|Metro Trains Melbourne - trains every 10 minutes!|
Melbourne's Public Transport Users Association president Tony Morton said privatising rail hadn't been cheaper or more innovative, with fares rising twice as fast as inflation since 1999.
Morton said the "privatisation experiment" in Melbourne caused fares to skyrocket above the CPI, with prices rising 20 per cent in two years.
He said Brisbane commuters "ain't seen nothing yet" when it came to fares.
"We have fundamental problems with the standard of maintenance and reliability on the system, which is giving us almost daily grief," he said.
The Rail Tram and Bus Union's David Matters said Brisbane shouldn't follow Melbourne's lead, warning private operators would "come in and loot the place".
A 2007 report on the first eight years of Melbourne's privatisation found over-crowding issues after a rise in patronage. But it also found there were no substantial savings.
BrizCommuter finds the last comment interesting. Overcrowding caused by a rise in patronage. Well, if patronage has risen, that using public transport must be considerably more attractive than in Brisbane where commuters are abandoning the infrequent and expensive train network!
In response to misleading panic about privatising rail services, here is a comparison between public Queensland Rail (QR) in Brisbane, and the privatised Metro Trains in Melbourne:
Single 5km peak adult train fare
The "sky rocking" prices of Melbourne's privatised train network are still cheaper than Brisbane's public train network.
Single 5km off-peak train fare
Off-peak, Brisbane's public train service is cheaper, unless of course you make more than 2 journeys (see below).
Maximum daily 5km train fare
Private/Melbourne $7 ($3.50 on weekend)
For frequent daily users such as tourists the privatised train service in Melbourne is miles cheaper, even more so on weekends.
Weekday midday off-peak train frequency
Public/Brisbane 15-60mins (typically 30mins)
Melbourne's private train operator has a far more frequent off-peak train service than Brisbane's public operator which mainly has abysmal 30 mins off-peak services.
Public/Brisbane 94.93% (within 4 mins inner-suburban, 6 mins outer-suburban)
Private/Melbourne 88% (within 5 mins)
Brisbane has higher reliability, but it's pretty easy to be reliable when your trains are so infrequent!
Melbourne's rail network is generally run much closer to maximum capacity, thus resulting in less achievable reliability.
Public/Brisbane - no significant changes to 7 lines since 2008
Private/Melbourne - multiple major timetable improvements every year
Cost per km data could not be obtained, however previous reports have shown QR to have the highest cost per km in Australia. So as we can see, using a private rail operator in Melbourne has resulted in generally cheaper fares, and more frequent train services in Brisbane's publicly owned rail operator QR. Is the potential privatisation of QR really that bad?