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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.
ljd 5:15 pm 07 Feb 10

Get a life Benita. Have you ever tried out the Tube in London during peak hour? Good grief, this is Canberra for god’s sake!!! So you have to stand between Lyneham and the city? Are you serious?? You need to focus your energies somewhere else.

Holden Caulfield 5:10 pm 07 Feb 10

Relevant problems, for sure, but there’s no need to make such an arse of yourself that ACTION will spend more time laughing at you than worrying about reacting to your valid concerns.

Cameron 4:59 pm 07 Feb 10

Public transport can’t possibly satisfy everyone. You think that’s the only overcrowded bus during a time when, you know, just about everyone who uses a bus is actually on one?

So you’ve drawn an alternate timetable. Congratulations. I trust you’ve considered the multitude of factors that go into planning an entire network of buses? Or is it simply what would suit you better?

Why don’t you and the others that have complained get together and car pool.

georgesgenitals 4:57 pm 07 Feb 10

It’s public transport, not a chauffeured limousine service.

Horrid 4:51 pm 07 Feb 10

Why get in your car? Lyneham to Civic is about 4kms. Anyone of average fitness on an ordinary bike and in their work clothes can cycle from Lyneham to Civic within 15 minutes without raising a sweat most of the year. Use the bike path through Lynham and Turner, or the cycle lanes on Northbourne, whichever suits you best. No bus hassles, no parking problems, no traffic jams. Just transport freedom.

grunge_hippy 4:43 pm 07 Feb 10

city to lyneham??? heard of walking? a bike?? there are far more bus route issues that action has than this one…

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. For me to go to work on a bus, its not even an option, since I work 5 mins from home and its east/west. action doesnt seem to do any east/west services that are convenient.

while I agree action’s service is shite, your complaint is rather trite if your an able bodied adult. if i lived that close to work, I would walk.

planeguy 4:14 pm 07 Feb 10

So what is the number of standing passengers that buses are licensed to carry. From my boyhood, buses in Vic were licensed for 45 adults seated, or up to 71 standing (single buses, not articulated). Anyone know the rules here?

TP 3000 4:02 pm 07 Feb 10

What about a Lyneham Xpresso?

It could start at the top of North Lyneham, crawl through Lyneham & O’Connor, take a left at Macarthur Avenue & a right onto Northbourne Avenue & non stop to City Interchange & terminate at City West or Barton Interchange.

Those on the rest of the Route 6 could catch the Route 3 to City Interchange (as what use to be the case for some pre Network ’08).

Fiona 3:55 pm 07 Feb 10

what’s the legal number of standing passengers on the bus they used on the route?

damien haas 3:44 pm 07 Feb 10

ACT Light Rail have been calling for the installation of light rail on routes such as this, which are at capacity. It is clear buses can no longer provide a flexible service in these circumstances. At capacity, and with no likelihood of increasing it through more buses, it is time the ACT Government used the high passenger loading routes identified by their PT consultant, and began engineering proposals to install light rail.

Action buses can then be used to provide feeder services to light rail nodes. You will travel from point a to point b much faster, and as you wont be sharing the space with cars (as buses do) traffic congestion will not affect bus travel times.

If this government is committed to functional public transport, it should do this now. Then again, when its new submissions to the Infrastructure Australia funding pot are 125 million for a road which will do nothing to solve Canberras public transport problems, or ease traffic congestion for ACT commuters, you have to wonder what is driving the ACT ALP transport agenda.

Damien Haas

ACT Light Rail

moneypenny2612 2:47 pm 07 Feb 10

Agreed. I’ve often seen the morning Southside to Civic route 6 along National Circuit. Often running very late and very crowded.

I complained about the reduced and crowded services on route 39 shortly after they introduced the new timetables back whenever it was. I never got a response (aside from the automated ‘It has been forwarded to…’). The fastest growing part of the inner north now gets close to half the services they used to. And the service takes longer and is even more indirect than before.

Same silence when I wrote to ACTION last year suggesting an extra, earlier Saturday morning 39 service for the people who go to the Farmers Market.

Strangely I got very prompt ACTION when I notified them last September that the Civic interchange clock was running 5 minutes fast (and several bus drivers were therefore leaving Civic early). They attended to that within 2 days.

Perhaps scheduling buses is too hard for ACTION. God knows there are still so many near empty buses doing the rounds at peak times. You’d think it would be quite simple to re-direct them where they are actually needed. EG, why not terminate a couple of the 700 series when they get to Civic and re-direct them as extra 2s, 6s, or 39s. Beats conga-lining through Russell and Barton mostly empty. Requiring a dozen people or so to change buses at Civic doesn’t seem too much to ask, does it?

urchin 2:45 pm 07 Feb 10

wow you had to *stand* on public transport? shocking… if this is the worst customer service you have ever experienced you have led a very fortunate and sheltered life. seriously, its public transport. you wait, you have delays, you don’t always get to sit. that’s reality. if you want personalised service take a taxi.

Morgan 2:39 pm 07 Feb 10

Hmmm, Have you thought about catching the 8?

Ryan 2:38 pm 07 Feb 10

I feel somewhat obligated to point out that Australian standards dictate that acronyms don’t have full stops.

In other words, it’s ACTION, not A.C.T.I.O.N.

Clown Killer 1:48 pm 07 Feb 10

Benita, can your hear that? It’s the worlds smallest violin and it’d playing just for you …

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