-----Original Message-----From: Roderick Smith [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] Sent: Monday, 17 April 2017 9:47 PMTo: 'email@example.com'Subject: snippets, Thurs.6.4.17
170406Th Melbourne 'Age' - Swanston St cable tram. The real skill is datingit. Cable trams were mid 1890s; there is no motor vehicle visible; there isno hint of the new Flinders St station. The style of dress is hard todetermine in that scale. I am going for 1900-05.
Melbourne 'Herald Sun' - public transport.
Thurs.6.414.14 services have been suspended Burnley - Camberwell (no reason) YT haswarned of overcrowding on routes 70 & 75.
Melbourne Express: Thursday, April 6, 2017 .This one was taken looking south down Swanston Street across Collins Street.That's Melbourne Town Hall on the left. Photo: State Library of Victoria .<www.theage.com.au/victoria/melbourne-express-thursday-april-6-2017-20170405-gvee3e.html>
What's causing those expensive electricity bills? with tdu.Energy Australia, 9 Dec 2016 .<www.realestate.com.au/advice/can-you-name-the-biggest-energy-wasters>
April 4 2017 Tram services slashed despite runaway passenger growth .Tram services will be slashed on some of Melbourne's busiest routes nextmonth, leading to longer wait times and increased crowding.Tram frequency will be reduced on six of Melbourne's busiest tram routeswhen the timetable changes on May 1. Public transport advocates and theOpposition have slammed the move by the Andrews government.There has been an increase in the number of serious injuries on Melbourne'strams. Photo: Joe Armao .The government has issued no public warning about the looming cuts, whichwill hit night-time services hardest, but also includes the loss of someservices in the morning peak.A press release issued by Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan on March28 claimed there would be "no reduction in services to Brunswick andCoburg", but The Age can reveal routes to those rapidly growing northernsuburbs do face cuts.Routes that face a looming cut include 96, 86, 19, 59, 11 and 67, some ofwhich are among the most heavily used tram lines in Melbourne.Cuts due to take effect on May 1 include:..Scrapping three weekday city-bound peak hour services between 8am and 9amon route 96 from East Brunswick. Morning peak passenger loads grew by 26 percent on route 96 last year, which was the first to be allocatedhigh-capacity E-Class trams...Cutting four Friday night services on route 19 from the city to CoburgNorth, reducing it from a line with a tram every 10 minutes until 9pm, toone with a tram every 10 minutes until just after 8pm, when it will revertto a 20-minute frequency. Two Sunday night services have also been cut...Friday night cuts to route 86 between Docklands and Bundoora, from every 15minutes until 11pm, to a 20-minute wait between trams from about 9.30pm...The last route 67 tram of the night from Melbourne University to Carnegiehas been cut on Sundays...One route 59 Sunday night service from the city to Airport West has beencut. The Age's list of cuts is not comprehensive, and the May 1 timetable changecould contain more cuts yet to be revealed.The cuts have been made in a time of runaway growth in tram usage. Passengernumbers soared 12 per cent last year to 203.8 million journeys, surprisingeven the state's public transport planners.Public Transport Victoria noted in its latest annual report that "strongpopulation growth is likely to be driving tram patronage growth"."Since 2012 over a third of building approvals for new dwellings have beennearby tram routes," PTV said. Public Transport Users Association spokesman Daniel Bowen said thegovernment was cutting services on routes that often suffer overcrowding atnight."Nobody wins from these changes," he said. "Passengers will find not just alonger wait for a tram, but far worse overcrowding. And if people give up onthe trams and drive instead, it will just add to traffic congestion."Mr Bowen said the reduction was mystifying, given there is no shortage oftrams outside of peak-hour."The government and Yarra Trams need to explain why these changes are beingmade," he said.Opposition public transport spokesman David Hodgett called on the governmentto reveal exactly how many trips it has removed from the timetable."Cutting the number of tram trips is Labor's admission that Yarra Trams hasinsufficient tram drivers," Mr Hodgett said."Jacinta Allan can sleep in her chauffeured limousine on the way home fromthe Hanging Rock Bruce Springsteen concert, but many Melburnians rely onsufficient peak-hour or late-night trams to get them home after a day's workor a night out partying or attending theatres."The Andrews government and Public Transport Victoria were contacted forcomment but did not explain the service cuts in the May 1 timetable."Like all timetable changes, we will monitor how passengers are using thenew services and make further adjustments if necessary," Public TransportMinister Jacinta Allan said.<www.theage.com.au/victoria/tram-services-slashed-despite-runaway-passenger-growth-20170404-gvdeuu.html?platform=hootsuite>
April 6 2017 The timing of the cuts to tram services is awfully suspicious .It was all self-congratulation in a government press release last weekpraising timetable changes that would "increase services and reducecrowding" on Melbourne's trams. Well, that was last week and a week is along time in politics.This week the story broke that tram services will be slashed on some ofMelbourne's busiest routes. Fewer services and more crowding is the realityfrom the operator locked in secret negotiations with the government for anew contract to run Melbourne's trams.The 96 tram: among those suffering service cuts. Photo: Supplied .In a stroke of legal genius, the current contract of Yarra Trams gives itthe exclusive right to negotiate with the government behind closed doors fora seven-year franchise agreement. It certainly makes the bidding processeasier when you are not facing competition.Secret negotiations are just the start of this clandestine operation. YarraTrams received $2.2 million in "incentive payments" on top of the $2.2billion the government has paid for the group to operate Melbourne's trams.How those incentive payments are calculated is shrouded in mystery, withthree of the five contractually agreed criteria kept secret.What we do know is that key performance data used in the incentive formulais largely self-reported by Yarra Trams. The Victorian Auditor General putit this way: "PTV relies solely on Yarra Trams to assure the ongoingintegrity of the system and the data it produces. This means that PTV ispublicly reporting performance results and determining bonus and penaltypayments with only limited assurance about the reliability of theperformance data that underpins these results."That's right - the contractor is responsible for the quality of theinformation that determines what bonus it will get.After I raised these issues in Parliament and called for an expert panel toinvestigate this model I received a letter from the Minister for PublicTransport saying "it is not appropriate" to appoint an expert panel. I wasassured, however, that "the government is requiring significantly strongerstandards, particularly in the areas of performance".As a statement, "better performance" sounds great. How that will be achievedcould be at the heart of the announced service slashes.A cynical mind would say Yarra Trams is setting a low bar with thesetimetable changes that could be miraculously revised to increase performanceonce the new contract is in place.If that is the negotiation tactic, it means the public is being held hostageso Yarra Trams can get what it wants.With services already stretched, prices increasing and passenger numberscontinuing to grow the public is not getting value for money. That isexactly why we need an independent panel to investigate how we can return tohigh quality services that are affordable for government and the public.Until then, the continued secrecy puts all the power in the hands of YarraTrams.Fiona Patten is the Leader of the Australian Sex Party and Member for theNorthern Metropolitan Region in the Victorian Parliament. <www.theage.com.au/comment/the-timing-of-the-cuts-to-tram-services-is-awfully-suspicious-20170405-gvefgi>