Love thier strapline
"Euston we have a problem"
Great stuff. Hope it gets the job done as well as FixMyStreet.
Commuters who like to complain have a new outlet with the launch of FixMyTransport.com, a website that gets your grievance to the right person. The new site, from charitable democracy project MySociety.org, allows the transport-weary masses to report broken ticket machines, locked gates or stations without stair-free access to …
The train I was driving one fine day got stuck (brakes hanging on) in the tunnel approaching Camden Town on the southbound. Happily the train's call-number was 13 (the Line Controller was based at Euston and I think that you know what's coming here!) and I had the great pleasure of the following radio exchange.
Me: Train 13 approaching Camden Town south to Northern Line control.
Controller: Yes 13, pass your message.
Me: Euston we have a problem here.
Controller: Howls of laughter.
The sad thing is that if the government did try and do it themselves, it'd be a multi million (if not billion...) pound project, and 5 years late.
It would be running on cheap shared hosting, which would fail under the load of 0.1% of the UK population trying to use it normally within five minutes of the site being announced on BBC and el reg. Management would fail to see the problem, since "it worked fine when we tested it" (with 5 beta testers)
It would then stay down for weeks while management tries to shift the blame to the techs who told them what would happen, while trying to avoid paying more than £5 a month on a dodgy shared hosting outfit which has "unlimited" bandwidth available for use.
After enduring weeks of management suggestions that they could do something that won't help (like burn offerings to the server gods, or something equally as stupid) the techs will then get permission to use a real server outfit, and then the site will go up.
At which point it would be discovered it only supports IE6, thus requiring a complete rewrite for 3 times the starting amount. Meanwhile, the person who managed the program receives an OBE and another position in the civil service while the management say that "lessons were learned..."
THAT is what would happen. Though I may have missed a few bits.
Private operators yes, but still heavily regulated by the state (despite all the talk, most public transport regulation comes from the EU, so "deregulation" was a somewhat pointless public relations exercise), heavily funded by subsidy from public funds, and providing a public service that is regularly meddled with by local councils. They have an interest, to say the least. It is largely their problem because they are so heavily involved in it.
Nevertheless, if I had my way they wouldn't be involved at all, at least until they've got their priorities sorted out and sliced away a few dozen layers of upper and middle-management along with the bloated executive salaries that go with them.
Government in this country is good for just two things: looting and more looting.
'Deregulation' was an expensive failure. The number of miles travelled by buses doubled, while the number of passenger miles nosedived as a result of the collapse in services. Councils have made efforts to defend service quality (and had to do to prevent gridlock in some areas!) My local operator is still council-owned, makes a profit, and gives a better quality of service than the private companies. Not surprisingly, the Tories wanted to sell it off! Thus increasing taxes, undermining the local economy and destroying services all in one go!
If the sad thing is that the government and councils would never have done this (set up this site) themselves, then we clearly need another two sites:
we could also have
to deal with the NI scandals
and so on...
Qu Dawei said <If the sad thing is that the government and councils would never have done this (set up this site) themselves, then we clearly need another two sites: </Quote>
Well if you had a little bit of Google-Fu you see that Fixmytransport comes from the idea of
http://www.fixmystreet.com/ Report, view, or discuss local problems
(like graffiti, fly tipping, broken paving slabs, or street lighting) which is also run by Mysociety.
How about a FixMyWeather.com to complain about all the days we've had this month (and to be fair, last August, too) when the temperature's barely reached a high of 15C.
I reckon it would stand about as much chance of getting some positive outcomes as the travel version, or the street versions.
Many companies make it difficult to find who to complain to, so people don't complain -- it's not worth the hassle. So the companies can pretend that the problem doesn't exist.
Sites like this make it easy to complain, and in a way that is tracked and audited -- no more turning a blind eye to the problem.
Sure, it won't fix everything, but it gets things started...
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@Pete 2: "How about a FixMyWeather.com to complain about all the days we've had this month (and to be fair, last August, too) when the temperature's barely reached a high of 15C."
Try dealing with 51 days of over 100F highs. It was 108F yesterday. It's 106F now. It hasn't peaked yet.
You UK types are stealing our cool! Give it back to the Midwest you btards!
"MySociety also hopes the site will give folks who are not usually terribly active in politics their first taste of social activism."
First, second or third taste of manipulative, state-sponsored patronising bullshit more like. If they are a "charitable democracy project" they might like to address the shambles of privatisation, the total lack of integration, and the insanely high level of fares in a 'private' industry which has seen handouts of public cash which British Rail could never even have dreamt of. But that would REAL politics.
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You think? Lets's see: Oxfam gets most of its money from the government now. There is a huge raft of effectively nationalised 'voluntary' sector helping government promote its political dogma, and a lot of people who might have been critics are silenced by having their mouths stuffed with gold in cushy jobs in 'the third sector'. Perhaps you have a naive conception of what 'politics' actually is?
The thing is that it encourages you to try, at which point you learn that you get fobbed off, and then start reading between the lines of what any politician says in the media. It's a slow process, but the more people who understand what's going on, the harder it is for the political classes to ignore us.
Been There, Done That, but the teeshirt still hasn't arrived, despite being promised.
The Warmist issue is that there appears to be a lot of evidence pointing to Nature not Man as the climate controller, even in the short term.
Maybe a website that counts studies pro and con and points to who is "adjusting" the truth would be of great value. IPCC, the UN body tasked to consolidate science on the subject appears to have been hijacked to give a pro-warming politically motivated (and possibly financially, too) view.
This issue is too important to leave to a biased executive body.
I'm sure someone could come up with a voting and weighting system, and a list of most-reported studies
Meanwhile all those companies wanting to maintain the status quo (and thus their business model) are not profit motivated?
I am not 100% convinced about anthropogenic global warming. There, I've said it. Maybe I'm just stupid.
But I am not so stupid as to think we can carry on the way we are. We are burning way too much oil, wasting too many resources, polluting far in excess of what is needed, abusing the natural order with too many pesticides, destroying farming cultures with patent/license infected seeds; all in the name of profit.
This is biting us all in the ass right now, never mind what global warming could do to us.
With everything now privatised and in the grubby claws of the venture capitalists via PFIs, any tax revenue from profits lost due to tax avoidance measures and vast subsidies having to be paid to keep the operators profitable; we're screwed.
It cannot be fixed in the current state.
The prices that have to be paid are ridiculous, restrictions are ludicrous and the service (almost) universally appalling. The two exception I can think of are ScotRail (although that's been getting worse) and NI Railways. The embarrassing think for the government and their PFI chums is that these two are state run (well, near as dammit); that's a situation that can't be permitted for much longer.
So, Scots and Irish, rejoice in your train service while you have for you too are soon to be screwed over just like the English and Welsh.
...leave us with FB end users who would have been AOL/Compuserve's salvation and don't try too hard to do anything worthwhile. The web's connectivity has just brought more trite shite to fill heads with inanity as TV was becoming a stale and cold medium in a speeding up world.
Yup, I love MySociety's non partisan attitude as they know that the will to be transparent, efficient and serving appropriate need to a connected society is not there beyond tokenism. Sick of moaning about buses with moody drivers - I'll be getting their fracking driver numbers and see what happens. Don't knock it just yet peeps, I know that councils HATE fixmystreet because it makes them work and (heaven forfend) be accountable to the people that pay their wages.
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