Friday, November 18, 2011

Minor Delay or just Normal?

BrizCommuter often checks the Train Status on TransLink's home page before setting off to the station in the morning just to make sure that the Ferny Grove Line is not blocked by stupid motorists at level crossings. On the morning of 18/11/2011, TransLink's website was showing a "Minor" problem on all rail lines. BrizCommuter clicked to see what the problem was. Was it a signal failure or track failure in the core part of the network? No, it was a normal service. In this shining example of reverse logic, the Train Status was showing a "Minor" problem status to tell commuters that the strike planned for that day had been cancelled, and that there was a normal service. This isn't the only inconsistency BrizCommuter has seen lately. The closure of South Brisbane station was initially shown as a "Major" problem on the relevant rail lines on the first day of closure, before being rapidly downgraded to "Minor", and then a week later randomly alternating between "Minor" and "Normal".

London Underground
BrizCommuter would like to see TransLink follow London Underground's example in more consistent use of train service status messages. On London Underground, commonly used messages are "Good Service", "Minor Delays", "Severe Delays", "Part Suspended", "Suspended", and "Planned Closure". A dynamic map also shows station closures, and stations undergoing maintenance (e.g. lifts and escalators out of service). Announcements also use similar terminology as the service status updates, which are displayed on large LCD displays at stations as well on the internet. Also making life easier for Londoners is an easily accessible webpage listing planned weekend service changes up to 6 months in advance. This can be quite useful if you are planning an event, as most Londoners rely on public transport to get around the city.

Update 20/11/2011

This thread on Rail Back on Track's forum, shows an example of QR and  TransLink failing to provide sufficient signage to notify passengers at Goodna station about a weekend line closure. No announcements, or staff assistance (from QR, TransLink, or passing replacement bus drivers) either as passengers waited on the platform for non-existent trains. Why do SE Queensland public transport users have to put up with such mediocrity?


  1. Transport for London have miles better customer service than QR and TransLink.

  2. Caz - whilst QR have improved their customer service in the last few years, BrizCommuter agrees that they still have along way to go to match TfL's high standard of customer service. TransLink have even further to go!

  3. I agree with you BC re the Translink status display. When looking at the TL one for the first time you'd probably think "Minor what?". The LU one just feels easier to more immediately absorb. I think that's also due to better use of the line colours too. But.. the TL one isn't too bad


All comments are reviewed before being published, and it may take a few days for comments to appear. If comments do not add to the conversation, or are just plain stupid, they will not be published.