Brisbane commuters wondering why their train has not turned up will be less likely to hear the problem is blamed on “operational” issues.
In a move to improve the information communicated to passengers during delays, Queensland Rail plans to introduce “terminology which is reflective of the disruption”.
This will involve cutting back on the use of the word “operational” from the Queensland Rail lexicon when describing the cause of delays.
Other words to describe disruptions could include “mechanical fault”, “track fault”, “signal fault”, “boom gate strike”, “vandalism”, “anti-social behaviour” and “incident requiring emergency services”.
The word “operational” appeared to have already quietly slipped from favour, with the last use on Twitter on January 9.
Conversely, Queensland Rail advised of a “points issue at Buranda” on Tuesday afternoon.
Queensland Rail chief executive Nick Easy said the operator was always looking for ways to improve communication with customers during unplanned disruptions to ensure they received timely and accurate travel advice.
“In response to feedback from our customers, we have worked to make our disruption terminology more transparent when the exact cause of the fault is known and is able to be simply communicated via social media, station and on-board announcements,” he said.
But Mr Easy said the term “operational issue” may still be used in the first instance when notifying passengers of a
disruption caused by multiple issues, or if the reason for the disruption required further investigation.
Commuters might want to brush up on their tweeting, with Queensland Rail planning to use Twitter as the primary social media platform for communicating during disruptions, including retweeting TransLink to ensure consistency of messaging.
Other initiatives included ensuring messages to customers were consistent across stations, on-board and online, upgrading passenger information display screens, improving automated announcements at key stations and continuing commuter catch-up sessions.
The measures were detailed in the latest Citytrain Response Unit Fixing the trains report.
Queensland Rail was in the headlines for all the wrong reasons from October 2016 when the opening of the Redcliffe Peninsula Line was followed by hundreds of service cancellations, including on Christmas Day.
An inquiry led by former Rio Tinto boss Phillip Strachan discovered culture issues within QR, a train driver shortage, restrictions on external recruitment and an over-reliance on overtime.
The Citytrain Response Unit report reveals 51 new drivers and 158 new guards have completed training since October 2016 – out of a target of 200 drivers and 200 guards by 2019.
In the foreword to the report, Transport Minister Mark Bailey said Queensland Rail had planned for and managed more than six distinct “stress periods” across the past 12 months, which included the Christmas and New Year period.
“We are on track and we are making progress but we know there is still a way to go,” he said.
Source : The Brisbane Times