Format: Presentation and discussion
Host name: Brendon Perder
Your name: Lisa Fu
How to manage unplanned disruptions
With planned disruptions, we know to put the message out in advance and properly inform travellers. Unplanned is a different case.
Buses play a key role, but in the bigger picture, what are some other services? E.g. car share, uber, bikes etc.
There is no reserve (like ambulances and emergency services have) of vehicles that the rail service can pull from.
Melbourne is subdivided into 4 regions for buses, and operators are based generally in the outer suburbs. It can take a while for them to get buses down to disrupted locations, and especially longer when needing to go to the CBD.
There is a stigma around rail replacements
London - when there is a rail disruption, most movement is replaced by the surface transport, there is not enough awareness of alternative transport in melb.
Social media information on parallel modes of public transport, can get the message out on alternative existing routes
So that travellers can plan for their affected journey
But it’s also about dealing with the disrupted commuter
Giving people a choice or a heads up so that they can prepare
There are two categories: people about to use the service; people already using the service (on-board)
For people already using the service, there are welfare messages, and things to take note of such as whether they have enough water.
Faults are often sudden. It’s important to distinguish between a delay or a fault.
Bus replacements have added another 45 minutes onto journeys
We need some actual viable alternatives
Getting people to working/operational parts of the network, instead of running along the train line section that is affected
Planning can group disruptions, so that they are condensed into one period of time, instead of scattered throughout. This happens now.
There is such a small window to do works e.g. welding
This winds up affecting everyone
Speed restrictions are put on, and there are 2-5 minute delays all week
If people knew about the reason for these delays, they might be more tolerant
2 min disruption vs. closing the line down for the whole week
Communication needs to be there
Sometimes the information is not allowed to come out
E.g. can’t say that millipedes are on the track, which is causing the shut down of a line.
Why don’t rail agencies declare real information?
Underpromise and overdeliver
Sensitivities - you can’t just announce a fatality
But an announcement that there has been a police request might be better
Or, the track has now become a crime scene
A sense that something more important is going on
Quality of info is often poor
There needs to be an ‘unplanned plan’ for every station
A poor alternative is better than no alternative
Multimodal maps at every station, with indicators of ‘you are here’, especially at unstaffed stations
Turn outs are 1-2% of the network; but they are 25% of the maintenance budget
During a disruption, when you are on a service, honest communication from the driver is appreciated, as well as making sure there is frequent information over a longer period
London - there is a driver standard that an announcement needs to be made no longer than 30 seconds after a disruption has happened
They let people know something is actively being done
People’s perception of time, especially in a tunnel can be skewed. 1 minute can feel like 5 minutes
An authoritative voice, like one from the train driver helps
Perhaps announcement training for drivers so that they are able to deliver information that is appropriate for passengers
This is fundamentally a human issue