by Yair Frid, December 26, 2014
Vandalism in the Melbourne metro has increased in the last year. Practically every train carriage has odious tags on the walls, floor and ceiling.
The Public Transport Users Association has formally requested for it to be cleaned, although the passenger satisfaction has the highest rate in its history.
Graffiti reports inside and outside the trains have risen from 463 during 2013-14 to 513 reports so far this year.
In one week a frustrated passenger took pictures of every carriage he boarded and many of them were recently tagged and full of graffiti residues.
In spite of the graffiti vandalism upturn in Melbourne, the train cleaning expense was reduced by almost one million dollars (from $6.96 2012-13 to $5.87 this year).
However, the spokeswoman of Metro, Larisa Tait says that they have set aside 7 million dollars to clean and remove graffiti.
The president of PTAU Tony Morton explains that the vandals who paint graffiti affect the public transport users, as the trains have to be repaired for the damages. “We frequently have public transport planners that come from abroad and are shocked with the state of our trains and trams”, said Mr. Morton.
“Although many of our trains are newer that in other cities, they are often in a worst state. We need for our public transport to be worthy of the 21st century, with a comfortable budget that prioritizes public transport as the users demand it and that is treated as fundamental infrastructure for the operation of the city of Melbourne.”
Larisa Tait, spokeswoman of Metro trains says that the vandals are already creating a mixture of brake fluid, acid and Stealth ink that penetrates too much in the train surfaces, leaving indelible marks.
She said that Metro is researching a new cleaning method to clean the affected cars. “It seems that vandalism has increased a bit, but the amount of new tours we make has also increased.”
“For safety reasons we have restricted the types of chemicals we use to remove graffiti
from the interior of the cars, and sometimes this means that they may be graffiti residues.”
Subway asks from anybody that sees someone tagging the metro trains to press the emergency button or to call the police. The responsible parties will be fined $289”.