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A.C.T.I.O.N.? What a massive F.A.I.L.U.R.E.

By benita_449 7 February 2010 66

A.C.T.I.O.N. C.E.O./Executive Team
GPO Box 158
Canberra City ACT 2601

CC: Editor: The Canberra Times
Choice – Consumer Advice
Jon Stanhope ACT Chief Minister & Minister for Transport
The RIOT ACT website

Dear A.C.T.I.O.N. C.E.O/Executive Team,

If you do in fact care about the state of the (very expensive) service you are providing to A.C.T. taxpayers, please carefully note the following:

Fellow passengers and I have contacted A.C.T.I.O.N. at least a dozen times throughout 2009 about overcrowding on Route 6 to/from the city in peak periods. (City Bound from Lyneham in the mornings, and Lyneham bound from the City in the afternoons).

And now, in February 2010: nothing has changed.

As a result of enduring this poor service, and the total lack of courtesy and professionalism (ie. A.C.T.I.O.N. implementing NO significant changes in addressing the problem nor encouraging patronage of the service) I am abandoning using A.C.T.I.O.N. until this problem is fixed. I will go back to using my car, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions, and contributing to Canberra’s road congestion and road rage. It is all more bearable than having to endure any further use of your pitiful service.

The known instances of myself (or fellow passengers) writing and/or calling you or your representatives to report this problem include: 25/3/09, 2/3/09, 17/3/09 (4 times), 25/3/09, 26/3/09 etc etc etc

In these reports we described to you: overcrowding, late and absent services, services spread too far apart for their patronage and services that were so full they were refusing to pick passengers.

Your response was, in most instances, either automated (as below) or absent.

(A) Thank you for your feedback dated 2 March 2009 regarding ACTION bus route 6.

I have forwarded your correspondence to ACTION Scheduling for investigation.

Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention.

Kind regards

ACTION Correspondence



In other instances, your reply confirmed that the issue existed, and yet you did nothing to remedy it:

(B) A detailed profile of the service you mentioned indicates that at various points during the service up to 16 passengers were standing for segments of the journey.

You have now lost MY patronage. However, on the up-side, at least you will get back the 30cm2 of floor-space I occupied whilst standing jam-packed in the bus aisle. Now there will be one less person that has to risk being half an hour late for work after not being picked up by the bus: One less person having to squeeze through the two-dozen smelly, sweaty and cranky people stuffed like sardines in the bus aisle: One less person that has to pay up to $3.80 for a service that is worse than I have experienced in third world countries I’ve visited where I paid the equivalent of $0.50AU.

Here’s the suggestion I made for the Route 6 Timetable back in February 2009: I suggest you look into it in a vain attempt to justify your career (if, in deed, you care about it whatsoever)


North Lyneham

Lyneham Shops

City Interchange
Platform 10






6:48 AM

6:55 AM

7:01 AM


7:18 AM

7:25 AM

7:31 AM










8:18 AM

8:26 AM

8:33 AM


8:48 AM

8:56 AM

9:03 AM

 Good luck to you in continuing to provide the worst customer service I have ever experienced. You should be ashamed of yourself and your staff.


 Benita ****

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66 Responses to
A.C.T.I.O.N.? What a massive F.A.I.L.U.R.E.
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dale1878 1:04 pm 18 Apr 10

I can totally understand how you feel. I used to live in Gowrie and work in Fyshwick – if I worked a Saturday shift and didn’t have the car, it meant Gowrie-Woden-Civic-Fyshwick, often taking a good two hours to get to work. As you can imagine, I worked this shift very sparingly.

On the subject of the solution: Since moving to Wollongong for uni, I have started enjoying buses again. The “government” has implemented free bus services that run through the heart of the city every fifteen minutes. Surely something like this would free up the buses that run City-Russell and such?

If you google “Gong Shuttle”, have a look.

kgferrari 11:11 am 13 Feb 10

grunge_hippy said :

hubby and I were looking on their useless website for him catching a bus to his new job in bruce, we live in isabella plains. He would have to catch 3 buses, taking well over 1.5 hours.

What part of Isabella Plains (Route 11 south/west or Route 65 north/east) and what part of Bruce? I find 1.5 hours a little hard to believe.

I don’t find it hard to believe. I live in Dunlop and work in tuggeranong. I have a range of options to catch busses to work, minimum being 2 busses maximum 3. Regardless of which combination of busses I get I’m looking at 1.5 hours to get to work (either all on busses or sitting around at interchanges waiting on connections) and generally 2 hours to get home with reasonable amounts of time sitting at interchanges waiting for busses to come.

The old timetable was great. I’d hop on the 45, stay on it when it got into Belconnen where it became the 705 express to Tuggeranong and be at work by 7:30. These days I can’t get to work any earlier than 8am by bus, if I’m lucky and everything’s ontime!

It’s a pain, but at least it’s there. Considering Canberra’s geographical size and population we are lucky to have a public transport system at all.

p1 12:18 pm 11 Feb 10

I’d hardly call the 1920’s the ‘golden age’ of the motor vehicle. Last time I spoke to Walter, he said there was no way he envisaged Canberra having population of over 330,000 let along almost all of them driving cars.

The problem wasn’t the expectation that everyone would have a car, but rather the expectation that they wife would stay home with the kids, who would all walk to the local school, while the wife walked to the local shop, then home to cook dinner for the husband.

spinact 10:52 am 11 Feb 10

Sgt.Bungers said :

Thanks to our city being designed by a Yank in the motor vehicle golden age, Canberra will continue to require its residents to own their own wheeled motor to get around for a long time yet.

I’d hardly call the 1920’s the ‘golden age’ of the motor vehicle. Last time I spoke to Walter, he said there was no way he envisaged Canberra having population of over 330,000 let along almost all of them driving cars.

MrPC 10:37 pm 09 Feb 10

Unfortunately Light Rail doesn’t solve problems, unless your problem is having too much money. Trams cost ten times as much as buses and don’t really save much.

The drivers cost the same or more as bus drivers, the electricity might work out cheaper than diesel, and the steel on steel adhesion is more efficient than rubber tyre on bitumen, except that the trams weigh several times what an equivalent bus weighs so the savings are minimal. The trams cost 5 to 10 times the cost of an equivalent size bus (be it a standard bus or an equivalent bendy or double-artic bendy, compared with a standard tram, a 3 section light rail vehicle or a 5 section light rail vehicle). Trams traditionally do last much longer than buses (50+ years vs 20 for a bus) though ACTION are hardly averse to running 20+ year old buses into the ground and modern light rail vehicles are not exactly built to last.

If you want to move large volumes of people, you need real trains, not LRVs. Real trains with dedicated right of way (fully fenced/underground/otherwise grade separated) with fully automated onboard operation, no need to pay bus/tram/train drivers, just platform attendants to ensure the go order that starts the train moving to its next station doesn’t result in any parents being separated from their kids in prams etc as the doors close. At quieter times of the day/night the platform staff can be replaced by centrally controlled systems, with someone sitting in an office with lots of TV screens hooked into CCTV cameras at each station, giving each train the go order to depart the station once the cameras show it as being safe to do so.

The older buses could then be scrapped/relegated to school runs, and the remaining new buses would be able to run double or triple the frequency on local runs around suburbs to their nearest train station (and no further) every 10 minutes or so, connecting with a train every 10 minutes or so.

Pandy 8:41 pm 09 Feb 10

This is where I jump in.

The Government wont fund the buses, so why would they fund light rail?

After the ptivate-public fiascos of toll roads, with over inflated usage estimates, consultants in in for the buck thus talking it up, the government larfing all the way to the bank with a free road, I doubt any major public infrastructure network will ever get the Build-operate-own-transfer go ahead in Australia for a long time

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