Monday, January 21, 2013

Doing the Bus Stop

My sole dance routine is the dance to I Heard it Through the Grapevine. R can do the Macarena. We can just get away with YMCA. We can't do the Chicken Dance or the Bus Stop.

We use the words Bus Stop for another purpose. This is the bus stop below the Highrise.


 Doing the Bus Stop is the walk people make between the bus stop and the tram stop when it dawns on them that they are standing at a bus and not a tram stop. Some quickly work it out. For some it takes several trams to pass them by as their ignored signals to the tram drivers become increasingly animated. Often a helpful local person will assist with advice. This lady is doing the Bus Stop. Its style is kind of a resigned trudge.


She is nearly  there, at the tram stop after a walk of maybe 50 metres. A tram awaits.


Why is there such confusion when the stop is clearly marked as a bus stop?

Point one, the inbound bus stop is directly opposite an outbound tram stop and the inbound tram stops are a good distance away, maybe fifty metres in either direction.

Point two, there are innumerable tourist accommodation places nearby.

Point three, do tourist differentiate between buses and trams?

Point four, is it feasible that Melbourne Bus Link could run Melbourne's trams? Yes.

Point five, what seems very obvious to me is not to other people. If it was very occasionally one person, then I might just think they are no so bright, but many people do it, so it is clearly a system failure.

Point six, is it the only place this happens? No, it isn't.

Point seven, strangers could not be expected to know that tram stop signs are green, bus stop signs are orange and replacement bus for train signs are blue.

Point six, the remedy. It can only be a sign thus: This is a bus stop, not a tram stop. Too  hard, I'm sure.

16 comments:

  1. Hello Andrew:
    This is a not unfamiliar story for there are places in this City where it is not at all clear which is the stop for the bus and which for the tram.

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    1. JayLa, should I visit, I will check for details with you first.

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  2. I must remember this when I am next in Melbourne. I even have trouble working out inbound and outbound in a strange city.

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    1. Diane, there is one route here, popular with tourists, the 16. The destinations shown are Kew via St Kilda or Melbourne University via St Kilda. People just focus on the St Kilda and end up where they do not want to be.

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  3. Ha ha oh bless. I'd probably do something like this. Maybe a sign that says Tram Stop over there ->

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    1. Yep Fen, probably better to direct them.

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  4. I find it ironic that people in the city don't really take public transport (bus) because they are more used to the trains/trams or drive.

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    1. Michael, I am pleased not too many take the bus, as I can get a seat.

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  5. Why oh why did you not write this post before my visit?

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    1. Oh dear Fun60. You ended up somewhere else to where you expected?

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  6. Another option is to make the bus and tram stops a shared stop, and require intending passengers indicate to the tram/bus driver that they want to board a particular vehicle. On St Kilda Road the two services head towards the city in the same direction anyway.

    Around Melbourne there are already many tram-only and bus-only stops where passengers need to indicate to the driver that they want to board, due to the stop being shared between multiple routes.

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    1. Marcus, shared stops are not practical in St Kilda Road and while there are some shared stops along Commercial and Malvern Roads, it seems very random. I don't suggest there be as many bus stops as tram stops, but where possible, a bus stop and tram stop should be shared. Actually, I would argue for a few less tram stops and a few more bus stops.

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  7. "Why is there such confusion?"
    Because people don't read signs.
    When a stop has tram lines beside it then it is clearly a tram stop and if there are no lines, it is a bus stop.
    Not rocket science.
    To my mind inbound would be the ones heading in the direction of the city and outbound are the ones on the other side of the road going out...
    Seems fairly simple.
    Anyway, when I'm in an unfamiliar city one of the first things I do is collect transport timetables and study the maps on the back of them and match departure and destination times with places I might want to go.

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    1. River, it's called planning, which is what people really need to do before visiting a place unknown to you. Marcus above has just travelled all over Europe by public transport. I bet he did a lot of planning.

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  8. Um did you mean point eight and yes a clearer sign sounds like the way to go for sure, I'm betting I wouldn't look so good doing the 'bus stop'..although in my youth I was a 'go-go' dancer...seriously, on TV in the middle of Africa!!

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    1. The Denise Drysdale of Zimbabwe, haha. Btw, I failed maths at school.

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