英国铁路(4)

作者:未知 来源:译生译世 2019-09-02

Where Britain does badly is in the crucial area of reliability. Although its long-distance trains are pretty punctual by European standards, its short-haul ones run late. Britain comes 19th out of 26 European countries for punctuality on local routes— and these are the ones that cause most anguish, as commuters rely on them to get to work on time.
英国在可靠性这一关键领域表现糟糕。尽管按照欧洲标准,中国的长途列车非常准时,但短途列车却晚点了。在26个欧洲国家中,英国在当地航线上的守时率排在第19位,而这些都是最让人头疼的,因为通勤者需要准时上班。

The franchising business has also sometimes proved chaotic. The East Coast mainline franchise has gone bust three times—in 2007, 2009 and 2018—as operators overpromised how much they could pay in track-access charges. Even Eamonn Butler of the Adam Smith Institute, a libertarian think-tank which pioneered the idea of separating the management of track and trains, admits that franchises “didn’t work out as we intended”.
特许经营业务有时也被证明是混乱的。东海岸干线的特许经营已经三次破产——分别在2007年、2009年和2018年——由于运营商在轨道接入费用上承诺过高。甚至亚当•斯密研究所的埃蒙•巴特勒也承认,特许经营“并没有像我们预想的那样成功”。

Faced with these problems, the government is thinking about new approaches. On some long-distance routes it is running an “open-access” system, under which different companies are allowed to run services along the same route in competition with each other. The idea is to offer passengers a choice, driving down prices and encouraging innovation—something that is discouraged by franchising, in which rail companies are tied to contracts so detailed that some even specify how often train carpets should be shampooed.
面对这些问题,政府正在思考新的方法。在一些长途线路上,政府正在运行一个“开放-接入”系统,在这个系统下,不同的公司可以在同一条线路上运行服务,相互竞争。这个想法是为了给乘客提供选择,降低价格,鼓励创新——特许经营是不鼓励这种做法的,在特许经营中,铁路公司与非常详细的合同捆绑在一起,有些公司甚至规定火车地毯应该多久洗一次。

The results are encouraging. On the East Coast mainline, open-access operators such as Hull trains and Grand Central now compete for passengers. Average fares are lower than on the West Coast mainline, where the West Midlands trains franchise for stopping services and the Virgin trains franchise for express ones hold near-monopolies. Three of the four train companies with the highest passenger-satisfaction ratings last year were open-access operators, not franchisees.
结果鼓舞人心。在东海岸干线上,Hull train和Grand Central等开放入口的运营商现在正在争夺乘客。平均票价低于西海岸干线,而西海岸干线West Midlands的停车服务专列和Virgin的特快专列几乎处于垄断地位。去年乘客满意度最高的四家列车公司中,有三家是开放接入运营商,而不是特许经销商。

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