Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Zest Awards Nominees in and Around Mount Druitt - St Marys - Mount Druitt Star

Here is the story from the St Marys  - Mount Druitt Star regarding Nominees for 2nd Annual Zest Awards:

We hope you enjoy it:

Our community's best

27 Feb, 2012 01:00 AM
THE best of the west will be at the second annual Greater Western Sydney Zest awards tomorrow (February 29).St Marys and Mt Druitt are well represented among 94 nominees in 15 categories across 15 western Sydney areas.
Nominees must have demonstrated zest, enthusiasm, strength and tenacity in the community service sector.
Winners will be announced at tomorrow's ceremony at the Grand Royale in Granville.

Blacktown Youth College teacher Dianne Knapton is one of six nominees in the Community Leader-Paid award, nominated by a student at the Bidwill-based school.

Mount Druitt Commuter Improvement Group president John Svoboda is one of five nominees in the Community Leader-Volunteer and Volunteer Group categories.

Fellow member Joan Forrester has been nominated for a Hall of Fame award, as has group secretary Wayne Lu for Out of the Box — one of two new categories.

Jennifer Beale is a Hall of Fame nominee for her work with Aboriginal organisation Butacarbin, at Hebersham, while Mission Australia Families NSW team leader Julia Jasprizza Laus could take home the partnership award for her work on the Paint Penrith Read program.

Shalvey teenager Blake Bardowski (pictured) is one of seven nominees in the Youth Leader category in recognition for campaigning for better public transport in Mount Druitt.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Mount Druitt - St Marys Star Police Officers/ Transit Officers Future Safety For Commuters

Here is the story by Greater Western Sydney Community Sector  - 'Journalism' nominee - Kylie Stevens 

In go the police, out go transit officers

27 Feb, 2012 01:00 AM
PLANS for more police and fewer state transit officers on the transport system have sparked mixed reaction.
Liberal state Mulgoa MP Tanya Davies and Londonderry colleague Bart Bassett welcomed the recent decision to establish the NSW Police Transport Command.
The 300 officers now attached to the Commuter Crime Unit will form the core of the new command. By the end of 2014 the command would have 610 officers.
Most of the 600 State Transit officers will have four options: volunteer for redundancy, apply to train for the police, redeployment within RailCorp or apply for one of 150 positions retained.State transit officers don't have as much power as the police do.

Mrs Davies said a "scary" encounter with a drug-affected passenger on a train two years ago prompted her to learn self-defence."I feel a sense of relief whenever I see police walking through the train," she said.

NSW Rail, Tram and Bus Union secretary Alex Claassens believes commuters will be dangerously exposed to a higher risk of crime and violence."Western suburbs commuters should be alarmed by the state government's plan to slash the number of security staff patrolling the RailCorp network," he said."What's more, if NSW Police is dealing with an emergency somewhere else, the transit police will be taken off the network completely and deployed to other duties."

Mount Druitt Labor MP Richard Amery echoed those concerns and said he feared the change would take police away from other streets. Mr Amery, a former policeman, described the policy as a cost-cutting measure."The trains may be safer but what about the general community like shopping centres and our streets?" he said.

Linda Haywood posted this comment on the Star's Facebook page: "They have enough trouble filling police stations now, let alone putting them on trains. Train the transit police by all means if that's what they want. But don't take them out of our stations. We have enough trouble now getting things done when we need it."

Mrs Davies and Mr Bassett said police would not be taken away from general duties. It is predicted the NSW Police Force will have 300 extra officers by the end of 2014.

Mount Druitt Commuters Improvement Group president John Svoboda agreed with the policy."If anything, it will improve safety and encourage more people to use public transport," he said.

Mount Druitt Commuter's Requirement For More Express Trains!

Derek, a currently every day train user  has asked that when there is track work on weekends, that Cityrail consider to extend express bus services from Parramatta to Mount Druitt, after 5pm.

this is when it cuts off and a long service bus may take up to an hour to get home - good point!. Morning times provide express service it is only after this time on weekends - we will lobby for this and see how Transport for NSW picks this up and acts on nit!

Seldom Railway Transport User Travels Around Sydney All Day!

Train travel can be used for tourists who Sydney for the first time, but for one Australian commuter who had used public trains for the third time since 2006, it was a day to travel by train and enjoy the scenery. The Mount commuter majority of his time travels by company car, thus  petrol/fuel expenses doesn't worry him ( but worries his company).

It doesn't worry him as yet about fuel shortage as as far as he is concerned his company will pay for ongoing fuel. His car was in repair today and his company had decided to pay him for a day off while car is in repair. At least he decided to use public transport today to explore  and enjoy the day!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Foldaway Bicycle Carried On Train By Commuter From Blue Mountains

Today was my first time, I had  met a exciting cyclist carrying a fold away bicycle on a train. Infarct, when I first spoke to him I said he was carry a heavy bulky bag & he wasn't.

He  replied that he was carrying a dead body on the train. I nearly believe him until I saw his smile and he not really its a foldaway bike. As an cycling enthusiastic hr just come back from a day cycling trip from Melbourne for fundraising for the "Royal Blind Society'. He lives in the Blue mountains and travels from Redfern to Botany to work.

He also explained how he purchased a fold away bicycle for his mother a few years ago - she enjoyed using it in a park and since she hasn't used it. In saying  that, he still encourages her to use it  and he advised he might contact our Blue Mountains transport group. Also seek information from his local local government area  regarding cycling pathways etc.

People like him are needed to improve public transport for cyclists for a better future!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Busways Shemozzle Unsettles Mount Druitt Commuters This Afternoon!

Commuters do not expect fiasco when it comes to a bus operator placing commuters in hysterics and ending to be a total shemozzle!

Busways today (24/2/2012), have had bus drivers losing their steering wheels so to say as i arrive at Mount Druitt to catch the Busways 755 due around 5.15pm. It took 5 Busways 758 to arrive before the Busways 755 arrived around 5.55pm.

As I approached one  resting driver with the sign Busways 755 ( this bus had just turned into the Westbus bays and then  went to rest), the driver advised me that since 12pm there was a bus strike by bus drivers and office staff are running buses since 12pm. There was no reason given to this driver for the strike! That's funny Unions do strike for their members unless their members know about it!

Later on a  Busways 758 bus driver  told that there was no strike - it's all wrong! there was confusion between Busways Management and Drivers as discussion were going on about having a meal room in Blacktown - whereas bus drivers have one in Mount Druitt. Then came Busways Driver who said don't worry about it - let the passengers in and ignored me! Finely the Busways 755 bus service arrived and  he said no strike their was problems with school buses and all  services are running - he denied there was a bus strike!

It appears bus drivers were gagged to say what it was but it left everyone wondering of something that went wrong. Commuters with shopping bags, work bags, food in trolleys were frustrated with the kaos that was created, in the great heat of the afternoon . One commuter contacted Busways Office Glendinning and then another commuter said because of her call the Busways 755 arrived. Busways have something to answer for here!

At least Busways could have communicated to commuters the proper 'Truth', left signs at each bus stands - no they didn't think of it! Management of Busways must now be proud of themselves, especially when they are the one's that decide which way commuters should be travelling, in Mount Druitt in Bus Region 1.

Here is Busways 758 on the left and Busways 755 behind today!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Free Bus Shuttle Still Required In Mount Druitt Request By A Commuter!

Tonight, I was talking to a lady on the bus who I speak too quite a bit. I can call her a true- hearted 755 Busways lady - as she always will seat on the seat at the mount Druitt Interchange and doesn't matter how many Busways 758 come pass, she will wait until the 755 Busways bus arrives. There are quite a few people that will only catch the Busways 755, this is one of many!

Anyway, as we were talk and this other lady had interrupted nicely to ask a genuine question, ' Can I ask you a question?'

Of which I replied,'Of course!'

'Why doesn't Mount Druitt have a free Bus Shuttle like Blacktown and Penrith? We need one!'

My reply was, 'That's exactly what we are lobbying for and we have lobbied for a Free Bus Shuttle to and from Rooty Hill and all train stations around the Blacktown LGA!'

There was growing interest from other commuters and eyes agreeing and heads nodding in the affirmative as the other commuters listened.

I explained for political reasons the Free Bus Shuttle was not needed to increase votes in a Labor seat of Mount Druitt ( Extremely safe Labor seat) and it would be the same if mount Druitt was a Liberal held State seat and the NSW Government was also Government of the day prior to last State election.

So the interesting fact was the mounting requests for the Mount Druitt Free Shuttle (pardon the pun) has been Mounting! Let's keep it up!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Long Waiting Times For Buses Late Night

Anthony who travels from work (Mount Druitt) to Parramatta and then catches the 545 bus  to Dundas area, advises that trains can better at night but his main issue is train connection in Parramatta late at night.

Claims during the day he has 15 minutes services and finds that he has to wait up to an hour for bus service if the train arrives after the bus leaves - last week he wondered if the Sydney Bus Service 545 has been cancelled or even all buses had been cancelled, until the bus arrived.

Click here for Sydney Buses 545 service

It appears at night it drops to an half an hour service if he waits for one hour, we would suggest to contact 131500 for feedback.

Support For Mount Druitt Footbridge!

Last Friday afternoon, a regular travelling commuter to Mount Druitt from work has provided  more support for a footbridge support across the railway line in Mount Druitt to provide links from South Mount Druitt to North Mount Druitt.

This will provide essential connections making it more accessible to reach transport services on North Parade, inclusive of a potential free bus shuttle service.

Unbeknown to myself, he has seen myself talking openly to 2 other commuters before and made his judgement that i was alright to speak too, even as a stranger! Wow another wonderful person!
Click here for original story

Monday, February 20, 2012

So That's What Bus Operators Do....

We have advised on previous stories both under our blog 'Save Our Bus Services Mount Druitt & Surrounding Suburbs' (Refer links to other websites) & Mount Druitt Commuters Improvement Group' blogs  that once the bus service was taken away from the local community - they left the school buses running on the same route for almost 2 years after.

This relates to the Busways 755 service along Sedgeman Crescent, Shalvey now going to the new route chosen over 2 years ago ( which doesn't link important areas in Shalvey) and the Westbus 674 school bus previously going along Gasmatta Crescent for over 2 years now also heading along the  current route of 674 - so what this means  for safety reasons it was alright for the school buses to travel along Gasmatta Crescent but not for the general  public community bus!

Both bus operators have realised their mistake without publicly admitting it. 'Sorry Mount Druitt Commuters!' that is what should have been said.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Local Mount Druitt Commuter With Many Concerns Of Local Transport!

A wonderful  inspirational lady I met at Mount Druitt train Station and  walk way - stopped myself from catching the Busways 758 Bus unbeknown to her - yet it was alright as I was able to catch the Busways 755.

She sparked a lot of interest and really had so much to say I had to  ask questions again.Jill lives in Shalvey and raised  the following with me:

  • One day she approached a bus driver (who's bus was late) and relaxed mood she ask him jokingly, '"Where's your late note?' The bus driver responded, " I don't give a damned if the bus is late!'  
  • Shalvey Bus Stop  removed bus stop, no seats and no shed - at Emerson Street - needs the bus shelter to return. Refer original story:
  • She left her mobile on the  bus once rang Busways Plumpton was told will be called back in a few days it was  6 months ago and she is still waiting for the phone call from Busways!She saw on the newspaper that that lost property is referred for auction/sale after a few days, if there is no one claiming it!
  • Claims a lot of bus drivers drive very fast over the limit causing some commuters to fall off seats - requests safety belts be placed on the seats on buses for commuter safety.
  • Travelling from Quakers Hill to Mount Druitt by train the glas door was shattered and  a lady and young school child was  injured. She pressed the emergency button. The ticket officer from this station, the guard never came and then the boy that was injured  had  been accompanied by Jill at Mount Druitt train station. The Station was very helpful until they checked the video tapes and nothing could be see of the glass shattering.'
I have advised her with transport issues to contact 131500 to record her issues! She agreed she  was able to update her folders/comments!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Mount Druitt Commuter With Little English Travels Far!

Today I met an elderly gentleman who spoke limited English language. He was from Lebanon, working for a Formica Company in Burwood. He could not confirm if he wanted improvements but what I found astonishing was that he actually was able to travel on the trains not understanding English be guide to travel to and from his Mount Druitt home.

It is great for new Australians understand our transport system and I give them credit for them managing their own public transport days!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Nominations In And Out Of Our Group Zest Awards 2012

Here are the nominations from within and outside our Group for the 2nd Great Western Sydney Zest Awards:

Zest    -    Enthusiasm   -     Strength    - Tenacity
Category                               Name                                       Group

Journalism Kylie Stevens St Marys-Mt Druitt Star

Journalism Susan Lui Mount Druitt & St Marys Standard

'Out of the Box' Award Wayne Lu Mount Druitt Commuters Improvement Group

Volunteer GroupMount Druitt Commuters
Improvement Group
Mount Druitt Commuters Improvement Group

Youth Leader Blake Bardowski Mount Druitt Commuters Improvement Group

Com Leader-
Volunteer             John Svoboda           Mount Druitt    
                                                              Improvement Group

Mount Druitt Foot Bridge Proposal Not Transport But Can Lead Others To Improved Public Transport - St Marys - Mt Druitt Star

Here is the real story:

Campaign back on track: Peter Kerr has renewed calls for a pedestrian footbridge between Beames Avenue, near George Street, and North Parade on the other side of the railway line. Picture: Gary Warrick

Push for pedestrian bridge

13 Feb, 2012 01:00 AM
A PEDESTRIAN footbridge over the railway line halfway between Mount Druitt and Rooty Hill would be $1.2 million well spent, Peter Kerr says.
The Mount Druitt resident first raised the suggestion in 1998 and was inundated with support for improved access between North Parade and the other side of the railway.
He also lobbied for traffic lights at Carlisle and Fuller streets, which were turned on in 2000.

"Everyone wanted the footbridge when I did the petitions," Mr Kerr recalled.

"Five people said no to the lights but all said yes to the footbridge."

Residents who live on the south side walk up to a kilometre to cross the railway line and access the three schools on North Parade, the TAFE and Rooty Hill RSL.

Mr Kerr believes the club, the federal and state governments and Blacktown Council should chip in $300,000 each to foot the bill.

He's determined to not give up, despite state and federal ministers passing the buck.

Federal Infrastructure And Transport Minister Anthony Albanese acknowledged Mr Kerr's concerns in a letter sent in November but said it was a matter for the state government. State Roads Minister Duncan Gay said it was up Blacktown Council to lobby for funding in a letter to Mt Druitt MP Richard Amery last August, which was forwarded to Mr Kerr.

"The Roads and Traffic Authority was advised that Blacktown Council has been informed of the funding programs available for its local pedestrian programs such as installing pedestrian bridge," Mr Gay wrote.

A council spokeswoman said it currently had 14 bridge projects listed for funding in its works improvement program, including Mr Kerr's proposal.

Mr Kerr believes $300,000 from the federal government is nothing. "They gave $500 million to Indonesian schools last year," he said.

"If they chipped in, it would mean the state government could give more funding to other transport projects and health."
Mt Druitt Transport Commuters president John Svoboda said the footbridge would be beneficial if the state government implemented a free shuttle bus in Mt Druitt similar to services in Penrith, Blacktown and Parramatta. He added that only state government and council should foot the bill.

Does Mr Kerr have a point? Comment at or on our Facebook page.

Do We Need Quiet Trains Out West? Are You For Or Against It?

Here's the story from the Sydney Morning Herald 7/2/2012:

Commuters back quiet carriages trial

Alicia Wood, Glenda Kwek
February 7, 2012

Passengers speak up on quiet trains

Sydney train passengers give their thoughts on the "quiet carriages" soon to be trialled on select CityRail trains.
Peak hour commuters put up with overcrowding, lack of air-conditioning and all manner of odd behaviour from their fellow passengers.
But a survey of passengers travelling on inter-city services this morning showed there was one gripe that trumped them all: conversations that are loud and personal.
The state government announced today that it would trial quiet carriages on the Sydney to Newcastle line from Monday.
Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian told The Sydney Morning Herald that the carriages would be self-policed, and signs and announcements would make it clear which carriages were quiet zones.
Annette Bray, Dorothy Pizey and Rhoda Sexton said the quiet carriages were an "excellent idea".
"There is nothing worse than hearing about someone's private life on the train - it is just embarrassing," Ms Bray said.
"People like to sleep sometimes when they are on the train. If there is a sign saying it is a quiet carriage then you feel like you could say: 'Can you turn off your phone?'" Ms Pizey said.
Roger and Jean Morrow were travelling to Newcastle today and said they supported the trial, but said it would do little to curb other forms of anti-social behaviour.
"It is a good idea, if you are able to police it. Just making a statement will not really do the trick," Mrs Morrow said."Everyone has the right to have quiet enjoyment, so long as it is fair and reasonable. I think it should be trialled, and if it proves successful then it could be expanded. The real test is what happens," Mr Morrow said.
The Morrows said the worst example of bad behaviour on a train was a fight between young children.
"But this is not solved by having a quiet carriage," Mr Morrow said.
Ross and Wendy Talbot were also on their way to Newcastle and said quiet carriages could inspire better commuter behaviour.
"I was on the train once and there were all sorts of yobbos on the train, either drunk or under the influence, and the police got them off at Dapto. You see intimidating people getting on the train and it can get nasty. If you had these quiet carriages this might happen less," Mr Talbot said.
Toby Gee regularly catches early morning trains from Newcastle to Sydney. He said quiet carriages would encourage better behaviour, but only if they were policed by security or station staff.
"You sometimes get people coming back from nightclubs drunk, you've got to be careful - I've seen a few fights. If the quiet carriages are policed then it could stop this sort of thing, too," Mr Gee said.Julie Cox said she and her friends often made a lot of noise on trains, and quiet carriages would keep her as well as her fellow commuters happy.

"I belong to a bushwalkers' group and we often hop on the train in a large group. We make so much noise because we are so excited to be going out for the day. I do feel sorry for the other commuters who might be trying to get a bit of sleep," Ms Cox said.
"I don't mind noise on a train. People have got a right to be happy, but commuters also have a right to peace and quiet - so it's a good thing to give both that option."
"What kind of animals eat on the train?"
These words were uttered by a New York subway rider, in a video that has ignited debate on acceptable public transport behaviour.
In the video, a woman sees another woman eating spaghetti on the train and says: "What kind of animals eat on the train like that?"
The woman eating the spaghetti snapped back, a fist fight broke out and commuters had to pull the pair apart.
"Oh wow, this is crazy. Crazy," the man filming the incident said.
"People have forgotten about sharing the environment and what that means, said Alex Travers, an etiquette expert at social coaching company A Matter of Style.
"We are becoming such a nanny state - we have 55 different messages looking at us because people have become so selfish, I think," she said about the "do not drink" or "do not eat" messages on some modes of public transport in Sydney.
A State Transit spokesman said common complaints received from commuters on buses included passengers not moving to the back of the bus to allow others to board, queue jumping at bus stops and commuters eating or drinking on buses and leaving their rubbish behind.
For Sydney Ferries, common complaints revolved around sandy swimming costumes, feet on seats and the universal gripe about people speaking loudly on mobile phones.
Ms Travers said part of the problem was commuters' lack of respect for the public transport they travel on.
"I'm afraid we are all in a very bad place as far as we feel about our public transport. People think poorly of it, so therefore they are getting on it with a poor attitude.
"I've just been to Singapore for instance, and I know in Hong Kong when I go there, it is a beautiful thing to ride, everyone is polite. The ticketing is good. You arrive at the time you are supposed to get there. The train comes every three or four minutes. So you get on with a positive attitude. The place is spotless.
"Whereas you get on our transport - you are lucky if it turns up, half the time it is filthy, the stations are dirty and nobody's helpful."
A second reason was the "me-oriented" attitude of younger generations, who "do what they want to do" without thinking about the next person sitting or standing beside them, she said.
"You find people getting on planes now with their singlet tops and their hairy underarms and their thongs and they smell. What are they thinking?" Ms Travers asked.
"Have a little think and put a shirt on and deodorant, because it is so discourteous and uncaring about anybody else."
Like CityRail, Sydney Ferries runs etiquette campaigns, which it credits for the less than 10 written passenger complaints it has received since January 2010.
A spokeswoman said two campaigns - "Affected by bad behaviour on board" and "Keep em safe, keep em close" - have helped to remind commuters about drunken behaviour while advising parents to look after their children when they are on ferries.

Poll: Where do you stand on a "no talking" rule for some carriages?

Total votes: 13578.
Poll closed 10 Feb, 2012
These polls are not scientific and reflect the opinion only of visitors who have chosen to participate.

So it seems the majority of commuters was no noise on trains - what would be your verdict?
Myself, I do like to talk  to different people every day and also require  the quiet time to clear my thoughts, plan ahead or even take a nap. I would recommend there are signed designated carriage/s for commuters that need that quietness.Roll out the idea, try it and if it doesn't work let

it go! 

Editors above comments


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Public Transport Safety Fixed In One Go!

It was just suggested to me by Danny Griffiths, from Holroyd/Fairfield Group that one of the effect ways to increase safety on public transport it is so simple: that is to have more commuters catch public transport - having full buses and trains.

This would be a cost effective way NSW Government can solve this problem but how  do we get more 'bottoms on seats'? Very easy. Continual advertising on all media's, lower cost on fares, a farer ticketing sytem - One ticket for all.-  when people see full trains and buses the anti-social behaviours tend to be dramatically reduced, efficient transport systems that enables  improved and better connections.

NSW For Transport - Masterplan

Click here for NSW For Transports Masterplan

Give your thoughts to whether it talks about improved public transport - One thing I have noticed is, they are talking about widening roads when we could be looking at expanding public transport modes of transport.

Not much of advertising to the community (especially widespread), of increasing public transport - looking at meeting needs based on cost funding - did they invite local transport community groups. Not as yet.

And we as community activists are a priceless stakeholder - I think they need to localise planning of  public transport to large shopping hub areas, inclusive of community input, separate to Local Councillors input.

I personally would like to see local transport boards set up  and run by Commuters, allowing for input and feedback to all Transport Officers or even more community involvement in Council Transport Forums.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Occasional Young Lady Train Commuter

More and more people are talking to me - they are strangers to me and I am strangers to them. Yet they are warm and friendly people. People that you might meet once in your life and never see again!

So here was this young lady with  bags and luggage she takes to and from work. She claims that she is an occasional catches trains to and from the city to Mount Druitt - actually said the only thing she would like to see improved is  late trains - but she said lately that is fixed up!  Thus she is currently happy with the current trains services - that is good to hear!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

'King' From Kingswood Is Not Dumb!

Yes,again and again, time and time again such wonderful people I meet day to day. Each person is different. Each person has something important to say. Each person has a point of view of  how to improve public transport. Each person I meet has so many words to say except if they are dumb, in speech.

And this is what happened to me - I met a person named 'King' from Kingswood who could not speak as he is dumb ( in my books definitely not stupid)! he first indicated he couldn't speak and  I, at first couldn't believe it!
Yet, as we communicated he started typing sentences on his phone.

We entered the train at Parramatta train Station and and behold, commuters were watching us; thinking we had known each other for life. He made me laugh as he explained to me he works in a supermarket bakery & he was not allowed to grow a beard or moustache. Later I asked him on his mobile in a sentence what would he like to see improved on public transport? - he responded by saying in response, he would like to see more commuters using sign language ( probably to talk to him and make conversation like I did to him).

What a great guy!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Save Our Bus Services

Read our story on how we made it our priority to ensure bus services are re-instated from services taken away in 2009.