7 February 2010

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

| benita_449
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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

email: action@act.gov.au

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)

Dickson

North Lyneham

Lyneham Shops

City Interchange
Platform 10

6

…..

…..

…..

6

6:48 AM

6:55 AM

7:01 AM

6

7:18 AM

7:25 AM

7:31 AM

6*NEW

7.38*

7.46*

7.54*

6*NEW

7.58*

8.06*

8.13*

6

8:18 AM

8:26 AM

8:33 AM

6

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.

Regards

Benita ****

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

grunge_hippy said :

Like the bus that lost its rear wheels this morning, triple j news were saying there were 80 schookids on the bus. that surely cant be right. unless it was articulated??

They showed it on the news. Only got a quick look but it was certainly not articulated, but appeared to be longer than a standard ACTION Bus.

grunge_hippy4:43 pm 09 Feb 10

Like the bus that lost its rear wheels this morning, triple j news were saying there were 80 schookids on the bus. that surely cant be right. unless it was articulated??

Yeah. Light rail will solve everything.
Can those telling us light rail is the solution go to Melbourne during peak hour, and explain to the inhabitants of the crowded trams how spacious their trams are?
The logical fallacy they’re spouting seems to arise everytime anyone complains about public transport in Canberra. Whether the transport is buses or trams, each vehicle only has a limited amount of seats and standing room. Putting rails into the equation doesn’t alter that.

LIGHT RAIL will solve the problems…
you can say lets get more busses but therein lies a problem, more busses on our alredy congested roads = more delays.

remove those angry tossers we call buss drivers that can only take up to 80 people in one go and replace them with 2 people that can run a train and take hundreds of people… and no more missed busses or grumpy drivers!

LIGHT RAIL FOR THE NANNY STATE!

more people should simply walk. compared to thirty years ago, people walk less than a third as far – trouble starts with dropping kids two blocks to school, etc… shanks pony is the transport solution we need more of.

jackthemartin11:44 pm 08 Feb 10

moneypenny2612 said :

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.

I guess concerns about scheduling don’t get such a quick response because scheduling is rather more difficult than fixing a clock. There are a lot of near-empty buses at peak times, but this might be inevitable in a network covering a city like Canberra. Would it make sense to remove services from some suburbs altogether so that nobody in the inner north has to stand? (A: no)

buzz819 said :

I believe that a light rail system in Canberra would be beneficial…
The routes would be easy as well, straight down Northbourne, plenty of room in middle, Belconnen Way/ Barry Drive, Tuggy Pkway, Adelaide Ave, Monaro Hway, PLenty of areas where it can be implemented, just no money to do it.

There would certainly be benefits to light rail, but they seem to be relatively minor in Canberra. On the intertown routes, a light rail wouldn’t be significantly faster than bus lanes on arterial roads (didn’t the busway proposal-which would have been around the same time as light rail-only reduce the time by 2 minutes?). On Northbourne, most of the buses that travel down there now would probably still have to do so. People don’t want to travel 10 minutes by bus from, say, Watson and then have to switch to a light rail to get to Civic.

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.

I’ve just had a look on their website myself and found that catching a route 11 from the Mackillop College bus stop to Tuggers and then an intertown 300 to Hayden Drive will take you about 58 minutes plus a small amout of time walking to/from bus stops (although you would need to walk to/from the car park anyway). Hardly “3 buses and well over 1.5 hours”

eg: route 11 from Mackillop to Tuggers at 7:29 then 318 from Tuggers at 7:40 will get you to Hayden Drive or College St. by about 8:27.

I can’t help feeling that some will try to manufacture excuses to justify not geting out of their cosy, environmentally unfriendly little comfort zones!!!!

p1 said :

No, 50 people cannot stand in the aisle of an ACTION Bus.

Legally they can’t. And I am sure it doesn’t happen often. But pretty sure I caught some buses to school as a kid which were way past the maximum.

That’s why canberra should get rail – used to catch the old single decker electric trains to school in newcastle (the sort from the 50s with holes in the floor you could see the tracks through) and stand with the doors open in the entrance ways. The best bits where going past the unused station and through the tunnel 🙂

moneypenny26128:45 pm 08 Feb 10

Gungahlin Al said :

Like a dedicated track you mean? Because that’s the only way you can guarantee a rapid and reliable service that is not caught up in peak traffic jams.

And they call them O-Bahns. They’re cool. If only they weren’t built using such costly and unsustainable materials. But maybe that’s an Adelaide thing. That said, the Modbury O-Bahn is the bomb.

No, 50 people cannot stand in the aisle of an ACTION Bus.

Legally they can’t. And I am sure it doesn’t happen often. But pretty sure I caught some buses to school as a kid which were way past the maximum.

Power Protect7:20 pm 08 Feb 10

Gungahlin Al said :

Like a dedicated track you mean?

Like a dedicated busway, whether its underground/overground/follows another path or runs down the middle of northbourne ave.

With an arrangement such as this buses can do a whip around a section of Gungahlin or wherever then have a near traffic free run to the destination. If a bus breaks down other buses can manoeuvre around it easily unlike rail. Authorised service vehicles and emergency services can utilise busways becuase the traffic control measures are setup for detecting vehicles.

As for certainty of service, having the infrastructure is no guarantee that timetables wont be cut back if services aren’t being utilised.

Traffic jams that last a whole 40 minutes and free parking in the triangle, c’mon we’ve got it pretty good really. Its time for free or heavily subsidised public transport paid for by pay parking in the triangle/russell, in 10 years we could have high speed busways linking Tuggers/Woden/Triangle/Civic/Russell/Fyshwick/Airport/Belco/Gungahlin (not in that order) with stops along the way. Throw in park’n’rides for people that aren’t serviced by the local route.

Lets not get caught up arguing over the same thing, there is no question that the services need to improve, and the solution whether is it with buses or trams (sorry, light rail) is virtually the same, but buses are cheaper.

Just look at what light rail did to the towns of Brockway, Ogdenville and North Haverbrook.

sepi said :

No way 50 people can stand in the aisle of an ACTION bus.

No, 50 people cannot stand in the aisle of an ACTION Bus.

From the link I provided above, 49 is the maximum and that is ONLY in an articulated (bendi) bus without a luggage rack in the rear section.

The average buses can take around 25 standing (in the older vehicles) and 15-20 in the newer ones.

Like a dedicated track you mean? Because that’s the only way you can guarantee a rapid and reliable service that is not caught up in peak traffic jams.

While I am yet to be convinced that we should build light rail, this is the reason we should. It is the reason subway systems exit. It is the reason for monorails.

Which makes you wonder why, with our current reliance on the bus system, we have recently done away with the closest thing we had to a designated transport corridor anywhere in Canberra, right through the middle of Belconnen town centre.

Thumper said :

ACT Light Rail have been calling for the installation of light rail on routes such as this.

Whereas I would go for a monorail.

Mainly due to the novelty factor and the fact that monorails are uber cool…

Personal trebuchets and inflatable sumo suits.

Gungahlin Al2:27 pm 08 Feb 10

Power Protect said :

Gungahlin Al said :

Thereby answerring your own question…

My point was that we dont need to spend dollars on building a light rail infrastructure if we just applied the principles that make light rail systems so good to the bus network.

Its the structure of the system that works, it doesn’t matter what the vehicle is.

Like a dedicated track you mean? Because that’s the only way you can guarantee a rapid and reliable service that is not caught up in peak traffic jams.

Then there is the certainty of the service that is very hard for a government to rip the rug out from under, as the ACT ALP did to ACTION timetables 2 years ago.

And as long as a good proportion of us can’t set off to work any earlier than 8.20 due to kids going to school, we will continue to have traffic jams that then disappear 40 minutes later.

Sgt.Bungers said :

Stick to the paths though. Thanks to right-wing bogans, riding on roads in Canberra is still a dangerous ordeal.

And you know they’re right-wing from route they’re taking? What they drive? The taint of the emissions? Clown.

Power Protect1:27 pm 08 Feb 10

Gungahlin Al said :

Thereby answerring your own question…

My point was that we dont need to spend dollars on building a light rail infrastructure if we just applied the principles that make light rail systems so good to the bus network.

Its the structure of the system that works, it doesn’t matter what the vehicle is.

If you are an able bodied person, you should try walking or riding. I used to walk 4km from Campbell to the City in 40-45 mins. I could ride a push bike in 10 mins.

Stick to the paths though. Thanks to right-wing bogans, riding on roads in Canberra is still a dangerous ordeal. Make sure you stop, dismount, take your helmet off, change out of your cycle gear, and carry your bike across every ill placed pedestrian crossing.

I agree that every person should be entitled to an adequate, efficient public transport system that enables people to get from A to B in a similar amount of time to a car, but that is never going to happen in Canberra. Not in our life times. Not unless someone throws a spare few billion at a metro/rail/train network, or provides consistent funding to have several thousand buses running non stop, to and from every Canberran suburb, leaving every 5 minutes, all day every day.

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.

ACT Light Rail have been calling for the installation of light rail on routes such as this.

Whereas I would go for a monorail.

Mainly due to the novelty factor and the fact that monorails are uber cool…

While I agree with most of the many comments saying “ride a bike” or “oooohhh, standing up, evil”, it seems to me that if ACTION can’t arrange enough buses to capture paying passengers who actually want to use their service, it is no wonder that they can never, ever, approach running a financially viable business.

The $3.80 cash fare is not intended for regular bus users. If you regularly catch a bus, you would be better off buying a fare-saver ticket (which works out at $2.45 per 90 minute journey) or weekly or monthly tickets; for less regular travellers a daily $7.40 ticket or an off-peak $4.50 ticket (provided you don’t want to travel before 9am and between 4.30 and 6pm) can be a cheaper option than a $3.80 single trip ticket.

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.

Ceej1973 said :

Benita, at least you have a bus service … Bring back the 333 routes I say!

+1
Poor little Lyneham-dweller.

I lived in North Lyneham for 6 months and caught the 6 to the stop outside OPH when I wasn’t riding my bike to work. The trip usually took about 40 minutes. I would dread the days I had to catch that bus. The overcrowding was really bad. Nearly everyday the bus would be full by the time it got to All Bar nun and would refuse to pick up any more passengers until it got to civic. Many days it was the same lady with her pram and toddler in tow who would be left behind to wait for the next bus because there was no room.
It was faster to ride to work, no doubt about it but not always a workable option.
ACTION sucks, it has always sucked and I imagine it will continue to suck – sad but true.

Gungahlin Al10:17 am 08 Feb 10

Power Protect said :

damien haas said :

ACT Light Rail have been calling for the installation of light rail on routes such as this.

While I’m all for improving public transport I’m having a little trouble understanding why light rail is seen by some as the holy grail of public transport. I believe that if you took the traffic management principles utilised for light rail such as Melbourne’s and applied them to the bus network you would have a far more flexible solution to improving public transport.

The real reason the light rail works well is because it has right of way and the traffic flow is arranged around it, not because its on tracks.

Thereby answerring your own question…

Power Protect I am with you totally…..what we need is more buses, better scheduling and the ACT Government to listen to us!! Bus’s are flexible, can be diverted if necesary and can generally go more places than a fixed light rail! Cost a damn sight less too.

We need more park and ride spots too!

Power Protect said :

damien haas said :

ACT Light Rail have been calling for the installation of light rail on routes such as this.

While I’m all for improving public transport I’m having a little trouble understanding why light rail is seen by some as the holy grail of public transport. I believe that if you took the traffic management principles utilised for light rail such as Melbourne’s and applied them to the bus network you would have a far more flexible solution to improving public transport.

The real reason the light rail works well is because it has right of way and the traffic flow is arranged around it, not because its on tracks.

I believe that a light rail system in Canberra would be beneficial. You say that giving the right of way to public transport at the moment would do the same, do you really think that today’s normal everyday Canberra driver is going to follow “more” rules in regards to giving way to buses, I think not.

If it is a light rail, they sure as hell aren’t gonna be getting in the way of something that can’t go anywhere else.

The routes would be easy as well, straight down Northbourne, plenty of room in middle, Belconnen Way/ Barry Drive, Tuggy Pkway, Adelaide Ave, Monaro Hway, PLenty of areas where it can be implemented, just no money to do it.

I feel sorry for the OP, obviously working in Civic, catching a bus in peak hour means they are a public servant, who is most probably going to get free bus rides to work, how busy will her bus be then for the 8 minutes that she is on it?

Public transport in this town is a joke, I can foresee that there is going to be a lot of bus lanes, including the one that runs the length of Belconnen Way, into the City. There should probably be one on Northbourne Avenue as well.

For the public transport to be worth while here the price needs to be dropped dramatically. A little while ago they had the zones system, but obviously that was to hard. I don’t see why someone should pay the same price to go from Gungahlin to Tuggeranong or from Belconnen Mall to McKellar, it is unbelievable. $3.80 for one ride is ridiculous, you can get an all day ticket in Melbourne for $5.50, which is bus, train and tram.

But the infrastructure, the popularity and the need for public transport in Canberra is just not great enough for the government to justify spending lots of money in upgrading it, I mean that statue out the front of David Jones in the City, you know, the one with the fat man walking up the steps getting smaller, that could have paid for an extra route somewhere, I guess the fat man is more appealing.

benett said :

ACTION Cannot run buses into NSW for picking up and setting down passengers. This requires the driver to have a NSW MOT Authority Card, and I believe it would also require buses to be accredited with NSW Operator accreditation. Low Floor buses and those with bike racks would have to have them removed to enter NSW as they are over length.

Now that is stupid. There are so many cross-border stupidities, it’s lame. Anyway. I shouldn’t expect anything else.

Power Protect12:38 am 08 Feb 10

damien haas said :

ACT Light Rail have been calling for the installation of light rail on routes such as this.

While I’m all for improving public transport I’m having a little trouble understanding why light rail is seen by some as the holy grail of public transport. I believe that if you took the traffic management principles utilised for light rail such as Melbourne’s and applied them to the bus network you would have a far more flexible solution to improving public transport.

The real reason the light rail works well is because it has right of way and the traffic flow is arranged around it, not because its on tracks.

Sir Pompously11:22 pm 07 Feb 10

benett said :

Turning to Deane’s bus-lines and their QB-Canberra/Woden-QB/Airport-QB services (now they really pi$$ me off).

Deane’s bus-lines really do sh$t me. An adult fare is no $7.20. Around November last year it was $6.80. Xmas time last year it turned into $7.00. What the hell? Late January 2010 it turned into $7.20. Wow!!! Their buses are mostly big-arse coaches or dirty rattling old heaps. I’ve never seen so much water in a bus on a rainy day. It seems they are increasing the fare on special features like ‘pen-touch’ screens. Yes, that’s right, a bus driver calculating your fare with a touch-screen pen in a 1970’s bus. WTF is that about?

I really do wish that ACTION buses ran between Queanbeyan and Woden/City etc. Deane’s buses are a joke.

Fares for DBL are set by the NSW Government, MOT. So Deanes do not set their own Maximum ticket prices as it is AFAIK subsidised by the NSW Government (A Maximum price is set and an operator can go under that if they wish). Airliner services are partially paid for by Capital Airport Group, who I believe have also purchased one or two of the coaches used on the run (poor choice to run on an airport service, which should be low floor and have dedicated luggage racks inside and also run direct to the City not via BBP). Information on fares and how they are set by the NSW Government can be found on the DBL page http://www.deanestransitgroup.com.au/queanbeyan/faresandsections.html

Deanes is upgrading, slowly. New buses come in, however they are mostly coaches and not low floor city buses for their ‘metro’ runs. They are not a huge private operator like Veolia or Transdev so sourcing money is a little hard, aswell as getting money from the NSW Government to pay for new buses. In the Metro Areas, ‘Growth’ buses are popping up everywhere, Try and get the same for country areas and they don’t care! The new Ticketing System I would Probably say would be from the NSW Government, either that or the ticketing company was giving them away cheap as some big purchaser screwed them over. Every operator needs to upgrade their ticketing sometime, and alot of NSW privates are doing so now.

ACTION Cannot run buses into NSW for picking up and setting down passengers. This requires the driver to have a NSW MOT Authority Card, and I believe it would also require buses to be accredited with NSW Operator accreditation. Low Floor buses and those with bike racks would have to have them removed to enter NSW as they are over length.

Yeah well they don’t leave from Ainslie and go straight to Narrabunda like they used to!

grunge_hippy10:55 pm 07 Feb 10

things were much better with the 333. if you could get to an interchange, then at least you knew a bus to civic was gonna come soon. i wouldnt even know what bus goes to civic these days.

Live in Tuggers and catch buses semi-frequently. I find the service to be generally good and the drivers helpful and courteous. It’s not perfect, and not the cheapest, but it could be hell of a lot worse.

Your argument might also have more cred if you could at least list the dates in chronological order. I’m shocked that you rang ACTION on 25/3 and they still hadn’t fixed it by 26/3!

Incidentally, do you have time to actually get any work done?

You think that what you describe is unique to your peak hour ACTION service? It’s the same on 95% of other peak hour ACTION services and has been for many years, and that’s about how many years it has been since I have been driving my car to work everyday.

ACTION will only be acceptable when they adopt routes that do not take the scenic route jammed packed like sardines on buses that show up whenever they feel like it. One day the Government will realise this and put the money into the services. Light rail isn’t going to be the magic fix for the problems as it will only ever operate in a small corridor of Canberra and will only work if people get off their asses and walk the extra 500m to the bus stop.

Benita, at least you have a bus service. At least 1/2 the population of Banks/Conder have to walk at least 1km (average) to access the nearest bus service. For me, its a 1.2km walk, many others its 1.4km. Of the last 2 surveys SLACTION has run I have had no responce to my concerns in the Lanyon Valley, including the issue of a grand total of 5 bus shelters for 3 fairly large suburbs. The last I heard was that the surveys they run, only result in “action” where the most respondants reside. Then there is the issue of the Lanyon Valley buses filing up with interchange hopping passengers (heading back to the Valley). Bring back the 333 routes I say!

No way 50 people can stand in the aisle of an ACTION bus.

And if they can, then why was this bus refusing to stop for people when overcrowded?

Why should the commuter have to walk 4-7km just because they live closer to civic than someone else – i wouldn’t walk, for all sorts of reasons. Even ACTION doesnt’ expect everyone to walk, as they do run a bus – or at least claim to, from lyneham to civic.

ACTION is ridiculously over priced and buses are few and far between. If the govt was at all serious about getting us out of our cars they would put on more buses. It isn’t rocket science. They messed up massively when they cut the bus services to ribbons int heir ‘improvements’ a few years ago, and it has been woeful ever since.

Somebody call a wahmbulance!!!

SO the least standing is 17, can’t complain at 16, unless you’re that 17th passenger that the driver fails to stop for.

Have you never been to Melbourne or Sydney?
Melbourne trams (and trains) in the CBD surrounds are frequently jam-packed. It’s always fun to cop a feel from a stranger on a tram.

I’ve been riding buses in Canberra for quite a while. The peak period inter-town buses, and even burbian buses, are crammed. That’s just how things are. It’s quite normal.

I’d say ACTION does a good job, mostly. Some routes may need additional resources though.
However, the $3.80 one-way/transfer Adult fare is pretty hectic. It’s pretty bad. I hate it, but the ACT can only gain so much income. It’s not like they have vast amounts of minerals at their disposal.

Turning to Deane’s bus-lines and their QB-Canberra/Woden-QB/Airport-QB services (now they really pi$$ me off).

Deane’s bus-lines really do sh$t me. An adult fare is no $7.20. Around November last year it was $6.80. Xmas time last year it turned into $7.00. What the hell? Late January 2010 it turned into $7.20. Wow!!! Their buses are mostly big-arse coaches or dirty rattling old heaps. I’ve never seen so much water in a bus on a rainy day. It seems they are increasing the fare on special features like ‘pen-touch’ screens. Yes, that’s right, a bus driver calculating your fare with a touch-screen pen in a 1970’s bus. WTF is that about?

I really do wish that ACTION buses ran between Queanbeyan and Woden/City etc. Deane’s buses are a joke.

If I lived in Lyneham I would be ashamed to say I caught a bus to work in town. So you have to stand on a bus at a busy time. Dry your eyes princess. Do you think you’ll get DVT or similiar?

ACTION would probably respond to something with a little less faux invective.

planeguy said :

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?

Depending on the type of bus, anywhere from a total of 50 for the smallest buses to a total of 110 in the articulated buses.

This page lists all the figures: http://actbus.net/site/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=789&Itemid=70

i catch this bus on the odd occasion that i don’t ride my bike. you only have to stand if you get on outside of tilleys onwards (at the earliest)…. which is what, 10 minutes to civic??? come on!

troll-sniffer5:37 pm 07 Feb 10

Tis true the service that you seek is not there but ass others have alluded to, there are many options open to you.

Find a less crowded service that passes within walking distance. Northbourne Ave has lots.

Leave earlier and experience the joys of walking into town.

Leave a little later and experience the joys of cycling into town.

If you were out at Charnie or Dunlop, Banks or Theodore you might elicit a little more sympathy but I doubt your choice of whinge will generate much in the way of soothing agreement at this site.

Trunking symbols5:27 pm 07 Feb 10

Why don’t you do what everybody else in Canberra does – drive a car. Cars are more convenient, cars don’t go on strike, you don’t have to stand in a car, a car takes you straight to your destination and in a car you are not packed in like sardines and have people coughing and sneezing all over you.

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 Caulfield5:10 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.

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.

georgesgenitals4:57 pm 07 Feb 10

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

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_hippy4:43 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.

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?

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).

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

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

Chair
ACT Light Rail

moneypenny26122:47 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?

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.

Hmmm, Have you thought about catching the 8?

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 Killer1:48 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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