Fw: Fri.3.5.19 daily digest
  Roderick Smith



190503F Melbourne 'Herald Sun' - Keon Pde (Reservoir) train hits truck.- letters (energy, cars, transport).- Federal Labor, rail support.- graffiti. [I don't like to glorify graffiti, and paint it out of news photos.  This is a report on the vandalism, so I have muted it to b&w].
190503F Melbourne 'Age':- energy gas. [with tdu]- letters (energy, water). [with tdu]- cbd people movement.
190503F 'SMH' - overcrowding.
190503F Metro Twitter - Warrigal Rd, Holmesglen, truck jammed.
Fri.3.5.19 Metro Twitter.
Reservoir: Because of works, there will be no ramp access to platform 2 until 9.00. Passengers requiring ramp access are advised to change at Regent for a taxi service.
Flagstaff: While works take place, there will be no lift access between the concourse and the platforms until Mon 13 May.  If you require lift access, take train to Parliament, where alternative transport is available.
We have extra trains and trams for AFL football at Marvel Stadium (Docklands) tonight.
15.55 Glen Waverley line: Major delays (a motor vehicle striking Warrigal Road underline bridge near Holmesglen). Trains may [ie will] terminate at Darling.
- 16.06 A truck has become wedged under the Warrigal Road bridge.  The right lane is blocked, with two lanes open. Emergency services are attending; trains are affected.
- 16.22 All trains are terminating at Darling.  Our bridge engineer is expected on site soon.
- I hope that these driving companies are fined a hell of a lot of money for causing these delays.
- 16.34 Trains to resume, with major delays.
- 17.04  Trains are now running, with minor delays.
- 17.35 All lanes re-opened
17.07 Sandringham line: Minor delays in the Elsternwick area after a report of a trespasser on/near rail lines.  Trains will be held.
- 17.16 clearing.
17.42 Frankston line: Minor citybound delays (an equipment fault near Glen Huntly).
18.30 Buses to replace trains Bell - Epping (a train hitting a truck). Buses have been ordered but may take over 60 minutes arrive, consider alternative transport.
- 18.35 Stuck on the train between Middle Gorge and South Morang. Can we please get to a station to get off?
- 18.36 We are working to move trains into platforms; all safety [the magic excuse; it used to take all of 1 min to trip past a red signal] procedures are being followed.
- 18.42 See our website for options.
- 18.42 Keon Parade, Reservoir, is closed in both directions at the level crossing, after a truck was struck by a train. Use Settlement Road and Dalton Road instead.
- 18.55 The latest advice from the bus company is that the first buses will arrive in the next 30 minutes.
- Any update from the emergency services? We're in the train.
- 19.01 Please listen for updates from emergency services. Once it is safe [the magic excuse] to exit the train they will advise.  Once upon a time railway staff could do it.  Emergency services can't cope.
- 19.20 Initial replacement buses are in operation; more are expected on-site soon. Extended journey time of 60 mins.
- 19.32: 16 buses in operation.
- What’s the ETA to get trains back running?
- 20.36 Investigations are ongoing, we currently don't have an estimated time of the line reopening.
- Hopeless service again.  Metro staff more interested in gossiping than helping.  Buses have no clue on which route to take.
- Can you tell us your location?
- Standing on a crowded bus, Reservoir station.  Turning to go to Preston from Bell was a farce!  Didn’t turn into St George’s Road, and then went along back streets.
- Can you give us a bus number or registration number? We need to check the driver has all the information he/she needs.
- He’s following another bus.  Pretty impossible to get the rego number while I am a passenger inside the bus.  At Keon Park.  He seems to be on right path now.
- Understand, should have a bus run number up at the front windscreen.
- 20.57 So it gets equally bad when you get to Epping station.  No announcements on when trains are coming, screens say 53 minutes.  If you are servicing four stations only, a shuttle service should not take 53 minutes.
- A train has just arrived at platform 1 at Epping, and will wait to allow some more buses to make the connection and depart at 21.17. [Metro's standard inability to run effective bus replacements].
- 21.24 Trains have resumed.  Trains will approach the crossing at reduced speed until the damaged equipment is fixed.  Expect repairs by tomorrow morning.
The citybound left-turn lanes from High Street across the Reservoir line will close from 23.00.  Detour via Keon Parade and Cheddar Road, or U-turn at Edwardes Street and make a right-hand turn.
Melbourne Express, Friday, May 3, 2019
video: Tributes pour in for lifesavers who drowned rescuing tourist.  One of the men who drowned trying to rescue an international tourist at Port Campbell was just months away from becoming a dad for the first time. Funerals for the father and son lifesavers who drowned trying to save a tourist near Port Campbell will be held today in Timboon.  Ross Powell, 71 and his son Andy, 32, died on Easter Sunday morning when their boat flipped while trying to save a tourist in rough seas at Sherbrook River, near the 12 Apostles on Victoria's south-west coast.  Rescuers were able to winch the 30-year-old Singaporean tourist and a third lifesaver to safety, but the Powells were declared dead at the scene.  The third lifesaver, Port Campbell's CFA brigade captain Phil Younis, remains in The Alfred hospital with back and leg injuries.
Hire car owner Rod Barton leads the Transport Matters Party. Credit: Jason South
'The sheer scale of the case means it is shaping as one of the largest class actions in Australian history'.  Thousands of taxi and hire-car drivers will launch what is expected to be one of Australia’s biggest class actions when it takes on Uber in the Victorian Supreme Court on Friday..  Maurice Blackburn is representing more than 6000 taxi, hire-car, charter-vehicle and limousine drivers and licence owners from Victoria, NSW, Queensland and Western Australia in  the class action.  The law firm is expected to lodge a statement of claim in the court on Friday, and has signalled that the global ride-sharing company could be forced to pay hundreds of millions of dollars if the taxi drivers are successful.
About 20,000 students attended a strike for the climate in Melbourne in March. Credit: Justin McManus.
Melbourne students are set to descend on Federal MP's offices today as part of another Climate Election National Day of Action.  Hundreds of students are expected to attend each strike, with over 70 planned across Australia and 500 around the world.  The largest rallies in Melbourne are expected to take place at lunchtime outside Liberal Party HQ, 104 Exhibition St Melbourne and Josh Frydenberg’s Camberwell office later this afternoon.
Would you ride into the city if you felt safer?  Over at our Facebook group What's got Melbourne talking, we're talking about the future of our city - or more specifically, how the CBD will look.  Over the next decade, pedestrians and cyclists will be given priority over cars in a radical reshaping of Melbourne’s city streets.  City of Melbourne is also hoping to crown Melbourne the nation’s “premier bike city” by expanding the current 6km of protected bike lanes to 50km by 2030.  On-street parking and road space equivalent in size to 20 Bourke Street Malls in Melbourne’s inner-city will be repurposed to make space for pedestrians, cyclists and greenery.
CBD drivers could spend more time at red lights under council plan May 3, 2019 14 comments
Up to 30 seconds could be shaved off the time traffic lights at major intersections stay green in Melbourne's CBD, under a council plan to give priority to walkers and cyclists.
It could mean drivers have less time to get through busy intersections and more time waiting at red lights.
The proposal is part of Melbourne City Council's draft transport strategy, released on Thursday, that aims to make the Hoddle Grid more pedestrian friendly.
Most traffic lights take around 90 seconds to change from red to green in the CBD.
If this time was reduced to less than a minute, delays for pedestrians waiting at intersections could be almost halved, meaning walkers would reach their destination more quickly.
Every hour during the morning peak, around 15,000 pedestrians cross the intersection of Spencer and Collins streets outside Southern Cross Station, which is five times the number of people in cars.
However, cars are given twice the amount of time as pedestrians to pass through the intersection.
The move to cut traffic light times is likely to further frustrate motorists, with the council also looking to reduce speed limits to 30km/h and implement a congestion tax for drivers who enter the CBD at peak times.
Spencer Street is the most used road by drivers heading for a destination beyond the CBD - also called "through-traffic" - followed by King Street.
'Through-traffic': Percentage of vehicles passing through the CBD
RACV senior manager of transport and planning Peter Kartsidimas said the motorists' group supported a review of traffic light timing.
"By optimising the traffic signal cycle times, we would expect to see public transport, cyclists and pedestrians move through the city quicker," he said.
Chris De Gruyter, from RMIT's Centre for Urban Research, said it would be wise to give pedestrians priority at CBD hotspots with significant foot traffic, such as universities and train stations.
"Some intersections have become so overcrowded that it's actually become a capacity issue – there's not enough space to stand, and that's a serious safety issue because people are standing on the road," he said.
"Plans like this are to be applauded because the majority of trips done in the CBD are by foot, and we need to give priority to that mode of transport.."
Reducing the amount of time cars can pass through intersections would also help give trams priority.
Trams spend almost 20 per cent of time stuck at red lights, according to the council. This compares with international standards of 2 to 5 per cent.
The council, in partnership with the state government, will investigate how artificial intelligence can be used to tweak traffic light cycles in the city centre to give trams, cyclists and pedestrians priority.
In the next four years, the council will look to build more pedestrian crossings and reduce crossing distances to minimise accidents between cars and pedestrians.
Lord mayor Sally Capp rebuffed suggestions it was becoming more difficult for drivers, particularly those from from outer suburbs, to get into the CBD..
"I do understand that people say that they feel that it's more difficult to come into the city. I have to think that that is more of a perception than a reality because the fact is that 940,000 people come into our city each day today and that's expected to rise to 1.5 million people," she said.
video Plan for fewer car parks in Melbourne CBD
Melbourne City Council has proposed changing little streets into pedestrian priority zones.
"There are residents, there are workers, there are students, and there are visitors, and the majority of them are using our public transport system.
"If we can start to change that congestion in the city on our streets, on our pavements and in our bicycle paths, then I think we're going to go a long way to changing that perception that people have about being difficult to come into the city."
Related Article The council wants to ease the pedestrian crowd crush in the CBD. Melbourne's 'Little' streets could be closed to cars at times under council plan
Related Article Congestion at the corner of Collins and Spencer streets. Pedestrians, cyclists to get extra '20 Bourke St Malls' of space in CBD.
* The golden era of the motor car (and other motor vehicles) is over. They are not sustainable in terms of either the environment or efficiently moving many people around in well-populated urban areas. This is a great initiative to facilitate and encourage people to use public transport, cycles and their own legs and feet. Bring it on.
* "meaning walkers would reach their destination more quickly."
What about everyone else? so walkers are now the most important people in town?
Most times everyones trip is as important as another persons...
* Being a very young city Melbourne has to change. Creation of new cities needs to happen. We cannot have everything so centralised and then decide not to favour cars because there are too many people in the cbd.
* why not install a few pedestrian footbridges?
* No Problems for me, I got a job well away from the city after 25 years and have not looked back. Really I would not go back to working in the city.
* Re-open the underground pedestrian walkway from Southern Cross station under Spencer St to Little Collins St
* Another problem that needs looking at is the reduced footpath room for pedestrians by the many bikes, motorised bikes, scooters and motorbikes being parked to take half the width of very busy walkways such as La Trobe Street, Elizabeth Street amongst but most importantly, on Little Lonsdale, Little Bourke etc. Licensing of motorised bike riders should also be considered. Th manic speeds and behaviours both on roads and on footpaths has compounded in recent years with the home-delivery boom.
* I work in the city, I have to take heavy equipment to the city. If I don't, the city doesn't get built or fixed. I don't come to the city for fun, it's too expensive for nothing worth while. When are politicians going realise I pass all their; delay, parking and transport costs on to my client, funny enough usually the council. So around $10,000 a year.
* This is yet another good common sense decision. Finally, people are getting their priorities straight
* Melbourne will never be a walking city because all the best walking cities are in reality also, even mostly, cheap taxi ride cities. It's all too overpopulated can't be retro fitted too late for Melbourne. Our forbears just had no foresight. They just couldn't envisage a population ponzi scheme economy of a 20 m people Melbourne.
* Why do traffic light controlled intersections have pedestrian buttons? Why not just assume a pedestrian wants to cross and run a green phase automatically? It won’t make a scrap of difference except saving about $8,000 per intersection.
* There are pedestrian crossings in the suburbs I have encountered where it has not been used by a pedestrian for some time and there is no traffic around but still when you press the button there is another 30 to 60 seconds wait to cross. The arterial roads to the CBD again are terrible for crossing as they remain red when no cars around or queued cars.  The systems seem to lack intelligent sensing?
* Love your work Sally, you’re just what Melbourne needs. I’m so excited about how marvellous Melbourne is going to be even more marvellous. Thrilled to hear the CBD opening up to more pedestrian and cycling spaces, bike lanes, and reducing the sheer waste of public space curb side parking is. With our vibrant nightlife, great food and fashion, beautiful gardens, and safe spaces for people to ride and walk we will once again attain most liveable city status.
Crowding worsens as more commuters pile on trains to Sydney CBD May 3, 2019
The number of commuters travelling by train into Sydney's CBD during the busiest hour of the morning peak has surged by almost 8000 in a year, leading to crowding and putting more pressure on central city stations and the broader rail network.
With Sydney's population booming, passenger crowding on trains has worsened over the past year on many of the city's rail lines during the morning peak.
Crowding on trains is worsening on many suburban lines during the morning peak. Credit:Nick Moir
Average passenger loads on trains on the T1 Western, T1 Northern (via Strathfield), the T4 Illawarra and the T8 South lines between 8am and 9am were at least 140 per cent in September last year, new figures from the state's transport agency show.
Passengers start to experience overcrowding when trains reach loads of 135 per cent, which is the benchmark used by transport officials.
Overcrowded carriages also make it more difficult for trains to run on time, because of the longer stopping times needed to load and unload passengers..
In a sign of the pressure on the system, patronage on the suburban rail network is growing at 7 per cent a year, compared with the historical growth rate of 1.2 per cent per annum. In the past five years, train patronage has surged by 30 per cent.
Major relief from crowding on trains and stations in the CBD is still four years away when the second stage of a metro train line is due to open. The $12 billion line will run from Chatswood in the north, under Sydney Harbour to the CBD and into Sydenham and Bankstown.
Trains on the T8 Airport Line also recorded average loads of 132 per cent in September last year, compared with 126 per cent in the same month a year earlier.
The Airport line is under pressure from an influx of people moving into high-rise apartments at Green Square and Mascot in the inner south, and greater demand for trains to and from Sydney Airport.
Trains on three lines – the T1 Northern via Strathfield, the T1 Western and the T5 Cumberland – each had passenger loads during the morning peak in September as high as 180 per cent.
Mathew Hounsell, a researcher at the University of Technology's Institute for Sustainable Futures, said pressure would intensify on the city's existing rail network over the coming years despite the opening of new metro train lines.
Town Hall train station suffers from crowding at peak hour.Credit:Ryan Stuart
"The increase in housing across Sydney's rail lines will put even more strain on the system in a few years time," he said. "Every additional person moving into an apartment in Sydney is going to be looking for a public transport option."
Mr Hounsell said average loads of 154 per cent on the T5 Cumberland Line in September showed that Parramatta needed to become an immediate focus of transport investment.
"If Sydney doesn’t invest in high capacity public transport, we risk our overcrowded buses and trains stalling our economic growth," he said.
The Berejiklian government has committed $6.4 billion to a new rail line carrying metro trains between central Sydney and Parramatta, and promised to start construction next year.
However, reprieve for commuters using one of the lines most under pressure, the T1 Western, is years away because the new metro line is not due to open until the second half of next decade. The cost of Sydney Metro West is expected to near $20 billion.
The figures from Transport for NSW record passenger loads on trains travelling towards Central Station during the morning peak.
The average number of passengers carried on trains between 8am and 9am across all suburban lines – including the T5 Cumberland in the west – last September was about 117,000 a day, compared with almost 108,000 in the same month in 2017 and almost 101,000 in 2016.
Town Hall is one of the stations under acute pressure. Passengers passing through the CBD station's gates reached 68 million in the 12 months to June last year, a 23 per cent rise on the 55 million passengers in the 2015-16 financial year. That equates to about 13 million extra passengers at Town Hall.
The crowding on trains is also likely to explain why Sydney Trains has failed to meet its punctuality targets for the past three months of at least 92 per cent of services arriving within five minutes of its scheduled time during the morning and evening peaks.
Transport for NSW said it had forecast patronage on the rail network to grow by 21 per cent between 2016 and 2021, which was why it was taking steps to ensure services kept pace with demand.
The agency cited its "More Trains, More Services" program, which included the purchase of an additional 17 Waratah trains and investigations to boost capacity on high-demand lines such as the T4 Illawarra and T8 Airport.
"The greatest capacity boost will come when Sydney Metro is extended into the CBD and beyond in 2024," it said in a statement.
"The introduction of the Sydney Metro City and Southwest, together with signalling and infrastructure upgrades, will increase the capacity of train services into the CBD by up to 60 per cent."

May 3 2019 Shorten focuses on transport, disability
Bill Shorten spent the day spruiking Labor's plans for public transport and the NDIS.
Labor leader Bill Shorten has pledged to roll out world-class public transport and guarantee disability funding as his party was forced to deal with a candidate scandal.
The opposition leader was in the seat of Macnamara (formerly Melbourne Ports) on Friday, which retiring Labor MP Michael Danby holds by 1.3 per cent.
Mr Shorten stood with Victorian premier Daniel Andrews to pledge $2 billion of federal funds for the Melbourne metro tunnel.
"We're the party who wants to see Australia have world class public transport to help be a congestion buster for our big cities," Mr Shorten said.
The pair toured the work site but didn't step off the campaign trail, with Mr Shorten telling workers "vote Labor on May the 18th".
He also vowed to protect the funding of the National Insurance Disability Scheme if he wins the election.
Labor would create a NDIS future fund to guarantee that every dollar budgeted for the scheme will go towards it.
"What a lazy government - they can't get multinationals to pay their fair share of tax in Australia but they can make sure that poor people who need wheelchairs have to wait two years for a wheelchair," Mr Shorten said.
Meanwhile, Luke Creasey withdrew as the Labor candidate for Melbourne, apologising for sharing rape jokes and making offensive remarks about women in 2012.
Earlier, Mr Shorten decried the "deeply offensive" social media posts.
"Stupid is stupid is stupid," he said.
May 3 2019 Berry defends bus network changes
Parents should be concerned that school students are being left stranded at bus stops due to Canberra's bus network changes, deputy Chief Minister Yvetter Berry has said.
However, Ms Berry said the government is taking student safety very carefully, despite students waiting for long periods of time due to full commuter buses not stopping at designated stops.
"It's a significant change to the public transport system in the ACT and it will take some time to get used to it," Ms Berry told ABC radio on Friday morning.
The new bus network has caused controversy since it was introduced this week. Picture: Jamila Toderas
"Even more children have been catching buses than previously.
"Children seem more adaptable than adults to change and are able to navigate the system more easily than parents can."
Ms Berry defended the controversial network changes, saying more people were using public transport than ever before.
However, Transport Canberra and Transport Minister Meegan Fitzharris were accused on Thursday of "fabricating" passenger data to spruik the bus network changes.
In a statement, Ms Fitzharris said MyWay data showed there were 90,000 boardings in one day on Tuesday, a record for the ACT.
Deputy Chief Minister Yvette Berry defended the bus network changes. Picture: Jamila Toderas
However, the Canberra Liberals' transport spokeswoman Candice Burch said the numbers were higher due to some passengers having to catch two buses to get to work instead of one.
Despite the claims, Ms Berry said overall passenger numbers were up.
"Even with the boarding numbers and people catching more than one bus, there's been a record increase of passengers on public transport in the last couple of days and that's great," she said.
"Seeing photos of really full bus and light rail is much better than seeing empty buses and light rail."
While the minister said there were many people who were negatively impacted by the network changes, issues were being worked through.
She said a review of the overhaul would be carried out by the end of the year.
"Towards the end of the year if there are big significant changes, they will be considered," Ms Berry said.
"We'll keep listening to feedback on the situation.
"New people are catching public transport that have never had the chance before."
•Pressure mounts on ACT government over bus network
•Here's the breakdown of revised school bus cuts
•Record numbers on ACT public transport but students left behind

Major rail delays after train hits truck May 3, 2019
The scene after a train hit a truck on the Mernda line.
Passengers on the Mernda line can expect major delays after a train struck a truck at Reservoir.
Buses will replace trains between Bell and Epping stations while the area is cleared.
A VicRoads spokesperson said the scene is under control by Victoria Police and will be reopened once investigations are complete.
The truck driver was uninjured.
Commuters have been advised to seek alternative transport, with drivers encouraged to use Dalton, Cheddar and Settlement Road or High Street.
Meanwhile, Glen Waverley services have resumed after passengers on the line were hit with delays earlier today as emergency services worked to remove a stuck truck wedged under a bridge at Chadstone.
Emergency services responded to the scene at the Holmesglen rail bridge.

Notorious graffiti tagger faces jail for train vandalism spree
Greater Dandenong Leader May 3, 2019
video: Police bust notorious graffiti vandal in home raid
A notorious and prolific graffiti tagger is facing more jail time after confessing to a 12 month Metro train vandalism spree.
Leo Hocking, 36, and Brayden Costantini, 20, targeted dozens of Melbourne train siding yards under the cover of darkness causing more than $30,000 damage and numerous train delays and cancellations.
The County Court heard the pair would cover their faces and use stolen PTV access master keys to get into some of the yards and bolt cutters to get into others.
Hocking pleaded guilty to more than 200 charges including criminal damage, trespass and burglary.
Costantini pleaded guilty at the same hearing to more than 100 similar charges.
Their vandalism binge lasted from July, 2017 to July, 2018.
The yards on their hit list included Dandenong, Carrum, Clayton South, Belgrave, Lilydale, Ringwood, Hurstbridge, Calder Park, North Melbourne, Epping, Sydenham, and Upfield.
Police arrest graffiti vandal Leo Hocking at his Bayswater home in July 2018. Picture: Jay Town
Once inside the train yards, the pair used GoPros to film themselves spray painting large six metre wide and one metre high “throw up” tags on the side of Metro trains.
Hocking and Costantini also tagged up a VLine train in Dandenong South.
Transit Police Divisional Response Unit began investigating after a backpack containing GoPro footage of the crimes was discovered at Belgrave station in December 2017.
Police raided both the men’s homes and the home of another co-accused in July 2018 where they seized spray cans, GoPro footage, computer hard drives and sketchbooks.
Police search Hocking’s car. Picture: Jay Town
Hocking pleaded guilty at a committal hearing in October, 2018 but was caught vandalising a train in Bendigo two days later.
He was remanded in custody for 92 days before a magistrate sentenced him to time served.
A source within the graffiti underbelly said spray-painting the side of trains or “doing panels” was a way of getting respect among other vandals.
Hocking — who tagged under the guise of FUNKS — denied through his lawyer at the County Court last Friday that he did graffiti for “notoriety in the graffiti subculture”.
One of the trains damaged during the graffiti spree. Picture: Jay Town
He also denied he was part of a gang but rather made “shit choices” to explore his “artistic interest”.
Costantini, a Year 10 dropout, said he was “stupid” and just got “caught up with the wrong people”.
He also denied being a member of a “graffiti crew”.
Judge Michael O’Connell indicated Costantini would be a likely candidate for a community corrections order but warned Hocking he may go back to jail.
“Be under no illusions as to what you’re options are,” he said.
Both men will be sentenced on May 23.

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