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ACT public transport unprofitable

By GnT - 26 July 2007 49

According to the ABC, the ACT’s public transport system is the least profitable in the country and relies on taxpayers for three quarters of its revenue.

I reckon it’s due to Canberra’s ‘wonderful’ design – all those lovely open spaces which make bus journeys too long and driving a car a far more attractive option. That, and a cultural attitude.

So, any ideas on how ACTION can turn a profit?

What’s Your opinion?

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49 Responses to
ACT public transport unprofitable
caf 3:25 pm 26 Jul 07

It doesn’t cost anything like $10-15 worth of petrol to drive to the city, unless maybe you’re driving an M1A1.

DarkLadyWolfMother 3:14 pm 26 Jul 07

I don’t understand why people keep expecting it to make a profit. Surely the best we can hope for is for it to be as efficient as possible while still providing a useful service.

MrMagoo 3:07 pm 26 Jul 07

Being a blinky (blind) don’t have much choice but to take the bus. I think its fine, however, of course there is no discouragement to drive your car. Seems no matter how little parking there is, car drivers will still drive. Its time to make it harder to drive, increasing parking costs, limit parking times, limit cars into certain areas ie. civic, make routes mre direct ie. Belconnen to Barton etc. And I’m sorry to the person who resented $3.00 a trip, well surely that better than say $10 – $15 in petrol, %7.50 for parking….mmmmm maths ain’t my strong suit but seems to me that its better on the bus.

smokey2 2:37 pm 26 Jul 07

What solution? Catch the bus or take the bus to Civic – I take the bus.

emd 2:17 pm 26 Jul 07

I don’t catch buses because there aren’t any where I live. Seems like there’s a simple solution to this problem…

sepi 2:11 pm 26 Jul 07

Public transport does never make a profit anywhere. There was a rumour years ago in Sydney that the cost of printing and selling tickets cost more than was actually recouped in profits. Probably only half true but interesting!

But we can aim to improve if ours is the worst in the country.

I think the problem is they have cut it back so much that now only those who really have to use busses will. (Eg – pensioners, kids and those on very low incomes.)

I think they need to actually increase services to attract more customers, and make more money.

Mr_Shab 2:06 pm 26 Jul 07

I’m sure that this one would get knocked on the head pretty quickly by certain interests (read the TWU) and I’m probably talking out my fundament, but – combine ACTION’s driving and admin functions. One of the big problems is that there is big demand for buses in peak times, and sod-all outside those times.

Rather than having peak-time drivers working split shifts (which are expensive), get them working straight shifts – four hours at the wheel and three and half behind a desk. Obviously you can’t have the whole admin function done by drivers – but it might cut your wage costs a bit.

Or do they already do this?

Or we could just wear the fact the public transport never turns a profit…

sepi 1:58 pm 26 Jul 07

Action is already excessively expensive at 3.00 a ride. This puts me off using the bus to get to work.

The other thing that puts me off is waiting around at the busstop in the freezing cold. A Swiss study showed that people resented waiting on the street far more than they minded sitting on the bus/tram. They redid their timetables to have the transport going more slowly, but never running more than 2 minutes late. Patronage increased hugely.

MissUnderstood 1:57 pm 26 Jul 07

It’s a circular problem. They need to spend more money to improve the services (i.e. more options in terms of routes and times- particularly in peak times).

Though ACTION won’t do this unless more people use the system, and people won’t use the system until they spend more money to improve it.

An option may be to increase the number of dedicated bus roads around the town (such as those along parts of Barry Drive and Adelaide Avenue). This would hopefully have the effect of reducing route travel times…I know as a driver who has considered using ACT buses in the past, the biggest turn-off for me is the time it would take me to get around compared to the time driving my car.

I’m not sure how receptive the ACT Govt would be to this option though, as their performance to date in urban road planning leaves a lot to be desired….need I mention the fact that the GDE is a one-lane 80km limited road? And the whole reducing impact on the environment doesn’t wash with me when I see how much space is wasted on the airstrip-sized median strip along the second stage (Ginninderra Drive to Belconnen Way)- Aaaaargh!

Sorry, I seemed to have digressed…what was the topic again?

Maelinar 1:38 pm 26 Jul 07

An evolving theory (aka one topic leads to the next, leads to the next):

Build a dedicated transport hub in Civic somewhere. All transport roads lead to hub.

Engage direct lines from the community centres to the hub (Belconnen – Hub direct).

Feed the community centres with local lines (Kippax, Holt, Macgregor, Belconnen route)

Maximum 2 changes to city.

From transport hub, install a ring circuit monorail around LBG delivering public servants to workplaces, shoppers to shops, tourists to tourist attractions, etc.

Come up with a pass for the lot at a cost of not over $5/day.

Thumper 1:34 pm 26 Jul 07

Personally, I’d like to see a inquiry into whether or not breeding dragons for the purposes of flying people around would be feasible.

Well, at least as feasible as ACTION buses.

Joker 1:16 pm 26 Jul 07

I’d like to see a breakdown of expenses, such as administrative vs actual service delivery. They’ve been run pretty inefficiently in the past.

andy 1:04 pm 26 Jul 07

they should build a bus way between belcompton and the city.

VYBerlinaV8 now_with 12:44 pm 26 Jul 07

Not enough people, too great distances. Public transport in this town will never really be viable point to point unless you live right in one of the major centres.

andy 12:41 pm 26 Jul 07

Two ways. Increase the price of using the service, or increase the number of people using the service.

now.. to increase the number of people using the service, we need to:
– decrease the prices. (seems kinda ana-thema, but anyway)
– increase the services so people WANT to use them
– improve the services so people WANT to use them
– find some other method of encouraging people to use them
– find a method of discouraging people from NOT using them..

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