Bringing back tram conductors would cost 5c per trip, according to figures in a report commissioned by Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber MLC.
The Russell Report says that:
o The savings achieved by the introduction of automated ticketing introduced at the time of privatisation and the withdrawal of conductors realised savings far less than those originally anticipated by either the Kirner or the Kennett government.
o The system of fare collection from tram passengers is flawed. Since 2008, quarterly tram journeys have risen from 170.4 million (4th quarter 2008) to 176.5 million (4th quarter 2010), but the validation rate for tickets on trams has been in continuous decline, from 25% in 2008 to 18% in the first quarter of 2011.
o The system of addressing fare evasion through the use of authorised officers is unpopular among passengers, and is of limited effectiveness.
o In Amsterdam, where conductors were reintroduced after a period without them, new Combino trams (similar to Melbourne’s D class) have been delivered with provision for seated conductors, and fare evasion there is as low as 1%.
o The gross cost of reintroducing conductors could be from $38 to $50 million per year, and the net cost from $12 to $15 million per year, depending on the number employed.
o There are further costs that can be offset against these figures. They include:
- Reduced wages costs for authorised officers, whose numbers can be reduced if conductors are reintroduced comprehensively. If 100 authorised officers were transitioned back to the role of conductors, this could amount to an offset of (100*$48,000=$4.8 million);
- Reduced costs of vandalism and graffiti removal on trams
- Reduced costs of injuries to passengers.
Huge numbers of Victorians say they want conductors back. Help take their voice into parliament. Download the petition here.