Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Waiting for the bus, and waiting, and waiting

With a choice of trams and buses running past home, some may think I am spoilt for choice. Our apartment cost a lot of money and the main reason is its location and part of that is good public transport.

So if we lose some transport, we are disadvantaged and potentially the value of our home is reduced, not that I care about that as I don't intend moving.

Transdev now operates the bus service passing The Highrise, routes 216, 219 and 220. They have plans to reduce the service. All three routes travel from western suburbs to southern suburbs via the city. They travel over a common route through the city in Queen Street, through Southbank, along St Kilda Road, Prahran to Hawksburn.

Transdev plans to entirely change the routes and numbers. One route will run from the city to the southern suburbs and the other from the Alfred Hospital to the southern suburbs, meaning only one route will  pass by The Highrise instead of three.

Looking at weekday daytime frequencies, which is when I mostly use the buses,

216, 30 minute service

219, 30 minute service

220, 15 minute service

That is eight buses an hour we can use to get to Prahran or the city.

We will only have one route, the 249, to use if the proposed plans go ahead and it will be a fifteen minute service. This means a halving of the service to four buses an hour.

Naturally I am not happy with this but it may not be such a bad thing. The present buses are very unreliable especially from the city. I have heard they are badly affected by traffic in the Footscray area where they travel before reaching the city and continue on to the southern suburbs. Now, if only coming from the city and travelling to Gardenvale and then returning to the city to make the trip again, we may see a very reliable 15 minute service. I am not sure this will happen though. I expect it will become part of another route. Buses need to go past the depot in Footscray to change to a new driver. While I have filled in the Transdev survey, their reply to my queries about the new 249 route were unanswered and suggested I attend one their Community Information Sessions.

19 comments:

  1. Andrew, it is not a good news - public transport is very important and access to it is very important so apartments which are located in friendly transport zone are very expensive and wanted. I know it personally my apartment was expensive because it is located next to buses and trams stop .

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    1. Well Gosia, at least we still have the trams to use. The buses are extra and luxury travel.

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  2. 15 minute service.
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!
    We have the same here, a 15 minute service. Well, it's supposed to be.
    And in the mornings, Monday to Friday between 8am and 9am when billions of people are needing to get to work, the 15 minutes is usually correct, plenty of buses and they're on time, as long as you are heading into the city. Too bad if you work out in the 'burbs. and for the rest of the day, those of us who aren't so important have to make do with whatever bus comes along.
    When the timetables are produced and the 'bigwigs' announce new schedules etc they simply forget to take into account that many people don't know which bus they want and hold up the schedule while asking myriad questions of the driver, or they know which bus they want, but still hold up the schedule by asking the driver of the wrong bus if he knows when their bus will be coming, then there's the wet weather days when traffic slows because more people choose to drive instead of waiting around at a bus stop in the rain and those that do catch the bus have to juggle umbrellas along with everything else and this makes getting on the bus take longer for some reason, or the rain is so heavy the driver can barely see where he is going so he slows down (as he should).
    There's all kinds of variables that result in schedules not working as they should, so people give up and travel by other means, then buses get removed because no one is using them.....what a shemozzle.

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    1. River, your knowledge is terrific. Have you been having it off with bus driver and he has whispered sweet nothing bus details into your ear?

      Yes, all sorts of things that can go wrong and if it is to be a quality service, these things need to be dealt with well.

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    2. I'd say it would be near impossible to deal with people who hold up the service with stupid questions they could have had answered by a little prior research, then there are those old dears who rarely use the bus so it's a "big exciting" deal for them and they pay their fare with small change which they count out very slowly while talking to the driver about their big day out. There was one just last week who had to keep asking 'is this my stop?' all the way to the city.

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    3. Too true. Help people who help themselves. Sydney is fast moving away from passengers paying a driver.

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  3. Cue hysterical laughter here. On weekdays our buses between city centres supposedly go every five minutes of so. They don't. And to get to a city centre my wait is up to an hour outside the very narrowly defined peak hours.
    And don't get me started on weekend travel.
    Our buses bleed money, and are severely underutilise and it seems that rocket scientists ARE needed to convince the powers that be that if we had a reliable, regular, convenient service more people would use it.
    As one small example it is much quicker for me to catch a bus to one interchange, change buses and take a direct route to the other than it is to attempt to catch a bus from my place to the second centre.

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    1. EC, as I expect you know, it is only political pressure and money that will sort these things out. What you say is quite absurd, well what happens rather than what you say. A good bus service has been proved to increase patronage and income for the company, but it does have to be, as you say, a viable alternative.

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  4. We have 15mts service to Parramatta it's not too bad but not in a hurry these days so I just don't care too much.
    But to go to Merrylands or Auburn it's 1 a hour and if you miss it or it runs early [ha ha as if that ever happens] it's a long wait for another one.
    Most other trips are by train and they are pretty much on time.
    Merle...........

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    1. Merle, I truly do not know about Sydney buses. I see how jammed up they can be in the city and how can they possibly offer a good service when they are always mixed up with cars. If any public transport offers only a one hour service, it needs to really be on time, as I suggest this fifteen minute service for our bus should be.

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    2. Merle; our buses occasionally run early, the system is arranged so they must be at a certain bus stop by a certain time and if they get there too early they "layover" which means they sit at that particular stop until the time to leave it matches the time table and if there hasn't been any pickups along the way so they're ahead of time, they don't travel slower between stops just keep zooming along to get to their precious 'layover" stop. Many times I've seen my bus go straight past my stop while I'm waiting to cross the road to catch it.

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  5. LOL - Looks like you hit a raw nerve with some of our Australian bloggers Andrew !
    I'm not dependant on public transport thank goodness - I do have a bus service at the end of our small street that comes down the mountain and connects with the train to the city in Croydon but we drive down there and park if we want the train. Having said that it is good to know I don't have far to go if I did need a ride if the car was of action. Would have to check the times on the web and make sure my myki card was loaded before I could use it tho.
    Cathy
    Having to use blogger Id to comment - w/press Id not being accepted

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    1. Cathy, I do know what buttons to push to get comments and I don't usually do that, but public transport is so important to the future of our big cities. I am pleased to know that you have at least considered how you might get to the station without a car.

      Re blog comment, I realised I my second last comment on your blog did not identify me properly. The next comment I mad sure it did, switching to my correct profile for Word Press blog comments. Maybe that is something to do with it and it is now sorted out.

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  6. Sounds as if it could be a nuisance not having the bus so often. There is a bus stop down the hill and around the corner here, the bus only goes past it about 4 times a day, and I would never catch it. That's the difference been my small city and your large one :)

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    1. WA, as I said, we are quite well off with trams passing every couple of minutes, but I don't like the loss. 4 times a day means only the desperate will use the service.

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  7. Doesn't sound so bad Andrew, sounds a bit like you know when you clean out cupboards and get rid of everything you don't really need, feels liberating.. Only works if the one remaining service does actually come every 15 mins :)

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    1. Grace, we shall see, if it goes ahead.

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  8. Port Pirie has only one bus, no set timetable, it just ambles around the suburbs into the city centre and out again......

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    1. I remember River. You waiting for a bus that never turned up and more than once.

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