Memories of commute hell, minister says 'not my problem'
QUEENSLAND Rail and TransLink say they are committed to providing a safe, reliable and on-time service for south-east Queensland commuters.
"Wherever possible, Queensland Rail and TransLink endeavour to get all customers home safely in the event of a disruption.
"However, in some cases when roads are also impacted and therefore closed or blocked, alternative transport arrangements are not possible.
"It is also not always possible to source buses during peak times because they are already booked.
During the May 1 severe weather event, the roads were severely impacted and Queensland Rail was unable to source buses for quite some time.
"Queensland Rail acknowledges that this impacted customers and has identified areas for improvement with regards to communication."
COLD, wet, hungry, eight hours late and then stranded at a train station 60 kilometres from home - and we're not being given any reassurances this situation won't happen again.
Sunshine Coast rail commuter Jeff Addison met Transport Minister Jackie Trad to highlight the night hundreds of commuters were forced to find their own way home after 11pm in May's extreme weather event.
After spending hours in limbo, with many leaving work at 4pm, the passengers were told there was no more public transport available north of Caboolture, even though the Bruce Hwy had reopened.
Mr Addison went looking for solutions, Ms Trad gave "the opportunity to vent".
He received no reassurance Queensland Rail wouldn't abandon its fee-paying customers in the middle of the night again.
"Are you expecting people to be delivered to their front doors in a maxi-taxi", was Ms Trad's response to his concerns.
"I wanted a guarantee fare-paying passengers will get home, where it is possible to do so. They wouldn't give it to me," Mr Addison said.
Better communication was the best offering from Ms Trad's spokesperson in a response to the Daily's questions on potential solutions.
- THE COMMUTE FROM HELL IN STORMS
- QUEENSLAND RAIL UNDER FIRE FOR TREATMENT OF FLOOD-AFFECTED PASSENGERS
Queensland Rail and Translink also "acknowledged" the impact of having no transport available and "has identified areas for improvement with regards to communication".
Do you think it's QR's responsibility to get commuters home during severe storm events?
This poll ended on 30 June 2015.
Yes, there was no trains north of Caboolture, show some compassion
No, it's not Queensland Rail's job to get people home past the train station
This is why I don't take public transport
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
While Mr Addison was lucky to get a lift from a friend, others hired taxis, with a least one bill coming to $212, for the journey they thought they'd paid for when they touched on at the rail station.
"Some contacted Translink trying to get their taxi fare refunded, with no success," Mr Addison said.
"They were also advising people to go back to Brisbane that night and get accommodation there.
"I can't afford that, I've got a family of six, I can't afford to look for private accommodation.
"If that happened in an airport, the airline would get you accommodation for the night, but our State Government has simply told people to make their own way home.
"We are not asking for a taxi service to our front door, but we should expect to get the service we paid for and that is transport to our home station."Mr Addison did get some positives from his meeting with Ms Trad and other senior rail staff.
"They acknowledged "yes, we can treat customers better and "yes, we can allow shelter from the rain."
If you're trying to get from Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast or vice versa you're going to have a bad time! Here's a #hyperlapse on the southbound traffic trying to get past Caboolture. Southbound traffic is merging onto one of the northbound lanes to get past. Cars lined up in both directions for KMs - avoid it if you can, wish I could've! @abcnews_au @612abcbrisbane #brisbane #sunshinecoast #bigwet #brucehwy
MY TWO HOUR COMMUTE TOOK 10 HOURS: WOMAN TELLS
ARRIVED at Central Station and caught the Nambour 4.04pm. Queensland Rail broadcasted the train was going as far as Petrie.
The train slowly travelled and arrived at Eagle Junction where there were many wet people waiting. It moved a short distance then stopped for about two hours.
The train was packed, standing room only, no toilets on-board, no communication.
Train moved to Narangba where QR broadcasted commuters had to make their own way home. No QR staff in sight, had all left for the day.
Helpful security guards advised there would be two buses going to Caboolture.
Hired a maxi taxi from Caboolture to Palmwoods - total cost $212.
Arrived at Palmwoods at 2am. Other commuters told they could sleep in Caboolture Library, no food etc provided. The Daily has at least five similar accounts from others stranded that night.