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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
Paul0075 11:33 pm
14 Jan 13
#31

I think the increases are very minor. The prices are very reasonable, especially compared to other networks. ACTION have some of the newest fleet in the country too, so I think a few increases to cover new infrastructure to go with the newer buses isn’t much of an ask.

what_the 1:54 am
15 Jan 13
#32

Jethro said :

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.

Cheap for Australia? Because other countries seem to have fares set up a lit cheaper even for subways for instance which have a lot more overhead.

Baggy 7:56 am
15 Jan 13
#33

Jethro said :

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.

You miss the point, jethro.

We don’t whinge because of the fare increase. We whinge because of the excuse that it is to cover “improvements” we never seem to see, and bus shelters they’re not even paying for which don’t provide much in the way of shelter at all. Not to mention that they increase fare costs to cover “rising costs of operation” in a business that loses millions of dollars per annum.

It’s daft, there is no other word for it.

Innovation 8:29 am
15 Jan 13
#34

Jethro said :

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.

I agree! Assuming that someone is travelling across Canberra from one suburb to another that could work out to as little as $1.33 per hour…… There would be very few transport networks that could provide that kind of service for that price.

davo101 8:55 am
15 Jan 13
#35

c_c™ said :

+registration and CTP
+oil
+servicing
+tyres

Betting that’s a whole heap more than $1219

+insurance
+parking

Antagonist 9:28 am
15 Jan 13
#36

Innovation said :

Jethro said :

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.

I agree! Assuming that someone is travelling across Canberra from one suburb to another that could work out to as little as $1.33 per hour…… There would be very few transport networks that could provide that kind of service for that price.

Yeah, right. There are very few networks that can consistently turn a 30 minute drive into a 2 hour + bus ride. There are also very few transport networks that can run at $100 million per year loss and continue to operate. How are they going with the $45k+ daily running costs for empty busses? Yeah – they are providing a great service for $125 million per year. Not!

cyla 9:39 am
15 Jan 13
#37

There is no incentive to take a bus if you only have a short trip. I travel 6kms to work each day and I don’t have to pay for parking so why would I bother paying $5 a day to wait around for a bus? If each trip cost me $1, then I might consider it, but it seems to only be worth it if you have to pay a fortune for parking in the city. Instead I enjoy the comfort of my car, and take a parking spot from someone who has to drive from the other side of town. I think the fare should be based on how far you go, like in a taxi and it should be really cheap if you just need to get a few kms to the shops etc.

Bluenomi 9:43 am
15 Jan 13
#38

I must be old, I can remember when bus fares were 80 cents and the outrage when they went upto a dollar!

davo101 9:55 am
15 Jan 13
#39

cyla said :

I travel 6kms to work each day

That’s within bike range–total cost too small to bother counting.

Brandi 11:12 am
15 Jan 13
#40

davo101 said :

cyla said :

I travel 6kms to work each day

That’s within bike range–total cost too small to bother counting.

Bingo

DrKoresh 11:51 am
15 Jan 13
#41

cyla said :

There is no incentive to take a bus if you only have a short trip. I travel 6kms to work each day and I don’t have to pay for parking so why would I bother paying $5 a day to wait around for a bus? If each trip cost me $1, then I might consider it, but it seems to only be worth it if you have to pay a fortune for parking in the city. Instead I enjoy the comfort of my car, and take a parking spot from someone who has to drive from the other side of town. I think the fare should be based on how far you go, like in a taxi and it should be really cheap if you just need to get a few kms to the shops etc.

Then you’d have folks like me out in the boondocks having to pay $10 to spend an hour on the lumping bus just for a glimpse of civilisation. I like the way you were able to admit how selfish you are to drive the three minutes into work and take a spot from someone on the far-side of town, but it confuses me that you realise it and yet don’t bus it or bike it or, just for the novelty, walk. 6 kms isn’t all that far, even on foot and (assuming you aren’t crippled) is probably the most straight-forward way of getting your daily halfhour of exercise.

BBQNinja 12:08 pm
15 Jan 13
#42

http://www.tams.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/399214/TAMS_ANNUAL_Report_Vol_2_11-12.pdf

Page 130, more explanation on page 151.

Action’s incoming revenues were $113m. Only $22m of that was fares/charters/etc. The rest was DIRECTLY PAID FOR BY THE ACT GOVERNMENT.

Read that again, and take it in. Fares pay for UNDER 20% of the cost of providing the bus service.

Bottom line: The busses should be free with an ACT license/ID card, your local taxes have already paid for the busses anyways.

davo101 3:23 pm
15 Jan 13
#43

BBQNinja said :

http://www.tams.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/399214/TAMS_ANNUAL_Report_Vol_2_11-12.pdf

Page 130, more explanation on page 151.

Action’s incoming revenues were $113m. Only $22m of that was fares/charters/etc. The rest was DIRECTLY PAID FOR BY THE ACT GOVERNMENT.

Read that again, and take it in. Fares pay for UNDER 20% of the cost of providing the bus service.

Bottom line: The busses should be free with an ACT license/ID card, your local taxes have already paid for the busses anyways.

In Sydney fares cover between 10 and 30% of the cost, Canberra is ~20%, what’s your point? By your logic buses and trains in Sydney should be free.

Tetranitrate 3:48 pm
15 Jan 13
#44

davo101 said :

BBQNinja said :

http://www.tams.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/399214/TAMS_ANNUAL_Report_Vol_2_11-12.pdf

Page 130, more explanation on page 151.

Action’s incoming revenues were $113m. Only $22m of that was fares/charters/etc. The rest was DIRECTLY PAID FOR BY THE ACT GOVERNMENT.

Read that again, and take it in. Fares pay for UNDER 20% of the cost of providing the bus service.

Bottom line: The busses should be free with an ACT license/ID card, your local taxes have already paid for the busses anyways.

In Sydney fares cover between 10 and 30% of the cost, Canberra is ~20%, what’s your point? By your logic buses and trains in Sydney should be free.

Sounds good to me. They could pay the difference (and then some) with a broad-based land-tax.

Mathman 10:43 pm
15 Jan 13
#45

c_c™ said :

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

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
+insurance

Betting that’s a whole heap more than $1219

Except that I still have to pay for those costs even if I leave my car in the garage. The only way using a bus is cheaper than using a car is if I don’t have a car.

Of course the government’s way of addressing this is to make car ownership even more expensive, but that that makes it even more expensive to use the bus instead of the car. Ways to make using the bus more economical than a car is to make car registration free or including 1000 free bus tickets with your car rego – anything that lowers the cost of leaving the car at home.

Jethro 8:26 am
16 Jan 13
#46

Antagonist said :

Innovation said :

Jethro said :

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.

I agree! Assuming that someone is travelling across Canberra from one suburb to another that could work out to as little as $1.33 per hour…… There would be very few transport networks that could provide that kind of service for that price.

Yeah, right. There are very few networks that can consistently turn a 30 minute drive into a 2 hour + bus ride. There are also very few transport networks that can run at $100 million per year loss and continue to operate. How are they going with the $45k+ daily running costs for empty busses? Yeah – they are providing a great service for $125 million per year. Not!

Canberra has a very small population and very low density. It isn’t particularly suited to a proper public transport network. Something like Brisbane’s busway network simply wouldn’t work here because population size and density make it impractical.

I do like the idea of having small mini-buses serving suburbs and group centres, and group centres having express buses to town centres and civic.

Most public transport networks are subsidised. They’re not there to run a profit but to assisst with the movement of people. Could Action do it better? Definitely. Is $2.65 a reasonable price to pay for a bus from Holt to Civic? Very reasonable.

davo101 9:43 am
16 Jan 13
#47

Mathman said :

Ways to make using the bus more economical than a car is to make car registration free

Excuse me?

cyla 9:54 am
16 Jan 13
#48

I wouldn’t call it selfish, maybe lazy.
I am not about to ride a bike to work and then have to bother with showering and doing hair makeup etc and the fact you don’t cool down even if you have a cold shower. 6kms would take me 30mins or so to ride, and then I would have to do the above. Instead it takes me around 10 minutes to drive and I can go straight to my desk and have a coffee without melting.

davo101 10:30 am
16 Jan 13
#49

cyla said :

I wouldn’t call it selfish, maybe lazy.
I am not about to ride a bike to work and then have to bother with showering and doing hair makeup etc and the fact you don’t cool down even if you have a cold shower. 6kms would take me 30mins or so to ride, and then I would have to do the above. Instead it takes me around 10 minutes to drive and I can go straight to my desk and have a coffee without melting.

Here’s a tip: 6km is not far enough to build up a sweat so you really don’t need to have a shower. Anyway, I would have assumed you’d have a shower before you drove to work so I don’t see how having one at work instead changes anything other than your employer is then paying for the hot water (more saved $$$).

Genie 11:05 am
16 Jan 13
#50

I must be the minority. Because *gasp* I enjoy catching the bus and find it convenient. Perhaps I’ve just always lived in places that are serviced well by ACTION.

I’m also not too fussed about the fares going up. It’s still significantly cheaper than driving. I seem to only be putting $50 on my card every 3-4 weeks and I can’t even park my car in the city for $50 a week. Let alone petrol costs ontop of parking fees.

Yes it is quicker to drive to work than catch the bus but I enjoy my time zoning out with my music or throwing angry birds at pigs. Plus I’m getting some added exercise walking to and from the bus stops.

Yes catching the bus in the summer heat sucks, but so does getting into a car that has been baking in the sun for 8-10hours.

Solidarity 11:15 am
16 Jan 13
#51

Time is money.

That’s why driving a car is cheaper than catching a bus.

Genie 11:17 am
16 Jan 13
#52

Mathman said :

c_c™ said :

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

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
+insurance

Betting that’s a whole heap more than $1219

Except that I still have to pay for those costs even if I leave my car in the garage. The only way using a bus is cheaper than using a car is if I don’t have a car

Compare the absolute basics between driving your car to work and catching the bus.

If you’re catching the bus and paying the new full myway fare of $2.65 it will cost you $5.30 a day or $26.50 a week.

Now if you drive to work and pay the $13.50 a day to park your car it’s $67.50 a week plus let’s say another $50 for petrol. Grand total $117.50 a week

Which one is cheaper ?

Ryoma 12:47 pm
16 Jan 13
#53

I catch the bus (2, in fact), and most of the time I think they are reasonable in terms of performance and cost. Until recently, I *did* own a car as well, however it chose to die on the way back from interstate.

But I digress. I can see both points of view here; those that appreciate the bus service we do have, as well as the obvious faults in it in some locations, and the fact that cars are often the easier option.

There are several things I want to add;

1) We don’t have the density in many pockets of Canberra to support more direct bus routes. I imagine that part of the reason we have empty buses is that ACTION has to balance placing buses through various suburbs to ensure that those areas have some coverage, with the countervailing need to limit travel times. There is also a peak component to this; lots of office workers heading into Civic and town centres at either end of the day, but not much traffic in between.

2) Someone mentioned the elderly needing buses along the main routes. It would be interesting to know how many elderly people actually do live along the main routes, as opposed to many of the beautiful houses in the Inner North and South. While I certainly do not want people to be thrown out of the homes they have lived in all of their lives, could the gradual transition to higher denisty in many areas actually make a difference to bus ridership numbers over time?

3) There is a shortage of bus drivers, given the city still has (relatively) low unemployment. For those who suggest the answer is to pay more, that might be part of the solution, but guess what – we’ll still have to pay for that! The only question is whether we want it to be transparent through our bus fares, or to be lumped in with other ACT government charges.

4) We might be a reasonably wealthy city, but given our status as a Territory, I wonder if we are less able to raise new taxes than our State counterparts; i.e many of their functions are written into the Constitution, but perhaps we are legislatively bound to having a narrower tax base than other places? My point here is that if we are expecting to have the same levels of service as many bigger cities overseas, then doing it on a slightly larger version of a city council’s budget just won’t cut it. I’d suggest that (for example) Brisbane City Council has both more citizens and financial muscle than we do…

5) Along the same lines as point 3, we know that the ACT Government depends really heavily upon the revenue from land sales. Perhaps price rises such as this one are being hidden in the fine print because there is a real need to diversify our tax base, but coming out and saying so is political suicide?

Has anyone actually thought through what the ACT Government has to live upon in 10-15 years time, or at whatever point we run out of land to sell? At a time when our population will be aging?

Bottom line – we cannot have both large amounts of low density housing throughout most of the city, and then expect Singaporean levels of public transport to reach all areas of Canberra, unless we are willing to pay for it.

joingler 2:28 pm
20 Jan 13
#54

I reckon a 5% increase would be reasonabler. Unfortunately, the increase in my fare will be 17% (okay 16.9591% to be exact).

The new charge for new/replacement cards is more than reasonable.

ACTION is not a bad service – I rely on it 100% and I have no problems with the service 5 days a week. It’d be nice to get discounted trips on weekends to reflect the pathetic service that we are stuck with though.

DrKoresh 4:16 pm
20 Jan 13
#55

joingler said :

I reckon a 5% increase would be reasonabler. Unfortunately, the increase in my fare will be 17% (okay 16.9591% to be exact).

The new charge for new/replacement cards is more than reasonable.

ACTION is not a bad service – I rely on it 100% and I have no problems with the service 5 days a week. It’d be nice to get discounted trips on weekends to reflect the pathetic service that we are stuck with though.

It is not a bad service assuming you live in a well serviced suburb, or an area not far from the main routes. It’s pretty crap for people who don’t.

gooterz 9:59 pm
20 Jan 13
#56

Your more likely to catch the flu riding the public trolley network, and not just because it takes 5 times longer to get any where.

We need a ring network of intertown buses

ATypicalUsername 1:40 am
22 Jan 13
#57

These days, it almost always costs me less to drive to my destination than it is to catch the bus. Not to mention convenience.
As for parking, there is always free parking somewhere nearby, and in the time I can save by not relying on action, I have more than enough time to find a free park, walk the remaining distance, stop for a coffee, jump on my phone and post about it on riotact.
Action is, and possibly will always be, the least viable means of transport in canberra.

Alderney 8:59 am
22 Jan 13
#58

DrKoresh said :

joingler said :

I reckon a 5% increase would be reasonabler. Unfortunately, the increase in my fare will be 17% (okay 16.9591% to be exact).

The new charge for new/replacement cards is more than reasonable.

ACTION is not a bad service – I rely on it 100% and I have no problems with the service 5 days a week. It’d be nice to get discounted trips on weekends to reflect the pathetic service that we are stuck with though.

It is not a bad service assuming you live in a well serviced suburb, or an area not far from the main routes. It’s pretty crap for people who don’t.

Way to state the bleeding obvious.

I generally cycle, but am catching the bus at present, 30 mins door to door. Good service, sorted.

CanberraBusCatcher 7:10 pm
08 Feb 13
#59

Catching a bus for $2.65 from one end of the city to another is pretty cheap. But relying on Action as a means of public transport is ridiculous. I have three kids all school age but not old enough to catch a bus by themselves. They go to a school two suburbs away from my home, about 5 minutes drive by car. It costs me $5.65 to get to school and me to work (about 3 suburbs away) and another $5.65 (if I’m lucky with the timetables) to get the kids from work to home again. Meanwhile I have caught 6 buses (the whole time crossing my fingers they turn up and I don’t have to pay more or leave my children stranded, or be even later for work). One way takes about 2 hours from time I leave the house to time I get to work (or the other way around).

Last year I was even more stuck because I had a kid in daycare one suburb away from my house but not on the same route as the school. I don’t have all the answers but Canberra’s ‘solution’ to public transport is not working for those who rely on public transport only.

And before you all start whingeing at me that I shouldn’t have had three children without thinking about these things first I have a partner who is licensed and ‘happily’ does most of the driving. Besides the point is that there are many people who are mobility impaired and have moved themselves close to services they need only to find out that it is not on a useful bus route at all and the 10 minute walk they could’ve taken from their homes (if they were able) turns into an hour long bus ride with a stopover. Very exasperating.

Gobbo 10:58 pm
08 Feb 13
#60

Cyla, if 6 kilometres takes you 30 minutes to ride I suggest you see you doctor and start some kind of exercise program.

I can walk 6 kilometres in under 45 minutes. I am sure riding would take far less.

i wish you well for you continuing fitness.

As for ACTION? Now that I only have to catch one bus to work I am the happiest camper in camper-land. Two buses was painful, one is far quicker and more convenient than the car I gave up.

i am happy to join the solely public transport fraternity within Canberra.

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