It may be the end of the year before Fife commuters get to relax on trains with sufficient carriages to cope with demand.
So, that begs one very simple question – why should we pay full fare for a second rate service?
Last week’s public meeting with ScotRail’s chief executive, Alex Hynes, threw up far more questions than answers, and the packed Town House spoke for all as it called out the company for its abysmal efforts, its cancellations, delays and overcrowded trains.
Mr Hynes hopes to have trains with more carriages in operation for off-peak services in May, but rush hour commuters – the very people who rely on ScotRail to get them to work and college on time, the very people who have exercised the patience of a platform of saints –may have to wait until December.
That simply isn’t good enough.
ScotRail cannot continue to apologise and carry on regardless.
There may well be compensation available, but that misses the point. All Fifers want is a reliable train service.
In the absence of trains with sufficient carriages running on time, ScotRail must review its fares on Fife services. And cut them.
If that gives them an administrative headache, so be it.
They are quick to apply increases, and managed a ‘Fife Fiver’ special ticket last summer – albeit one so wrapped in restrictions it really wasn’t worth the effort – so they can get to work looking at how best to acknowledge their own shortcomings with new, lower fares.
Our politicians from all parties should be pushing the company hard too. If that means awakward conversations with Ministers or gives them difficulty with party policy, deal with them. And deliver.
And with that in place, we expect Mr Hynes to return to town in six months time and hear, first hand, what people think of the improvements.