Should Public Transport Offer A Travel Guarantee?

While engaged on the never-ending task of photo sorting, I came across this souvenir of my trip to Norway last year. Yes, Oslo's public transport system offers a guarantee: if you're more than 20 minutes late, you'll be offered compensation to cover the inconvenience.

Being delayed for more than 20 minutes is, sadly, not at all unusual in Sydney or other Australian cities. I recognise that public transport systems are already short of funds and that Oslo's system is somewhat less extensive (the nearest comparable city in Australia in terms of size is probably Adelaide). Nonetheless, I can see some merit in the idea. We get compensation in the form of free travel days occasionally, but actually compensating people for expense and hassle getting taxis when services fail could be helpful. What do you think?



    Free travels days don't compensate the regular commuters that have weekly/monthly/quarterly/yearly tickets. We've already bought the ticket for that day! I'd rather get some money back that I spent on the ticket (though then CityRail would be paying me back at least once a month.)

    I'd like to see a similar thing for Taxis. You call well in advance. They arrive 40 minutes late and then you have to run for a plane or miss part of the show. Then when you complain they don't care. So you change Taxi services to deal with the same crap. /rant

      Happened to my family while in Melb. We had an early flight, so we called up the taxi the night before, booked for a 6am ride. At 6.15am no one showed up. Called them again, they said no taxi is available... (That's why i made the booking earlier, no? since it was a weekday)

      7am, still no cab, we rushed by tram from south yarra to the cbd, and ran to southern cross dragging our bags along. It's kinda hard since it was rush hour on the trams.

      Now days i just dont trust melb taxis for urgent matters. That was the last straw..

    Travel guarantee = someone's accountable. It's really that simple.

    Adelaide services regularly run late too.
    My train to work is invariably late by 2-3 minutes minimum.
    When it's 5+ minutes late, I miss my connecting service which results in me arriving 30 minutes later than I otherwise would have.
    The service home is routinely 5+ minutes late (I'm genuinely shocked when it runs inside 5 minutes late)! Fortunately the connecting service generally has sufficient buffer time that it doesn't affect the overall journey.

    The thing is with trains... what's the holdup? EVERYTHING waits for you! Even Ambulances have to stop at level crossings!

    We should, but I doubt we will. There's nothing to gain for governments and transport authorities. If one did implement such a thing, all it would take is an ACA/TT report and/or some editorials in The Australian/Tele/Herald-Sun identifying a small number of people who abuse the free travel, and it'll be seen as a rort. No government wants to deliver on a policy like that in an environment where a 95% success rate is seen as and incompetent waste of taxpayer money.

    I love the Japanese public transport system - always on time!

    Also if you bought the wrong ticket (possible - there are several train companies with intersecting lines), they don't treat you like a criminal. You simply top up by paying the difference inside the gates.

    I think the same should go for Tollways, i don't pay up to $5 one way for it to take longer than side streets, especially if its roadworks.

    2 deays ago the trains were out in Brisbane... ALL OF THEM!
    as a result, ALL public transport (ferry, train, bus) were frer the following day :)
    wasn't bad at all!

    privatise cityrail already i say, its bullshit, and the government doesnt care and refuse to do anything dramatic to fix it for the future and just let it keep getting worse and worse

      Didn't help Melbourne one bit... just allows the govt to blame the operator, and the operator to blame the govt

    I think free travel days as a compensation is a hoax, since most of the regular public transport users have monthly (weekly, yearly) tickets.

      Except in Brisbane, where we don't have weekly, monthly, yearly tickets.

      ... Yes, our public transport system is backwards.

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