Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Bustitution

For nearly two weeks we have been bustituted, that is buses attempting  to replace our trams. I have been and still am on holidays, so we have been using our public transport a good bit to get to town and Prahran. The first trip to town was a bit of fun, subsequently, walk for a distance, get on to a bus and then change to a tram has become a pain. The programmed tram advance announcements warning us to allow extra time for our journey came to fruition.

The buses shuttle between two tram temporary connecting points. This is because of the construction of an underground train station. The road restrictions have caused us massive inconvenience, but we manage. We may well be dead by the time the project is completed and we might not get any benefit. I try to think of it as planting a slow growing but wonderful tree. We are doing for the future, for the kiddies. Yes Cathy, it always on my mind. Do it for the kiddies.

The normal buses that travel past The Highrise are run by Transdev. That company was clearly not invited to service for bustitution as it has had so many of its buses put off the road because of maintenance/roadworthy/safety issues. Bad Transdev. Instead bustitution has been supplied by Ventura Buses. I caught my first Ventura bus before I was ten years old. My grandmother took us on the bus to Brighton Cemetery where she  put flowers on her parents' grave. It seems to be a good company that looks after its workers. I think I read that it began in 1924.

So, it has been school holidays and there seemed to be enough normal Ventura buses but schools went back today. How can Ventura run all these extra tram replacement services? Well, it doesn't seem to lack in staff, but it does with buses, hence all these really old buses are back in service as tram replacement. We have free vintage bus trips past The Highrise. After a little study, many seem to buses built in the late 1990s and they would have been the last buses to go into service without air conditioning. I saw one or two last week. This week in the morning peak I reckon seven were in service. Late 90s and no air con? Extraordinary given that in the 80s our then 377 bus had air con. But what is really so unreal, is that these buses, admittedly without air con, are no more noisy and rough than the current Transdev buses. In fact I would say better from a passenger perspective. Do you get this? A one year old bus is not more comfortable for passengers than a 20 year old bus.

Here are a few photos I snapped of the old buses without air con, but still quite serviceable.






Hi, do you mind if I take a photo of your really old bus dashboard? My god, was the bus driver so good looking.




"Hi, do you mind if I take a photo of your really old dashboard?" "No worries mate. I really don't know how old this bus is." "It is pretty old but you drove it really well." I suck bigtime of whatever when I have to.



Come Wednesday, trams will return to St Kilda Road and the free vintage bus tours will end. I am well over buses and promise to not complain about our trams for at least two days.

39 comments:

  1. It seems you have mastered suck skills for success.
    Our older buses are MUCH more comfortable than the newer ones. Despite the lack of AC.

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    1. EC, they are outer suburban bus drivers and they are always much friendlier than inner suburban bus and tram drivers.

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  2. We have some super old buses running here, the other day I got one that the windows opened, not city buses of course, we are out in the sticks but that is rare. they are a bit crazy on road improvement here the city has been a mess for some time. As you say the benefit is going to be felt by the children we just put up with the pain so be it.
    Merle............

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    1. A bit of a mess is correct. Melbourne only has two wide, beautiful boulevards north and south of the CBD, and one of them looks like hell.

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    2. Merle, last week we cooked on one of your non air conditioned trains. I know very well you are not out in the sticks. But yes, you must be suffering from the Sydney works.

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  3. Some of the bus drivers on the bus shuttle service to replace trains (Skyrail birthing) have come from the other side of town and have nfi of their routes with passengers playing GPS.
    At least you got some eye candy!

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    1. Jayne, that happened here last week when it all began. They didn't have a clue. But at least Ventura have their own officials out and about and organising.

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  4. The last time I've been on a bus was back in 1986 or 1987.

    One time, after landing at Townsville airport, having arrived back from a business trip to Sydney or Melbourne (or both) when I was managing the resort on Hinchinbrook Island, I travelled by bus from Townsville to Cardwell. Once at Cardwell, I then went by boat across to the island.

    The only buses up here on the mountain are the school buses...and I left school many years ago, so I have no need to catch one.

    If the truth be known...I couldn't catch one, anyway! :)

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    1. Lee, that is about a two hour trip on a pretty good coach, I would think. You are right in so far as when you get older and haven't been a public transport user, it is very hard to start doing so.

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    2. I was inferring me trying to run after one in an effort to catch it, Andrew! ;)

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    3. Mental image of you running after a departing bus.

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  5. You would have been gobsmacked at the chaos with busses at the Commonwealth games. The less said about the games stuff ups the better.

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    1. Diane, I am not surprised as my GC informant has kept me informed. I don't know how it does it, but the GC tram performed magnificently well, with people choosing to use it and avoid buses by just walking. Three times the number of passengers caused some late running, but that was catered for by standby trams and drivers. The GC tram is a fine example of how to build and run good public transport. We dined with a few friends on Sunday and one said he wanted to go home to see the Closing Ceremony. Fool.

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  6. Bit odd the older buses have no Aircon. Maybe these older buses are easier to repair if they break down where as newer buses might have to be towed if they broke down. Just a guess, or just saying :)

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    1. Margaret, it is odd, as we had air con buses in the early eighties but they were government buses. Think, cost against profit for the private bus operators. The old buses are being used simply because they have run out of new buses to do this extra work.

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  7. Every time I see that junction below your 'high rise', I wonder why there isn't one big roundabout down there. They keep traffic flowing, and do away with all those crazy instructions.

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    1. Cro, it is much too busy for a roundabout and is constrained by the road layout, plus trams going both through and turning. The east west roads don't line up. While an oval roundabout could be built, on some of the roads traffic would never be able to get into the roundabout.

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    2. At least you would have the pleasure of watching a good fight.

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    3. The fights are already pretty good, and the trams would win any fight.

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  8. You are a lover of transportation

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    1. Gosia, I am good at talking about problems but not good at solving them. Others are much better at that.

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  9. How about getting a horse?

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    1. Lady J, or a motor scooter, which many seem to be doing.

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  10. Inconvenience really is so inconvenient. We become used to the way things are, then someone upsets the apple cart...You could go back to walking like people did before transportation was invented.

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    1. River, yes, we could walk and it would be very beneficial to our health, but it is hard work. I fully know that the more you walk, the easier it is.

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  11. I think if you would come to Belgium and its public transport you will land up in a mad house !
    It's like Russian roulette, it comes or comes not !

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    1. Gattina, I don't understand. Generally public transport is so good in Europe. Why might it not be in Belgium?

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  12. Sucking up is certainly a needed skill to get what you want or need. Those old buses look like the current ones that I see in Corvallis or in Portland. I have not been on a bus for decades. I rode the bus in Corvallis because I had no car, but it could take half the day to get a bag of groceries, with all the waiting and sometimes drivers who were behind schedule skipped stops. I was so happy when I finally got an old beat up $200 car, and crossed the bridge over the river and out of town in it. It was like leaving prison!

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    1. Strayer, while the public transport in Portland is supposed to be good, most of smaller Americas it is not. Unless you live in NYC, and some of the larger cities, you simply must own a car.

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  13. Those buses don't look that old. In fact they seem to be newer than a number of ours! A new underground system, well now I am interested.

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    1. Marie, twenty to thirty years old, I think. I don't think our buses are kept for much longer than ten years, if that.

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    2. Further, our buses are cheap and nasty compared to the few buses I rode in England, which for normal buses, were very comfortable, smooth and quiet.

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  14. Sounds like an unavoidable pain.
    Though the buses don't look bad at all.

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    1. Sandra, stepping inside them was like stepping into a time capsule. I quite enjoyed my little rides.

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  15. A pity that your suck up skills didn't extend to photographing the eye candy; or did you keep that photo for yourself?

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    1. Victor, I did as the bus arrived at the stop, but annoyingly it was badly out of focus.

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  16. "really old dashboard", uh huh ;)

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    1. No telling Fen. As well as handsome, he was also very friendly.

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