Photo of an Xtrapolis train leaving Upper Ferntree Gully Station in Melbourne, Australia

Wrong and missing PTV information for Easter 2024

This is part of the continuing series about the improvements that are badly needed to the passenger information provided to public transport passengers in Victoria.

Here we’re going to look at the 2024 Easter long weekend. This is a period where travel demand is particularly high. It’s the start of school holidays and people are getting to and from holiday locations, family get togethers and other events. It should then stand to reason that special attention should be paid to making sure that published information is comprehensive and correct.

So to test this out let’s try something relatively simple. Say I want to take my family to Puffing Billy in Belgrave.

To start, I’ll pull out my phone and get to the PTV website to see if there are any disruptions on the relevant page.

As you can see above, it shows a whopping 17 disruptions for the Easter long weekend. This sounds pretty bad!

But as we have talked about before, most of these ‘disruptions’ are very minor or have nothing to do with the requested information.

In this case, ‘disruptions’ include a bus stop at Union Station opening four months ago, 34 car parking spaces being closed at Bayswater Station, and buses replacing trains for a period that ended two whole weeks ago.

After a minute or two of scanning through this long list you might be lucky and spot one that looks relevant – ‘Belgrave and Lilydale lines: Buses replace trains on select sections from late January to late March 2024’. So let’s click on that.

This takes you to a new page which is missing one particular piece of crucial information – the period of time that buses replace trains. In several places, including the attached brochure, it speaks of “until late March” but never gives an actual date.

Ok so that’s not very helpful. Let’s consult the Journey Planner instead.

We’ll plug in a trip from Flinders Street to Belgrave for Good Friday – 29 March. But all this shows is the same information as before.

Let’s try a third tactic.

Under the drop down menu ‘Disruptions’ is a page called ‘Belgrave, Lilydale and Alamein Line Disruptions’. Sounds promising!

But this page only covers a period from the 12 of April to 15 May – so not very useful for Easter.

Fourth time lucky? This time we’ll go straight to the Belgrave Line timetable using the top website navigation menu under ‘Plan’.

But this page doesn’t actually show any disruption information on its own. Usually there are bus icons at the top to indicate a rail replacement service but this isn’t very reliable and there is no other information shown.

What it does show is yet another timetable rendering error – with East Richmond Station showing up as being after Belgrave for some reason.

Even worse, if you select ‘Download timetable’ the PDF shows a completely different date. If you select ’29 March until 31 March 2024′ it shows you the timetable for Monday 8 April 2024 for some reason.

You can see in the screenshot below the file name of the PDF – which is correct – but the date shown in the top right hand corner of the timetable shows 8 April. What this means is that many of the trains shown here will not run. Very confusing and misleading.

As a final sidenote, trying to get this information on a mobile device causes even more problems.

The left sidebar showing stations doesn’t align with the service times, plus the ongoing issue of City Loop stations showing up twice due to Loop reversals rears its head once again (something that neither the old Metlink Melbourne website nor the printable PDFs appear to have an issue rendering).

I won’t rehash the same messages from similar posts but unfortunately none of this is new.

Suffice to say that little appears to have changed and there is still plenty of wrong and missing information from PTV out there. This does nothing but put people off using public transport in Victoria and needs to be fixed.

5 Comments

Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

Malcoolm Faulreply
29 March, 2024 at 9:55 am

Well researched. I share your frustration, especially when the display of disruptions is for items that are not relevant or even historical,

Joelreply
29 March, 2024 at 9:59 am

It’s unfortunate public transport information online seems never to be quality controlled – it seems it’s just left upto the website people to manage with no-one with PT expertise overseeing it. In Adelaide there’s no reference at all to which timetables apply over Easter. It’s a public holiday each day here, however Saturday timetables apply on the Saturday but nowhere does the website say this!
https://www.adelaidemetro.com.au/

Paulreply
29 March, 2024 at 10:59 am

Trains resumed running between Ringwood and Bayswater from 25 March 2024. I took my first ride under Bedford Road on 27 March 2024.

Andrew Ceereply
30 March, 2024 at 10:15 am

I would guess PTV isn’t so keen to put a date of resumption of a service in case it is not met. However, once staff rosters go up, perhaps two weeks before the date, the resumption date will be set. I wonder if the correct information would be given to you if you called the 1800 phone number.
The scaffolding around Prahran Market has come down so very soon and at last I will stop seeing this as this life changing first service change at Yarra Trams website.
72
Route 72 – Stop Closure: Stop 30 Prahran Market
Friday 11 August 2023 to Sunday 31 March 2024
Stop 30 Prahran Market on Route 72 will be closed from Friday 11 August to March 2024

Richard Leonardreply
31 March, 2024 at 5:39 pm

The Metro trains website at https://www.metrotrains.com.au/planned-works/ is somewhat clearer in terms of in the information provided. You can un/tick which category of disruption and the line. It shows the calendar of what the disruption is on any date range. Much better.

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