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20 more reasons to not catch the bus

By 14 January 2013 61

buses

Shane Rattenbury has announced a fare increase for the ACTION bus network:

“From 4 February 2013, MyWay bus fares will increase by five percent and there will be changes to monthly trip caps,” said Mr Rattenbury.

“The fare changes reflect rising costs of operation and improvements to the public transport system. The last increase in bus fares was July 2010.”

“We are making ongoing improvements to ACTION, including installing new bus shelters, upgrading stops to comply with disability standards, purchasing new buses, and providing new bus services.

“I’m excited to introduce Canberra’s first real time passenger information system later this year. Passengers waiting for buses will be able to see live information on the timing of their bus.

“I do not expect the fare increase to impact negatively on passenger numbers. At this stage, I think the key to more passengers is to introduce more frequent and convenient services.

bus fares

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61 Responses to 20 more reasons to not catch the bus
#1
buzz81910:42 am, 14 Jan 13

I was looking at the Action website the other day to try and find a bus to catch to Belconnen Mall. Why don’t they use a googlemaps type site, you know, click on the bus stop you want to catch a bus from and it lists the routes from there?

#2
johnboy10:46 am, 14 Jan 13

to be fair just use google maps and it will tell you what bus to catch.

#3
Chop7110:56 am, 14 Jan 13

5% is cheap in comparison to rates, utilities, parking and everything else.

#4
dpm11:10 am, 14 Jan 13

buzz819 said :

I was looking at the Action website the other day to try and find a bus to catch to Belconnen Mall. Why don’t they use a googlemaps type site, you know, click on the bus stop you want to catch a bus from and it lists the routes from there?

Um, they *do* use Google.
It’s right there on their front page:
https://www.action.act.gov.au/

#5
buzz81911:15 am, 14 Jan 13

johnboy said :

to be fair just use google maps and it will tell you what bus to catch.

Now that I didn’t know, that is very very good!

#6
schmeah11:20 am, 14 Jan 13

Paying more for the honour of riding Canberra’s totally inefficient bus network! Yay!

I’m still waiting for the government to upgrade the buses which plough the inner, suburban networks. I’ve been getting the number 2 bus – from Woden to Dickson – for about 3 years and the number of times I’ve seen little, old, walking frame ladies struggle to get onto those old, sweaty buses is really depressing. I dread that one day it will end with one of them being seriously hurt. It just seems the government has been promising this upgrade for a very long time now.

Given the route takes in the local, low-density residential network – as opposed to the direct routes which take in those living in high-density environments might use (along Northbourne etc) – where most of our senior citizens would reside I’m surprised the government has not at least tried to prioritse these buses.

Sure, the useage isn’t as high, but couldn’t they have shared the upgrade around more?

#7
eatthatfrog12:20 pm, 14 Jan 13

I hit my cap every month.

At the moment, that costs me up to $90.72 a month, or $1,088.64 a year.

With the increases the fare and the monthly cap, I will now be paying up to $106.00 a month or $1,272.00 a year.

So unless I hack my finishing times, I will now be paying $183.86 extra a year. Of course, *that* information is stuck at the bottom of the press release.

Thanks, ACTION!

#8
arescarti4212:30 pm, 14 Jan 13

A 13 cent increase in bus fare?

Well there’s my Euro holiday down the drain.

#9
Felix the Cat12:47 pm, 14 Jan 13

““We are making ongoing improvements to ACTION, including installing new bus shelters”

I thought these (the clear ones) were being supplied free by a private comapany in return for being allowed t oput their advertising posters on/in them?

ACTION buses run at a multi million dollar loss anyway, why don’t they just make the fares zero?

#10
ML-5851:03 pm, 14 Jan 13

eatthatfrog said :

I hit my cap every month.

At the moment, that costs me up to $90.72 a month, or $1,088.64 a year.

With the increases the fare and the monthly cap, I will now be paying up to $106.00 a month or $1,272.00 a year.

So unless I hack my finishing times, I will now be paying $183.86 extra a year. Of course, *that* information is stuck at the bottom of the press release.

Thanks, ACTION!

For starters, thank Andrew Barr. I re-checked the Budget Papers to see if I’d missing something and I hadn’t. The numbers shown in the budget were based on the monthly cap remaining as 36 trips, although it was also based on the fares increasing on 1 January rather than 4 February.

In any case, as eatthatfrog proves, the change to the monthly cap can result in up to a 16% increase in fares.

There are still a few ways to reduce your fare. Since you always reach your monthly cap, you should register for autoload, or at least schedule regular payments through BPAY: this will reduce your $2.65 fare back to $2.52. You should also try to maximise your off-peak travel, since this will still count towards the monthly cap: depending on where you work, try catching a bus during your lunch break – travel one stop and walk back, and/or leave work after 6pm (I’m aware that’s not always feasible).

schmeah said :

Paying more for the honour of riding Canberra’s totally inefficient bus network! Yay!

So would you prefer fares to not increase and thereby spreading the burden of increased running costs across all ACT ratepayers?

#11
davo1011:09 pm, 14 Jan 13

eatthatfrog said :

I hit my cap every month……….So unless I hack my finishing times, I will now be paying $183.86 extra a year. Of course, *that* information is stuck at the bottom of the press release.

Thanks, ACTION!

Sneaky. Got to admit it’s a great way of slugging commuters an extra ~16% while being able to claim that fares are only going up “5%”.

#12
thebrownstreak691:12 pm, 14 Jan 13

arescarti42 said :

A 13 cent increase in bus fare?

Well there’s my Euro holiday down the drain.

LOL! :)

#13
Antagonist1:13 pm, 14 Jan 13

“The fare changes reflect rising costs of operation and improvements to the public transport system …”

Reflects improvements? On what planet? I laughed so hard at this part that I almost forgot to be outraged at a 6c increase in the concessional fare.

#14
shirty_bear1:17 pm, 14 Jan 13

They’re idiots, this gubbmint. They want people on buses; they should be removing every possible disincentive.

Previous talk here on RA suggests bus fares are a very minor revenue stream. It makes sense to make them either really cheap, or free. That’ll get people on board.

#15
Rollersk8r1:32 pm, 14 Jan 13

shirty_bear said :

They’re idiots, this gubbmint. They want people on buses; they should be removing every possible disincentive.

Previous talk here on RA suggests bus fares are a very minor revenue stream. It makes sense to make them either really cheap, or free. That’ll get people on board.

I think it should be free before, say, 7am in the morning as an incentive to ease traffic congestion – but making it completely free wouldn’t do much to increase patronage. In my opinion cost is the least of all factors stopping people from using it.

#16
Rollersk8r1:35 pm, 14 Jan 13

eatthatfrog said :

I hit my cap every month.

At the moment, that costs me up to $90.72 a month, or $1,088.64 a year.

With the increases the fare and the monthly cap, I will now be paying up to $106.00 a month or $1,272.00 a year.

So unless I hack my finishing times, I will now be paying $183.86 extra a year. Of course, *that* information is stuck at the bottom of the press release.

Thanks, ACTION!

Well it is still less than half of what it costs if you were to use pay parking every day (not including petrol, rego etc).

#17
schmeah1:39 pm, 14 Jan 13

ML-585 said :

eatthatfrog said :

I hit my cap every month.

At the moment, that costs me up to $90.72 a month, or $1,088.64 a year.

With the increases the fare and the monthly cap, I will now be paying up to $106.00 a month or $1,272.00 a year.

So unless I hack my finishing times, I will now be paying $183.86 extra a year. Of course, *that* information is stuck at the bottom of the press release.

Thanks, ACTION!

For starters, thank Andrew Barr. I re-checked the Budget Papers to see if I’d missing something and I hadn’t. The numbers shown in the budget were based on the monthly cap remaining as 36 trips, although it was also based on the fares increasing on 1 January rather than 4 February.

In any case, as eatthatfrog proves, the change to the monthly cap can result in up to a 16% increase in fares.

There are still a few ways to reduce your fare. Since you always reach your monthly cap, you should register for autoload, or at least schedule regular payments through BPAY: this will reduce your $2.65 fare back to $2.52. You should also try to maximise your off-peak travel, since this will still count towards the monthly cap: depending on where you work, try catching a bus during your lunch break – travel one stop and walk back, and/or leave work after 6pm (I’m aware that’s not always feasible).

schmeah said :

Paying more for the honour of riding Canberra’s totally inefficient bus network! Yay!

So would you prefer fares to not increase and thereby spreading the burden of increased running costs across all ACT ratepayers?

No. I would prefer that increases to the fare were accompanied by tangible improvements to the service. In around the 5 years I’ve been living here the quality of the service has remained basically the same, slow, unreliable and inaccessible to anyone with a mobility issue or pushing a pram but price rises have always been used to pay for these alleged improvements.

Anyone living in another capital city (except maybe Sydney) would be gobsmacked by our bus network. In 5 years, the improvements to Brisbane’s bus service – accessiblility services, eletronic service updates, shelters, upgrades to all buses and the construction of bus only by-passes totally, absolutely craps all over anything ACTION attempts to do .. which is really pretty basic; upgrade the buses and provide a feed about arrival times. WOW.

#18
ML-5852:18 pm, 14 Jan 13

schmeah said :

ML-585 said :

So would you prefer fares to not increase and thereby spreading the burden of increased running costs across all ACT ratepayers?

No. I would prefer that increases to the fare were accompanied by tangible improvements to the service.

So yes, in other words. Cost increases have to either be paid by someone, or else costs have to be reduced – take your pick.

No argument about the level of service: Brisbane and Perth are examples of how well bus services can be run (and both of these cities still have room for improvement).

BUT – the fares on these services are substantially more than here. Even with the new fare increase, Canberra will still be cheaper than any mainland state capital (Darwin and Hobart are cheaper). Do we have the population/taxation base required to pay for substantial service improvements (such as additional buses, more frequent routes, more direct routes etc.), and would the average passenger be prepared to pay (say) $5 per trip if such improvements could be magically delivered overnight?

Rollersk8r said :

I think it should be free before, say, 7am in the morning as an incentive to ease traffic congestion – but making it completely free wouldn’t do much to increase patronage. In my opinion cost is the least of all factors stopping people from using it.

Perhaps not free, but possibly a reduced fare prior to 7am would be a great idea. Of course, if they did that they may then need to increase the peak fare to compensate for the reduced fare revenue. Certainly worth considering.

#19
Chop712:40 pm, 14 Jan 13

A 5% increase is cheap compared to everything else in Canberra. The people voted for this government (well sort of) so we have to suck it up and deal with it.

#20
c_c™4:30 pm, 14 Jan 13

Oh chill out, that’s a tiny increase.

Try heading to Sydney or Melbourne where the motorway fees, $40 parking spots and public transport fares really stack up.

#21
schmeah4:35 pm, 14 Jan 13

ML-585 said :

schmeah said :

ML-585 said :

So would you prefer fares to not increase and thereby spreading the burden of increased running costs across all ACT ratepayers?

No. I would prefer that increases to the fare were accompanied by tangible improvements to the service.

So yes, in other words. Cost increases have to either be paid by someone, or else costs have to be reduced – take your pick.

No argument about the level of service: Brisbane and Perth are examples of how well bus services can be run (and both of these cities still have room for improvement).

BUT – the fares on these services are substantially more than here. Even with the new fare increase, Canberra will still be cheaper than any mainland state capital (Darwin and Hobart are cheaper). Do we have the population/taxation base required to pay for substantial service improvements (such as additional buses, more frequent routes, more direct routes etc.), and would the average passenger be prepared to pay (say) $5 per trip if such improvements could be magically delivered overnight?

Rollersk8r said :

I think it should be free before, say, 7am in the morning as an incentive to ease traffic congestion – but making it completely free wouldn’t do much to increase patronage. In my opinion cost is the least of all factors stopping people from using it.

Perhaps not free, but possibly a reduced fare prior to 7am would be a great idea. Of course, if they did that they may then need to increase the peak fare to compensate for the reduced fare revenue. Certainly worth considering.

Your in-house know-how indicates you work for ACTION. I rest my argument from here on.

#22
RedDogInCan6:47 pm, 14 Jan 13

RedDogInCan said :

“I do not expect the fare increase to impact negatively on passenger numbers. At this stage, I think the key to more passengers is to introduce more frequent and convenient services.”

No sh*t, Sherlock! And the plans to introduce more frequent and convenient services are….?

From the press release:

“Catching an ACTION bus daily to and from Civic remains $41.00 per week cheaper than driving and parking, not including additional costs such as petrol.”

What coolaid are these people drinking. Catching a bus is $41 per week cheaper only if you get rid of your car completely and rely solely on ACTION to transport you around town – good luck with that.

#23
LSWCHP7:54 pm, 14 Jan 13

RedDogInCan said :

LSWCHP said :

“I do not expect the fare increase to impact negatively on passenger numbers. At this stage, I think the key to more passengers is to introduce more frequent and convenient services.”

No sh*t, Sherlock! And the plans to introduce more frequent and convenient services are….?

From the press release:

“Catching an ACTION bus daily to and from Civic remains $41.00 per week cheaper than driving and parking, not including additional costs such as petrol.”

What coolaid are these people drinking. Catching a bus is $41 per week cheaper only if you get rid of your car completely and rely solely on ACTION to transport you around town – good luck with that.

Nail hit on head. I relied on buses for many years before I could afford my own transport, and it was difficult to get around. I expect it would still be very difficult to rely solely on public transport in Canberra. So even if you catch a lot of buses, you’ll still have a car if you can afford one.

The thing that makes it difficult for my wife and I is that neither of us live close to where we work due to circumstances outside our control, which would mean multiple trips and long waits for both of us. Factors like that mean that I suspect it’ll be a long time before I’ll be commuting on buses.

#24
Frustrated9:01 pm, 14 Jan 13

schmeah said :

Paying more for the honour of riding Canberra’s totally inefficient bus network! Yay!

I’m still waiting for the government to upgrade the buses which plough the inner, suburban networks. I’ve been getting the number 2 bus – from Woden to Dickson – for about 3 years and the number of times I’ve seen little, old, walking frame ladies struggle to get onto those old, sweaty buses is really depressing. I dread that one day it will end with one of them being seriously hurt. It just seems the government has been promising this upgrade for a very long time now.

Given the route takes in the local, low-density residential network – as opposed to the direct routes which take in those living in high-density environments might use (along Northbourne etc) – where most of our senior citizens would reside I’m surprised the government has not at least tried to prioritse these buses.

Sure, the useage isn’t as high, but couldn’t they have shared the upgrade around more?

Action bus network has always been rubbish, long before self-government came along and took over.

#25
NewDeal7779:10 pm, 14 Jan 13

Having grown up in Canberra..I feel your pain.

http://www.hsl.fi/EN/Pages/default.aspx

Train, Metro, Tram, Bus…THIS is public transport…it is 99.9% on time too :) AND…Roads are great if you drive…snow cleared within 12 hours…:)

#26
Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd9:15 pm, 14 Jan 13

eatthatfrog said :

I hit my cap every month.

At the moment, that costs me up to $90.72 a month, or $1,088.64 a year.

With the increases the fare and the monthly cap, I will now be paying up to $106.00 a month or $1,272.00 a year.

So unless I hack my finishing times, I will now be paying $183.86 extra a year. Of course, *that* information is stuck at the bottom of the press release.

Thanks, ACTION!

Cheaper than petrol bro

#27
jase!9:32 pm, 14 Jan 13

“I do not expect the fare increase to impact negatively on passenger numbers”

to reduce demand on parking you raise the cost
to reduce demand for cigarettes you raise the cost
but
raising the cost of buses won’t change demand

#28
Mathman9:52 pm, 14 Jan 13

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

eatthatfrog said :

With the increases the fare and the monthly cap, I will now be paying up to $106.00 a month or $1,272.00 a year.

Cheaper than petrol bro

Hmm, let’s see…

$1,272 will buy 848 litres of petrol at $1.50/litre.

The average Australian car gets 11l/100km fuel economy.

848 litres of petrol at 11l/100km gets you 7,709km or just over 33km per day based on 46 work weeks (leave + public holidays).

So unless you live deep dark south Tuggeranong or the frontier settlements of West Belconnen on north Gungahlin, then no, the bus fare is not cheaper than petrol.

#29
Jethro10:17 pm, 14 Jan 13

God Canberrans can be whingers. $2.65 for a bus ticket that can take you from one side of the city to the other.

As far as public transport costs go compared to other cities, that’s pretty bloody cheap. Even the cash fare of $4.20 is reasonable.

#30
c_c™11:15 pm, 14 Jan 13

Mathman said :

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

eatthatfrog said :

With the increases the fare and the monthly cap, I will now be paying up to $106.00 a month or $1,272.00 a year.

Cheaper than petrol bro

Hmm, let’s see…

$1,272 will buy 848 litres of petrol at $1.50/litre.

The average Australian car gets 11l/100km fuel economy.

848 litres of petrol at 11l/100km gets you 7,709km or just over 33km per day based on 46 work weeks (leave + public holidays).

So unless you live deep dark south Tuggeranong or the frontier settlements of West Belconnen on north Gungahlin, then no, the bus fare is not cheaper than petrol.

+registration and CTP
+oil
+servicing
+tyres

Betting that’s a whole heap more than $1219

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