More South Coast trains run on time: report 

More South Coast trains are running on time according to an Auditor-General’s report released yesterday.

About 93 per cent of South Coast trains ran on time in the last financial year, up from 91 per cent in 2011-12 and 89 per cent in 2010-11. 

This was in line with an overall improvement in on-time running across the state – although trains on the Southern Highlands line bucked that trend with only 85 per cent running on time.

The increased punctuality didn’t keep customers happy however, with complaints  continuing to rise in 2012-13 according to Auditor-General Grant Hehir.

He said complaints received by RailCorp rose by 7 per cent to 31,189 – up from 29,219 in 2011-12. 

Most complaints concerned discomfort, with Mr Hehir noting many arising from the hot weather in January. But the greatest increase in complaints concerned ‘‘on-time running’’, with a 30 per cent jump.

However, 94 per cent of CityRail trains on all lines ran on time in 2012-13, an improvement on last year’s 93.4 per cent.

On-time running for ferries has been improving since 2008-09 and reached 99.1 per cent in 2012-13. Sydney Buses on-time running slightly declined to 90.3 per cent, while private bus operators increased to 94.7 per cent.

Mr Hehir recommended Transport for NSW set targets to measure the overall satisfaction of train users. He also recommended that it minimise the amount of overtime paid to train drivers.

A Transport for NSW spokesman said Sydney Trains and NSW Trains were formed on July 1, 2013 to deliver customer-focused rail services in Sydney and regional NSW.

 ‘‘As part of the Fixing the Trains reform process, Sydney Trains and NSW Trains are dedicated to providing new levels of service and performance to meet the needs of our customers,’’ he said.

‘‘Since October the new timetable also delivered more than 1000 extra train services a week, and NSW Trains has also introduced more quiet carriages for customers.

‘‘While there is still a lot of work to do to provide our customers with the world-class service they deserve, we have already made significant improvements which our customers are noticing.’’

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