Thursday, August 29, 2013

Where's me bus?

I noticed the other day that Melbourne Bus Link, the company that runs the buses that pass the Highrise, has removed its name from the sides of the buses and has been replaced by the imaginative and evocative name, Transdev (insert emoticon here to illustrate a certain way of saying the name, flat vowels, excessively drawn out). It seems MBL did more than remove its name, MBL itself was removed and replaced by another company who won a bid to run around a third of Melbourne's bus fleet. Why wasn't I told?

I am a frequent user of the buses and I don't have much in the way of complaints about them. Quite unlike me. In the time we have lived here, the buses are noticeably carrying more people and all the really noisy old models, albeit with brilliant air conditioning, have been replaced.

I have been looking at Transdev's website and it seems they have a lot of fingers in public transport pies in Australia.

Transdev proposes to deliver the following benefits to customers in the first two years of the franchise

Wow, customer benefits. I am liking the sound of this.

Additional services across the network, including the addition of Sunday services on some routes

Great.

Increased hours of operation on both weekdays and weekends

Motherhood is good.

A simplified network, particularly through the CBD

Whoa. What does simplified mean? I am alert.

A reduction in route duplication

Never mind duplication, we have triplication with three routes passing by that we use to go to Prahran or the city. While their suburban termini vary, from the city to Prahran  they follow the same path, which makes for an adequate level of service such that we can just walk out door and wait for one. While we can just easily catch a tram, they are always so crowded. There is always a seat on the bus.

I am officially alert and alarmed now.

I will give the company some advice to improve the service. Take away the control of the air con from the driver and have it set to a comfortable level. Do something about right turning cars in St Kilda Road blocking the buses. Even out the gaps between buses.

21 comments:

  1. Don't count your chickens, bus companies come and go, services remain pretty much the same, they run late or early depends on what you are running you know early if you are late, late if you are early they try not to be boring.
    We also have many crazy drivers they match some of the people travelling
    Merle..........

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    1. Merle, most interesting as trains and trams are our basic transport and I really don't know about how buses run. The complexity of Sydney buses I have not investigated much past city to to Bondi Beach and Bondi Juncion to Bondi Beach. The bus from town to Watsons Bay was fun, but the service infrequent.

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  2. I saw your headline "where's me bus?" and immediately thought "it probably took a wrong turn and is currently driving down Grenfell St Adelaide while looking for Flinders St Station".
    Because a lot of bus drivers don't seem to know which way they're supposed to be going or even which stop to pull up at, since our routes got changed around. Nice to know we're not the only city getting screwed.

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    1. I think you'll find transdev with be better.with fines for late running, I think you'll find transdev will fix the run times on these routes.
      Which will be good as late running is horrendous on these routes.

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    2. Haha River, nice work. The three buses that pass here all travel over the same route, so no problem there.

      Hi Jason. I am sure that will be good for some people. What I care about is even spacing between buses past my place. Many years ago when we first moved here, I tried to check buses passing against the timetable but I quickly gave up for whatever reason. I did hear somewhere that the buses are massively delayed in Footscray because of traffic congestion.

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  3. Wow your header has gone huge, I can see loads more detail now!

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    1. Fen, that was the intention, but I think the header looks ugly. I was thinking of reverting to the old one with the hope that someone would offer to fix the new one up and make it stylish.

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    2. What would you like done?? Email me and I'm sure I can rustle something up for you x

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    3. Email pending Fen.

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  4. The public bus transportation system over here is like this sometimes as well. BTW what city/town is that in your header? It's beautiful!

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    1. I thought I replied Keith. It is looking over the suburb of South Yarra in Melbourne, Australia.

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  5. 'more stylish' ? what could be more stylish than South Ya Ra ?
    Ventura buses were bought out by a French company.
    France is having an economic crisis.
    I just don't get it.

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    1. Ann, there are weird things happening about buses. I have also observed the Punt Road buses changing but I can't remember

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  6. Andrew
    The reason you might often get 2 or buses come together is because of the late running. The reason why late running is so bad on these routes is congestion as you say, but also because the run times are so tight. Which resultes in buses running late even during times when congestion is not as bad, or no congestion.

    Then the fact that layover times are tight and these routes have gotten not much bus priorty compared to smartbus and national routes, only makes it worse.

    It's little wonder, late running has gotten so bad on these routes,and very little has been to improve it.

    But as I said should see more run time under transdev, and as result late running shouldn't be as bad, which should also mean, be less bunching up of buses.

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    1. Hi Jason. You seem to have inside knowledge, but the buses work well enough for me. Bus drivers do need a decent layover time to recover. That is time to stretch their legs and read the newspaper a bit. Getting off the bus and going to the lav at The Alfred was interesting. Who could deny him to go to the toilet, yet is is very frustrating for passengers on board. Can't that be done at a terminus?

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  7. Hi

    Yes often enroute they'll got to toilet, as at tremInus, plus not all terminus have toilets. So sometimes you just got go to on enroute.
    The tight layover times, also mean buses can't make up any time, so just get later and later, as result a lot of service are sent special to make up time.

    One thing I forgot to mention, there will be no more summer holiday timetable on these routes, unlike in the past.

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    1. Jason, The Alfred toilets are so far from the bus stop. I think Prahran Market when going the other direction is a good place, and they can grab coffee there too. While the running times should reflect the reality of traffic, decent layover time at least would make things right for the next trip and give the driver a break. The traffic lights through South Bank seem quite hostile to buses.

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  8. Tres interesting Andrew, but as the last time I caught a bus apart from the CAT city buses (which are excellent) was about twenty years ago I can't make any comparison..

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    1. Grace, were there horse tails visible through the front window?

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  9. Your new header looks good Andrew but I'm looking forward to seeing what Fen does with it :)

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    1. Thanks, when I finish here I will email her.

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