Public Transport Ombudsman Annual Report 2009

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23rd October 2009, 11:30am - Views: 828



Media Release – 23 October 2009

Public Transport Ombudsman Annual Report 2009

Cases to the Victorian Public Transport Ombudsman (PTO) have increased by 4% in 2008-09, according to

the PTO Annual Report released today.  The PTO handled 1206 cases, including 1180 new cases.  

“Our cases are becoming more complex each year,” said Public Transport Ombudsman Simon Cohen when

releasing the report.  “Many complaints include multiple issues – this year we dealt with 1595 issues about

public transport services.”  Top complaint issues included:

infringement notices – 22% (347 issues) – these complaints are referred to the Department of

Transport for review

infrastructure and rolling stock – 16% (255 issues) – issues with public transport vehicles, stations

and tracks 

authorised officers (ticket inspectors) – 16% (248 issues) – concerns about the conduct of and

communications with authorised officers

service delivery – 15% (241 issues) – complaints about punctuality, cancellations, disruptions and

failing to pick up or drop off passengers

staff – 15% (236 issues) – complaints about drivers, conductors and station attendants, with

concerns about behaviour, passenger safety and the handling of complaints

ticketing – 10% (165 issues) – issues with faulty machines and tickets, and ticket refunds and


Where the PTO investigated complaints, 80% were successfully resolved.  Outcomes – demonstrated by

case studies in the report – included: explanations, apologies, compensation and good-will gestures for

commuters; training for public transport staff; and changed operator procedures.  

“I have seen an increased commitment from public transport operators this year to work with the PTO. This

has included telling commuters they can come to us when they are not satisfied with how their complaint

has been handled,” Mr Cohen said.

The Annual Report also includes information about reviews conducted by the PTO, including a report on

authorised officer complaints.   The report examined trends in complaints – which mostly alleged intimidation

and poor communication – and recommended improved guidance for authorised officers about using force,

and increased monitoring of use of force incidents.  The PTO also recommended providing information to

authorised officers about why people complain.  

“When someone makes a complaint, it is important to listen to the concerns raised, make proper inquiries,

provide a full explanation, and take appropriate remedial action where concerns are proved.  My Annual

Report shows how complaints can be used to improve services for individuals and the whole community.”

For further information or to arrange interviews, please contact Kristen Barnes on 03 8623 2121.

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Key points

1206 cases handled, including 1180 new cases – an increase of 4%

1583 complaint issues finalised, including 227 issues investigated and finally determined


90% finalised within 31 days


80% of investigated issues successfully resolved

12 case studies about PTO complaints, including complaints about public transport disruptions,

authorised officer conduct and disability access

PTO reviews on complaints management and authorised officer complaints

PTO information now translated into 7 languages, and available in large text and audio format.

Key graphs


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