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Around the world, every week, with empty ACTION buses

By johnboy - 14 April 2012 23

The Liberals’ Alistair Coe is giving Chief Minister Gallagher a kick over dead running by ACTION buses and the lack of answers to how bad the problem currently is:

The Canberra Liberals lodged a question on notice on 23 February 2012 seeking information about the $120 million bus service. The answer was meant to be returned by 20 March but still has not been received.

In 2010, the Canberra Liberals obtained data showing that ACTION buses travel more than 69,000 kilometres every week, costing $8 million a year, on „out of service? buses with no passengers.

“If the 2012 data is ever released, I hope it will show considerable improvements in the efficiency of the network,” Mr Coe said.

“The most recent information we have shows that every four days. ACTION buses are running on empty around the distance of the equator.

“The fact that the ACT Labor Government has not released the data implies that the news is once again not acceptable.

Now, accepting that as long as we have buses there will be some degree of dead running, how much is OK and how do we get down to that number?

What’s Your opinion?


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23 Responses to
Around the world, every week, with empty ACTION buses
1
arescarti42 10:28 am
14 Apr 12
#

69,000 km per week isn’t that outrageous a number. That is 9857 km per day, which over ACTION’s fleet of 430 buses (say ~390 are actually in use each day), which is 25km per bus per day, or about 13km for the average bus each way from the depot to the beginning of its run, and back at the end of the day.

Short of tweaking the routes so that they start and finish closer to the depot, I would have thought the only other way to reduce dead running would be to simply have more depots.

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2
gasman 10:57 am
14 Apr 12
#

1. Charge $16-$25 per day for car parking within the city and use those funds to subsidise public transport (note that these prices for all day car parking is pretty common in many cities around the world).

2. Use the car-funded subsidies to reduce bus fares to $1 or $2 for 90 minute trips anywhere

3. Use smaller shuttle busses on low volume routes and at out-of-peak times

4. Make busses run MORE frequently so that they are actually useful (in Vancouver and San Francisco, busses run at 5-10 minute intervals – you don’t need to check a timetable, just turn up to a bus stop)

5. Re-do the system so that fast, big, regular busses run the length of Canberra’s spine while smaller busses do frequent loops from that spine to service outer areas.

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3
Bramina 10:59 am
14 Apr 12
#

arescarti42 said :

69,000 km per week isn’t that outrageous a number. That is 9857 km per day, which over ACTION’s fleet of 430 buses (say ~390 are actually in use each day), which is 25km per bus per day, or about 13km for the average bus each way from the depot to the beginning of its run, and back at the end of the day.

Short of tweaking the routes so that they start and finish closer to the depot, I would have thought the only other way to reduce dead running would be to simply have more depots.

Spot on.

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4
dungfungus 11:02 am
14 Apr 12
#

arescarti42 said :

69,000 km per week isn’t that outrageous a number. That is 9857 km per day, which over ACTION’s fleet of 430 buses (say ~390 are actually in use each day), which is 25km per bus per day, or about 13km for the average bus each way from the depot to the beginning of its run, and back at the end of the day.

Short of tweaking the routes so that they start and finish closer to the depot, I would have thought the only other way to reduce dead running would be to simply have more depots.

Think: “privatising Action will solve the problem”

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5
c_c 11:06 am
14 Apr 12
#

Might be a controversial idea, but Canberra has a significant homeless and poverty stricken population, and we at the same time have a pressing need for a more financially sustainable and responsive public transport system rather than having hulking empty busses doing the rounds.

Rickshaws anyones?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9bSrjv8BDs

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6
dungfungus 11:31 am
14 Apr 12
#

c_c said :

Might be a controversial idea, but Canberra has a significant homeless and poverty stricken population, and we at the same time have a pressing need for a more financially sustainable and responsive public transport system rather than having hulking empty busses doing the rounds.

Rickshaws anyones?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9bSrjv8BDs

I might have missed something here but what have the homeless and poverty stricken got to do with running empty buses that are operated by a chronically loss making public bus service which is underwritten finanacially by most Canberrans?

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7
milkman 12:03 pm
14 Apr 12
#

dungfungus said :

c_c said :

Might be a controversial idea, but Canberra has a significant homeless and poverty stricken population, and we at the same time have a pressing need for a more financially sustainable and responsive public transport system rather than having hulking empty busses doing the rounds.

Rickshaws anyones?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9bSrjv8BDs

I might have missed something here but what have the homeless and poverty stricken got to do with running empty buses that are operated by a chronically loss making public bus service which is underwritten finanacially by most Canberrans?

The homeless pull the rickshaws?

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8
Ian 12:28 pm
14 Apr 12
#

Dead running is not as straightforward as Coe would have us think. It is presumably cheaper to run an empty bus quickly to the start of its next route than to have it tour the world to pick up 1 or 2 extra people, which takes longer, and drivers’ wages are much more expensive than fuel. Never mind that at some point the extra routes replacing the dead running most likely result in more buses and drivers being needed to do the same amount of work.

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9
I-filed 12:37 pm
14 Apr 12
#

milkman said :

The homeless pull the rickshaws?

Excellent plan! Problematic though: on the one hand, would help address the obesity epidemic – but that would cost the rest of us more as thinner poor would live longer. On the other hand, if they’re worked hard, lots would probably die on the job, saving on health care costs.
Also, rickshaw travel would be very slow – if you are commuting from Tuggeranong to the city it would be a two-hour ride – even with a fit young poor person pulling the rickshaw.

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10
c_c 1:06 pm
14 Apr 12
#

milkman said :

dungfungus said :

c_c said :

Might be a controversial idea, but Canberra has a significant homeless and poverty stricken population, and we at the same time have a pressing need for a more financially sustainable and responsive public transport system rather than having hulking empty busses doing the rounds.

Rickshaws anyones?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9bSrjv8BDs

I might have missed something here but what have the homeless and poverty stricken got to do with running empty buses that are operated by a chronically loss making public bus service which is underwritten finanacially by most Canberrans?

The homeless pull the rickshaws?

That is correct, replace buses with rickshaws pulled by the homeless. Fixes two problems at once.
Heck, put some tracking bracelets on the folks at AMC, build a depot and have them earn their keep too.

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11
pepmeup 2:16 pm
14 Apr 12
#

gasman said :

1. Charge $16-$25 per day for car parking within the city and use those funds to subsidise public transport (note that these prices for all day car parking is pretty common in many cities around the world).

2. Use the car-funded subsidies to reduce bus fares to $1 or $2 for 90 minute trips anywhere

3. Use smaller shuttle busses on low volume routes and at out-of-peak times

4. Make busses run MORE frequently so that they are actually useful (in Vancouver and San Francisco, busses run at 5-10 minute intervals – you don’t need to check a timetable, just turn up to a bus stop)

5. Re-do the system so that fast, big, regular busses run the length of Canberra’s spine while smaller busses do frequent loops from that spine to service outer areas.

this is basically what I have thought for years. if you make Parking more expencive, maybe have some speacial car pool cheaper rate car parks (but if 3 people car poll then $15 parking is only $5 each anyway).

There are systems in Other major cities where you have to change bus more often but you still end up getting to your destination sooner, this seems to be what is needed in canberra

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12
dungfungus 2:29 pm
14 Apr 12
#

I-filed said :

milkman said :

The homeless pull the rickshaws?

Excellent plan! Problematic though: on the one hand, would help address the obesity epidemic – but that would cost the rest of us more as thinner poor would live longer. On the other hand, if they’re worked hard, lots would probably die on the job, saving on health care costs.
Also, rickshaw travel would be very slow – if you are commuting from Tuggeranong to the city it would be a two-hour ride – even with a fit young poor person pulling the rickshaw.

I thought this might develop into a serious discussion but I can now see why we have the dysfunctional public transport system we deserve.

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13
ka1042 6:54 pm
14 Apr 12
#

dungfungus said :

arescarti42 said :

69,000 km per week isn’t that outrageous a number. That is 9857 km per day, which over ACTION’s fleet of 430 buses (say ~390 are actually in use each day), which is 25km per bus per day, or about 13km for the average bus each way from the depot to the beginning of its run, and back at the end of the day.

Short of tweaking the routes so that they start and finish closer to the depot, I would have thought the only other way to reduce dead running would be to simply have more depots.

Think: “privatising Action will solve the problem”

Dungfungus, with your past comments to this site and your dumb assed name, I have no doubt you are a Liberal party staffer. I have read Alistair Coe’s past comments in the Assembly denegating Canberra and the ACTION bus service but, typically, not telling us what the Canberra Liberals would do differently. Tell me, do the Canberra Liberal’s have a secret agenda to privatise ACTION buses and if so, what else do they plan on privatising? ACT Labor and the Greens have their policy announcements clearly displayed on their websites and their websites are being updated daily. The Canberra Liberal’s website hasn’t been updated since the last election in 2008.

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14
c_c 7:00 pm
14 Apr 12
#

dungfungus said :

I thought this might develop into a serious discussion but I can now see why we have the dysfunctional public transport system we deserve.

It’s Saturday, chill out.

Anyway, on a serious note, in the absence of a critical mass of population, mass public transport will always suffer from the following:

Mass Public Transport = life planned around it
Personal Transport = on demand when you want it

Talk of screwing people on pay parking to push them onto public transport sounds like something from the Warsaw Pact and is moronic. As are suggestions of higher frequency, until Canberra get’s a sufficient population.

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15
dungfungus 10:15 pm
14 Apr 12
#

ka1042 said :

dungfungus said :

arescarti42 said :

69,000 km per week isn’t that outrageous a number. That is 9857 km per day, which over ACTION’s fleet of 430 buses (say ~390 are actually in use each day), which is 25km per bus per day, or about 13km for the average bus each way from the depot to the beginning of its run, and back at the end of the day.

Short of tweaking the routes so that they start and finish closer to the depot, I would have thought the only other way to reduce dead running would be to simply have more depots.

Think: “privatising Action will solve the problem”

Dungfungus, with your past comments to this site and your dumb assed name, I have no doubt you are a Liberal party staffer. I have read Alistair Coe’s past comments in the Assembly denegating Canberra and the ACTION bus service but, typically, not telling us what the Canberra Liberals would do differently. Tell me, do the Canberra Liberal’s have a secret agenda to privatise ACTION buses and if so, what else do they plan on privatising? ACT Labor and the Greens have their policy announcements clearly displayed on their websites and their websites are being updated daily. The Canberra Liberal’s website hasn’t been updated since the last election in 2008.

Calling my blog name as “dumb assed” is a bit harsh isn’t it? What sort of a name is yours? Sounds like a laboratory specimen label from a batch of low grade bacteria.
No, I am not a Liberal Party staffer and I don’t deal in secret agenda’s. I am simply a fee and ratepaying Canberra citizen who is sick of seeing a large proportion of his revenue contribution being wasted on an exceptionally inefficient public transport system. It is reasonable to expect public transport to run at a loss but what we have in the ACT is a joke. Labor and the Greens public transport policy appears to be more of the same thing with heaps of spin and I have no idea what the Liberals are proposing. What sort of problem do you have with privatisation anyhow; apart fom being a trade union hack?

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