Connex Melbourne is a wholly owned subsidiary of French company Veolia Environnement. Connex has a State Government franchise to operate all suburban passenger rail services in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Connex's contract was extended on 21 August 2007 and now expires on 30 November 2009.
The company utilises a fleet of 329 trains to operate over 1900 services carrying 616,000 passengers each weekday. In 2007 187.4 million passenger trips were made.
On December 22, 2002 National Express withdrew from their operations in Victoria and the State Government took control temporarily, Early in 2003, the Government began negotiations with Connex to assume responsibility for all of Melbourne's suburban train network. A new partnership agreement was reached in February 2004, which awarded Connex the exclusive right to operate Melbourne's entire suburban train network as from 18 April 2004.
Following Veolia's rebranding of its transport operations from Connex to Veolia Transportation on all other transport systems world-wide in late 2005 and early 2006, Connex Melbourne was the only Veolia company to retain the Connex name. It was not until May 2008 when Connex Melbourne begun to publicly acknowledge their connection with the parent company, using the Connex: A Veolia Transport Company phrase in publicity material and using the Veolia Transport and Connex logos together. Branding on staff uniforms, train livery and station signage were not altered.
Fines for failure to meet service obligations are deducted from contract fees paid by the government to Connex. As of July 2006, the most recent fine imposed on Connex by the government is $5.1 million AUD. Connex has paid almost $70 million in penalty payments for poor performance since it took full control of the train network in 2004. Connex releases performance data on a monthly basis, usually put on view at railway stations. Fines and customer satisfaction levels are detailed in the quarterly 'Track Record' report released by the Department of Infrastructure.
The Connex Melbourne fleet consists of:
The majority of the rollingstock is owned by the Victorian Government though VicTrack also owns the majority of.
Connex is also responsible for the maintenance of the electrified suburban network, being contracted to Mainco, a subsidiary of the United Group. The Department of Infrastructure (DOI) also has input into infrastructure related issues and major rail projects.
Authorised Officers are accredited by the Victorian Department of Infrastructure to exercise powers similar to those of police (included the power of arrest) when aboard vehicles operating under Metlink or when on Department of Infrastructure-owned premises, such as railway stations or train tracks. Officers are required to abide by the State Government-established 'Authorised Officer Code of Conduct' and violations of this code are prosecuted. The Code of Conduct states that an Authorised Ticket Officer use discretion when reporting an alleged offender, and must supply their name and work address when asked.
If an Authorised Officer believes that a passenger has committed an offence (for example, by failing to produce a ticket), they have the right to request their full legal name and address after having explained the nature of the alleged offence. The inspector also has the right to request some proof of the given information, any proof being acceptable as long as it constitutes a "verification" of the information which satisfies the inspector as to the alleged offender's identity. Refusal to identify oneself, or providing a false name to the ticket inspector will ordinarily cause the ticket inspector to contact Victoria Police and detain the passenger until the police arrive.
The Authorised Officer then forwards a report (formally known as a Report of Non Compliance) with these details, as well as the specific nature and circumstances of the violation to the Department of Infrastructure, who then process the report and decide upon any penalties. Any fines levied are payable to the Department, not to Connex. However, once the Department successfully retrieves the fined amount from the violator, Connex receives a small administration fee.
Authorised Officers have come under fire from lobby groups and sections of the community for being overly aggressive in enforcing ticketing requirements. This has been accentuated by several media articles in the mainstream Melbourne press of mixed opinions regarding the system or reporting passengers detected travelling without tickets. Specifically, two main charges are frequently heard: Officers have been requiring young school-children to produce Concession I.D. cards, even though the law only requires it for children over 15 years of age unless the person is travelling on a Student Pass; The second being that Officers have been reporting people for not possessing a ticket, even when there was no opportunity for the person to purchase a ticket is often heard. The Victorian Transport Act of 1983 has a provision which states that travel without a ticket is legal in circumstances where the passenger took all reasonable steps to purchase a ticket immediately before and after their travel, but one was not available for purchase.
More recent campaigns generally focus on commuter behaviour and etiquette; in mid 2005 Connex launched a print & TV advertising campaign featuring Humpty Dumpty and focusing on safety initiatives, the "Don't Hold Others Back" campaign of 2006 featured bleak "cold war-esque" imagery of commuters struggling to board a train, while a more recent 'train etiquette' campaign has featured fictitious character Martin Merton PhD, "the worlds #1 expert on train etiquette" offering advice to passengers on such topics as mobile phone use, flatulence and other low level behavioural annoyances of train travel.
ALLAHU AKBR FROM CONNEX! our inspectorS Love Killing people - if you see one coming, run. Want to bomb a train? they will gladly help. See you in hell!
A Connex spokesman admitted that this was a hoax and that the hackers were only able to send the message and could not get access to the customer database.
Melbourne Refurbishes to Improve Image: Each of Melbourne's suburban train and light rail vehicle fleet operators, which have been privatised for nearly two years, has begun extensive rolling stock refurbishment programmes. (Vehicle Refurbishment).
Jun 01, 2001; ALTHOUGH by world standards the Melbourne fleets of suburban trains and LRVs were always quite well maintained, large numbers of...