02 April 2015


On Wednesday 1 April 2015 we boarded an 86 tram in Preston at about 12.30pm, heading into Melbourne City.

We hadn't gone far before a herd of inspectors boarded the tram and asked for people to show their myki cards.

The first thing the inspector said to me was "How's your day been so far?" I mean to say, what the fuck!

The second thing that happened was that, because the young woman next to me didn't acknowledge or hear what this rude pig was asking, he says in a not very sotto voce that some people just aren't listening! Again, what the fuck!

Is this how inspectors are trained? Is this what Yarra Trams expects of these people who behave as if they are petty dictators and are the voice of ultimate authority?

This is simply not good enough and it is time people who work as public servants need to understand their role in society and as people who are working for the public good.

There are too many horror stories about what inspectors have done to young people on public transport - and I stress the words PUBLIC TRANSPORT!!!, but I would hate to think what treatment my partner and I would have received as a pair of 92 and 88 year old geriatrics, a bit hard of hearing, not too agile, and we wouldn't dare answer back, would we?

Tram travel is difficult enough when you are our age and have to climb on and off trams and buses, but we certtainly don't have to countenance the sort of inanities which started our day - HOW'S YOUR DAY BEEN SO FAR?

A few weeks ago we boarded an 86 tram in Bourke Street Mall at the corner of Elizabeth Street.

The tram was fairly crowded, and some kind person got up and offered me his seat. As I was trying to get to it, rather slowly and with difficult and trying to hang on, the driver set of, accelerating suddenly and the jerk sent me sprawling onto the floor and I feel on my left arm near the rear stair well.

I complained to Yarra Trams and was told the driver had no trouble with the tram and nobody had complained and I was told I needed to make sure I was hanging on securely as trams aften had to stop suddenly because of circumstances beyond their control. I am 88 years old, have travelled on public transport since at least the age of 4 years old and don't need to be lectured to by people who have no idea of what the sircumstances on the tram were that day. It took at least 4 weeks for the arm to get better, and despite trying to hold tight as much as, and as well as possible, one is not always successful.

Yarra Trams comes out of the above situations rather low on the scheme of things because these are just my episodes - what about all the others?

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Preston, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
90 years old, political gay activist, hosting two web sites, one personal: http://www.red-jos.net one shared with my partner, 94-year-old Ken Lovett: http://www.josken.net and also this blog. The blog now has an alphabetical index: http://www.red-jos.net/alpha3.htm