Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Let's Make Public Transport an Election Issue

The Translink Ripoff is nearly three years old and at this moment in time we think the people of South East Queensland are ready to make public transport an election issue.

New Facebook pages have appeared and people from all over SEQ have been growing more active in the fight against an unfair system. Where are the Translink officers at? was started by a first year uni student who has amazed us with his organising skills. It was an extremely effective response to introduction, masses of red tape, and delay involved with the new Tertiary Transport Concession Card. The TTCC debacle is yet another of example of failed consultation and aggressive regulation. Students have been made into a political football with Translink targeting inner city campuses with new Senior Network Officers deployed to busy student routes to find "students in suits"..

We've decided the time is right for us to bring on new admins for our Facebook page. We believe diversity is strength and new voices will help highlight the range of issues facing SEQ commuters. There is so much to do to keep public transport in the election spotlight for both state and local elections.

Putting the call out for admins has reminded us of why we started The Translink Ripoff in the first place. The lack of concession fares for low income health care card holders makes Queensland the most unfair state in Australia. We want this embarrassing and unfortunate circumstance to change. That's our bottom line.

We look forward to the next six months. We will do everything we can to make sure the stories from people suffering after services cuts, poor service frequency, lack of connectivity, and massive fares get heard.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Our table of shame updated with more smart card info.

After feedback from Facebook followers we've done some research including interstate phone calls to find out what's going on with smart cards and fares. When we first created this table the Go Card system was the most well established in Australia. Now the Myki card is well established in Melbourne and in Perth the SmartRider card is the way to go. Adelaide's Metro card is a little more advanced than Sydney's Opal card.

You'll see that we've added info about the number of transfers and you'll see that SEQ misses out again. To find information about transfers we had to call the info lines for each Transit Authority.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Translink Facebook page launch a total failure.

On or around the 26th of February 2014 the Translink Facebook page went live. Information about the Facebook page launch was unavailable until the 4th of March when the Department of Transport and Main Roads issued this statement

At the time of writing no other announcement or promotion of the Facebook page has been issued. The minister Scott Emerson has made no statement through his website or on Twitter, the Translink website has no media releases and contains no mention or links to the Facebook page, and the Twitter handle @translinkseq has made no mention of the Facebook page.

On March the 6th this article appeared in The Courier Mail (online) titled "TransLink launches Facebook page and probably regrets it already". In it seasoned reporter Robyn Ironside outlines the wave of complaints and disparaging statements that followed the discovery of the page by residents of South East Queensland. These complaints have continued to pour in and a series of accusations of political bias and censorship have been received. We were active on the Translink page during this time and were subsequently banned from the page due to the repetitive nature of our posting. We also garnered more than 100 new followers. While we were one of the prominent posters of disparaging remarks Robyn Ironside and her editors were careful not to mention us or our name.

The vast majority of posts to the Translink Facebook page are from unhappy customers. Many have been very unsatisfied with the response of the page moderators to their complaints. One of the most poignant criticisms is that Translink's approach to community engagement through social media is typical of their style of engagement overall. Translink Facebook page moderators have been accused of being disingenuous gatekeepers with no real concern for attending to needs of customers.

To sum it up. No promotion and the absolute bare minimum of notice given to the public who actually use the services offered. One media story that highlights the extreme levels of public anger and frustration at Translink.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Oh the shame of it!

How embarrassing for South East Queensland that we have the dubious honour of being the most expensive city in the developed world for catching public transport. The January 6 fare hike has well and truly established this fact.

How strange that Lonely Planet should award Brisbane their 'hippest city in Australia' award when the public transport is not only extremely expensive, but confusing and infrequent.

Here is our table of shame for January 2014. It shows just how badly Translink compares to the other state capitals. Feel free to print it out and put it on the work fridge or notice board.