Thursday, February 2, 2017

On-time performance and its financial impact - Go Transit paid out $4 million for delays over three years, writes Toronto Star

Woo! Nelly.

That's a lot of money.

And it doesn't even take into account how many people just don't bother filing a service guarantee claim. I forget - a lot. I think I filed three in 2016.

Another thing I'm bad at is calling into Presto when the readers fail on the bus and I can't tap off. I'm charged for the whole bus trip to wherever it terminates. I think I spent close to $60 due to Presto card reader failures in 2016. So maybe, the Presto windfall due to reader failure cancels out the expense of service guarantees! Brilliant!

Anyone else feel that Metrolinx just doesn't have its house in order? It can't just be me.

Presto is a nightmare. Presto sure has its failures ... just yesterday notices finally went up on Facebook and Twitter informing cardholders that the self-load machines are experiencing technical difficulties. And since I have your attention, there's something else I'd like to point out. I get that Presto is frustrating, but those frustrations don't warrant harassment of Metrolinx spokespeople and the social media teams for Presto and Go Transit. You can voice an opinion (all the accounts are monitored and trust me when I say that people that matter do read the tweets and Facebook comments). I voice opinions all the time. What you shouldn't do is attack, berate and insult the people behind these accounts. It's not cool. In fact, when you are deliberately mean, no one will want to listen to you. And I don't care that these people are paid to represent the organization, they are not paid to be told to "eff off and die" and be subjected to verbal abuse.

Now where were we? Oh yeah, the cost of the GO Transit service guarantee. The Toronto Star story has some interesting statistics and the reporter managed to get a tally of the number of train delays from Metrolinx for the past three years:

2014: 3447 delays
2015: 4383 delays
2016: 4066 delays

The article also states: Factors that GO considers outside its control include police investigations, trespassing incidents, pedestrian collisions, and extreme weather.

I was interviewed for the article and I pointed out my on-going concern about a factor that does warrant a refund - engine failure. GO Transit doesn't have a solid plan for what to do when a train breaks down. Check out this story from 2013 and this past September's hostage-taking. History just repeats itself. Not having a plan proves to be very costly since September's breakdown resulted in all of us on the train being reimbursed $100 each.

Hopefully, this tremendous figure of $4 million warrants a solution.


Unknown said...

I sincerely doubt those delay numbers. Only because starting last year GO cancelled trains left, right and centre. If they cancel them, they don't count towards delays.

And funnily, the article only said there was one month of hell with the platform switch up. When in reality, it took until the fall for things to settle and we had a day without continual notice of delays being sent out.

This on top of them thinking of raising the CEO's salary? They need to get their house in order.

keekdeleek said...

I agree with Squiggles.
It's easy for GO to weasel out of paying the refund when they can just cancel the train. Now riders are 1/2 hour late, and we have to squeeze onto a train with twice the amount of passengers.
As well, it peeves me off that you can no longer by-pass the "Does my trip qualify" screen. I used to submit even when it claimed I did not qualify and if denied, I would just appeal to whomever sent me the email, usually with positive results. Now, no such luck.
As well, I must "thank" Union construction for blocking 1/2 of an already thin platform 6. At least there's plenty of room for more GO cops to order you to move away from the yellow line...

Anonymous said...

I no longer work for Metrolinx but I know the media relations people will appreciate you sticking up for them. I agree 100% that abuse is NOT PART OF THE JOB. So thank you. I hope they read it too.

CJ Smith said...

I was thinking of them when I wrote that.

Anonymous said...

Agree with what's been said about simply cancelling trains. Also about if they don't say you qualify, there's now no way to submit online without calling. When I'm on a train that is late and they inaccurately say it was on time, I fight it. But I'm sure others don't.

It would be nice if the $4M came out of bonuses or something, but we all know it just comes out of our pocket and goes back in the other.

G said...

Don't forget all those delays at the end of the month that get you back $1 or less. I also have a sneaking suspicion that claimed rides don't count towards the 36-rides-per-month window required to claim your rides as a tax credit, but I hope that's not the case.

The cynic in me looks at situations like last September and thinks that GO Transit does it on purpose. If one train is hopelessly delayed, they're going to have to pay those Service Guarantees whether it's 15 minutes late or 3 hours late. So better for them to keep all the other trains on time while the dead train sits on the tracks until rush hour is over.

Unknown said...

"And funnily, the article only said there was one month of hell with the platform switch up. When in reality, it took until the fall for things to settle and we had a day without continual notice of delays being sent out."

Given how Metrolinx calculates time, see the delays in the Burlington Station project, one month for Metrolinx is about 2.5 to 3 months for normal people.