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

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

rail back on track do a lot of lobbying about this sort of thing. I think there is also a more bus related one http://backontrack.org/

Georgie said...

Hi I must admit the complaints process is slow and translink gocards do not have the allowance to put credit on the gocard from the driver terminal. This is not a very good idea and counter productive. Also my go card always comes up as yellow when everybody elses is green why is this?

Cheers

georgie