Effective damage control – Government affirms trains should run on time

Today’s Courier-Mail reported that Queensland Rail (QR) executives’ pay packets will be leaner if the trains don’t run on time:

Queensland Rail executives to cop salary cuts for train delays

Given the lateness of trains in the morning commuting period, this is good news, and especially so following a worrying headline in Monday’s mX newspaper, “Penalties off rails: QR no longer hit with lateness fines”. Monday’s mX reported:

Queensland Rail is no longer being hit with penalty fees for poor on-time performance. TransLink CEO Peter Strachan told a weekend public transport forum the body’s financial bonus / penalty system has been replaced by key performance indicators…

…The indicators will allow TransLink and Queensland Rail to work collaboratively to enhance areas such as on-time running, services delivered, customer satisfaction, safety, value for money, efficiency of capital spend and fleet utilisation.

This wouldn’t have gone down well with the commuting public.

In making it clear that QR executives will nonetheless be held to account for late trains, the Transport Minister Rachel Nolan has undertaken an effective piece of damage control for the Government.  Brisbane Citytrain commuters have given up on having a comfortable ride into work (if you live further in than Toowong on the Ipswich line forget about getting a seat), but is it too much to ask for the trains to run on time?

The service delivered by QR is to get people from A to B in the shortest possible time. That is where the customer satisfaction lies.  A collection of key performance indicators beyond this is probably pointless.

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