Labor must come clean with public transport performance data

New Public Transport Minister Ben Carroll appears to have ordered daily public transport performance data no longer be reported.

It is a very bad start for the Minister.

Metropolitan train, tram and V/Line daily performance data have been published for many years. Except that is, until the swearing-in of new Minister for Public Transport Ben Carroll on 22 June, when daily public transport performance data reporting stopped.

This data has not been reported for any day in the month that Mr Carroll has now been Minister for Public Transport, but it was reported on the day before and on every day for many years in the lead up to his swearing-in.

The question must be answered, what has changed and why?

If the Minister’s approach is to cover up poor performance data, the community will only become even angrier about the poor on-time performance and the unacceptable number of cancelled trains and trains that run short or skip loops and bypass stations they experience daily.

Whilst patronage on our public transport system is down massively during the COVID-19 crisis, it is hard to see why that is an excuse to simply stop publishing daily data, unless the data shows continued poor performance, despite the lack of patronage, as it had been showing until the publication of the data ceased.

The Andrews Labor Government might argue it doesn’t have time, given current circumstances, to publish this data, which it continues to collect daily, but it does appear to still have time to put up posters and continue self-promotion using that data in circumstances that suit it.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Public Transport (Metropolitan), David Davis:

"The Minister’s task is to improve the performance of our public transport system, not to seek to cover up poor performance.

"Publication of daily public transport performance data must be reinstated by the Minister.

"Labor seeking to hide bad news just won’t wash. Ben Carroll must order the release of this data today."

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