The Age online reported today that a ticket vending machine at Rushall train station (Melbourne's Fitzroy north area ) was bombed at around 3:30am this morning. It was apparently detonated remotely, could be heard "up to 200 metres away" (like, wow, that's so big and like, such an inconvenient and totally dangerous time to do such a random and destructive, like, thing) and was on fire when the police arrived.
Connex rail system, in their wisdom, decided not to let any trains stop at that station, thus further enraging commuters who staggered up to work only to find no ticket machine (yay) but also no trains (boo) and only the un-fun option of a shuttle bus system (erk).
The article went on to state that "The attack is the latest in a string of problems for rail operator Connex, which has been under commuter fire for heat and maintenance-related train delays and cancellations. And there was no relief for commuters this morning, with at least eight services cancelled by 8am." I wonder how the explosion can explain the other seven cancellations?
Perhaps the bombers were feeling slightly cross after reading (I'm assuming that they can) in The Age a few days earlier where the Connex boss, British-born and educated Jim Betts, blamed the culture of Melbourne itself as the reason for its craptastic transport service.
He was quoted as saying: "A metronomic public transport system of the kind that operates in Hong Kong or Singapore — where they have a ruthless approach to the management of train stopping times at stations — that kind of culture which lends itself to great transport efficiency, is maybe not going to be appropriate in many cultures, including the Melburnian culture."
He went on to blather on about the uber-organised Swiss folk: "The people who plan public transport services in Zurich are planning in an environment where they have 500 years of democracy, where they have referenda on all key issues, and where there is a Swiss cultural setting which is about the scrupulous micromanagement of every last detail."
Aw bless his sweet little cotton socks. Isn't it nice, after being at the helm of Crap-Connex for ten years, gifted with the official task of bringing a 'ruthless efficiency' like those found in 'Hong Kong, Singapore and Zurich,' that he's concluded that it is instead the fault of the Melburnians themselves. Mighty big salary money well spent for sure, people!
So, this city's gentle meat-pie and Big-M lovin' folk are ultimately putting up with a transport system that has "fewer services (is) slow compared with private cars and ....spends far less per capita on running it. " Because their culture deserves it.
Methinks 'ol Jimbo Bettsy-boy better hope that the bombers don't find out his home address, or the licence plate of his car.......