Google Map of the Judith Wright Centre's location.

The video above shows Emma Dean playing her song "Cocaine". If you want to hear more of her music, click here to go to Emma Dean's MySpace page, or click here to see lots of videos of Emma Dean on YouTube.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Brisbane Zombie Games: Left4Dead party at Elysium Internet Cafe

A new internet cafe has opened up in Fortitude Valley - it's called Elysium Internet Cafe. On Friday night, February 6th 2009, they're having a Left4Dead party - it's $10 for unlimited play between 6pm and 10pm.

Left4Dead is a game where you and other players co-operate to escape a zombie horde. Machines at Elysium are hooked up for online play so you can join other zombie-hunters for four hours of undead carnage (or your unfortunate death, of course).

Come in costume: the best dressed zombie plays for free.

Elysium Internet Cafe is on the first floor of 281 Brunswick St (in the Valley Mall), Fortitude Valley. It's up some stairs near the Police Beat and 7-11, near the intersection of the Valley Mall and Wickham St. It used to be the Asian Pool Hall - click here for a Google Map

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Brisbane Photos: 2008 Lord Mayor's Photographic Awards

The "Growing Up: 150 years of Brisbane" exhibition is on at the Museum of Brisbane, inside City Hall in King George Square in the city, until Sunday March 8 2009. The exhibition shows some of the entries into the Lord Mayor's 2008 Photographic Awards competition. There's also a bunch of Brisbane photographs from the 1890s, and displays of old cameras.

Click here for a Google Map showing you where the Museum of Brisbane is. The museum is open from 10am to 5pm daily.

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