[publictransport] publictransport Digest, Vol 2, Issue 6

jillian gibson jillg at vic.chariot.net.au
Thu Feb 7 19:36:08 EST 2008


Ah Brianna, you have a way with words and observations .... love it!

Must be something in the bike water as l woke this morning feeling a tad
under the proverbial myself.......

So folks, all of what Brianna stated is a damn good summary and feel for the
mtg, which sadly was poorly, read not at all, facilited The Minister had to
deal with a table of very passionate folks with hands flying in the air in
all directions, but trying to be contrained and polite at the same time. It
was difficult to really juice out a set of issues as we all had a
version/part of the 'solution'. But what was discussed a bit thinly on the
ground was the actual permanent repeal of the ban, which yes will be soon,
but l suspect its the 'conditions' not the future plans, that will accompany
the repeal which may be contentious.

l say this because the Min mentioned she was concerned that with the lifting
of the ban, she was nervous there would be a 'rush' by cyclists to get on
trains..... not quite her words but you get the drift. This is an
unsubstantaited fear and should not be the basis for the immediate planning
and decisions.

Certainly education, signage will be easy, where to locate bikes in specific
carriages good idea and easyish to do, this is already set up in Vline, and
here comes the but, the Min seemed very interested in a booking system. This
can only be linked to limits on number of bikes and times, else there is no
need to have a booking system, besides getting data on the number of bikes
on trains.

(Vline trains at present technically only allow 4 bikes-2 per carraige- per
standard train. As things stand, we can get as many bikes on trains as
possible, and like we are talking 5-7 bikes, more or less, but we are not
talking this number of bikes all being on the Bendigo to SC trains, we are
talking short distances in general 2-3 stops).

>From the immediate there will no doubt be the future planning etc as
outlined in Brianna notes. l have added feedback from Skye Holcombe, MAV
policy advisor, which l have been given second hand, so please leave her
name etc out of any web postings etc

lm sending feedback to the Min, not on first names yet with Lynne, and
Brianna and l didnt manage to get her business card (with direct ph line) as
we did from Jason and Harry. Feedback will be in relation to
- negatives of a booking system
-promotion of fold up bikes - cost issue and more importantly THIS PUTS THE
ONUS BACK ONTO CYCLISTS AGAIN!
- that there are issues with bikes on trains in peak and non peak hours, so
the issue is acrosss the board
- lack of recognition and support of the need for good management (vline) re
ordinary luggage, prams, shopping, freight, oversized luggage, wheel chairs,
zimmer frames, and bikes etc etc  all of which impact on the space that can
be allocated to bikes, but in practise bikes are in the scheme of things
last priority, but it seems that the increased number of bikes has clashed
with the above. So even though we can technically only fit 4 bikes on a
train, bikes are in actual fact at the end of the food chain

lm also going to suggest to the Min that one of her staff should be on hand
to assist with facilitation of next mtg.

Thats it for now, the following is what Skye Holcombe wrote and emailed to
Councils............


Key outcome of the meeting:

-Minister Kosky indicated she is keen to soon announce that the banning of
bicycles on metropolitan and VLines trains during peak periods will be
lifted indefinitely (the ban is currently not being enforced).
-The Minister does not want to announce this policy shift without also
announcing a suite of practical and achievable longer term solutions. Hence,
the announcement will be made as soon as potential measures have been given
due consideration.
-The Minister emphasized that she wished to make an announcement very soon.

Potential solutions Government expressed interest in exploring:
-The Minister is aware there is a shortage of good storage facilities at
stations around Victoria and this is something her team is looking in to.
-The promotion of folding bicycles (cost between $500-$2000) which may be
permitted on trams and buses as well as trains (Minister will consult with
Bus Association of Victoria and Yarra Trams).
-Short of providing more trains in peak periods, Connex will examine ways to
modify train carriages to allow the transportation of bicycles.  Suggestions
from the group included flip up chairs, bike hooks and clear designation,
through signage, promotion and education for bike users and other train
passengers, about where bicycles should be parked while in transit.
-Education was highlighted as key to encouraging sustainable transport
options and achieving greater public acceptance of bikes on trains.
-The group encouraged government to explore 'best practice' options from
around the world, including the strapping of bikes onto buses.  The Minister
highlighted safety concerns as an obstacle to hooking bikes on the back of
trams.

Minister Kosky acknowledged:
-Consultation was inept and her department had made a mistake in the design
and delivery of this policy.
-Different solutions may be required for VLine passengers/commuters (VLine
user groups presented issues on behalf of rural/regional train users).
-Passenger congestion on trains is the source of the problem which has been,
and will continue to be exacerbated by population growth (18 Connex trains
are on order and due for delivery by end of year 2009. Velocity trains have
also been ordered).
-This issue has highlighted the role of bicycles in encouraging sustainable
transport options, particularly in the context of reducing Victoria's road
congestion.
-The government want to encourage bicycle usage and understand the message
from this policy did not reflect or support the government's overall aims.
-The Minister also indicated she did not want to introduce separate bike
charges for train travel or other charges etc.
-The Minister apologized for the clumsy handling of the situation on
numerous occasions.






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