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Action Buses… AGAIN

By MaliyanJourney - 29 October 2013 23

I rarely use Action Buses, however on occasion do particularly on weekends.

I find the Red Rapid between Gungahlin and Canberra a great way to get in and out of town.

However the service that runs on the weekend is such an ambiguous winding route that it took me best part of an hour (estimate) to get from the city to Gungahlin last weekend.

From there i needed to sit in the hot sun (i gave up the only shaded seat to an elderly lady) to await the next bus to my part of Nicholls (Gundaroo Rd).

The connection time was an hour.

Once on the bus i noticed it turning into Nudurr Drive (Crace) instead of the usual continuation along Gundaroo towards Belco. I asked the driver what was happening and he said the bus stop near my place is no longer ‘active’ on the weekends.

Bloody brilliant.

So, if i want to take the kids to the city on the weekend by bus i need approximately 1.5-2 hours each way, expect little to no sun protection whilst the lengthy connection takes place, and actually my bus stop is no longer active near my house.

You wonder why nobody likes the ACT public transport system?

Why it gets bagged out all the time?

No disrespect to the drivers, the guy the other week dropped me at a non-designated spot when he realised he wasn’t going via my stop – and good on them for having such a good union to bargain EBA conditions, but, really?

Melbourne it ain’t – best public transport in the world. A model for any young city to aspire to.

AT LEAST BRING BACK MY WEEKEND STOP!

And how’s about an infrequent Red Rapid on the weekends for those who get bus-sick from the windy route driven at high speed with heavy braking!!! Or with kids! Or with disabled family members, or just BECAUSE!

Rant ended. See news release below for interest.

TEMPORARY ACTION SERVICE SUSPENSION ON WEDNESDAY 30 OCTOBER 2013
Bus services will be disrupted from 9.30 am and there will be no services between 10 am and 2 pm tomorrow (Wednesday 30 October 2013) to allow for an authorised meeting of ACTION drivers and transport officers to discuss their enterprise agreement, James Roncon, Director, Public Transport, announced today.
“The Transport Workers Union (TWU) has requested a meeting of their members to discuss details around ACTION’s enterprise agreement,” Mr Roncon said. “The meeting of up to 650 employees has been scheduled for Wednesday 30 October 2013.
“As a result, bus services will not run between 10 am and 2 pm tomorrow (Wednesday) and there will be disruptions from 9.30 am.
“Morning peak, afternoon peak, school and special needs transport services will not be impacted.
“Notices will be put on display in each of the major bus stations to notify patrons. Staff will also be at the major bus stations on Wednesday reminding people of the disruption to services.”
Mr Roncon said that while the disruption to services is not desirable, the scheduled meeting between the TWU and their members to discuss the enterprise agreement is a positive outcome in the overall bargaining process.
“Negotiations have been taking place in good faith and this is the next step towards reaching agreement and finalisation of the process.
“The intention is to conclude negotiations as quickly as possible for the benefit of everyone involved, including drivers and the general community.”
Mr Roncon apologised for any inconvenience to bus riders.
Bus riders can visit www.action.act.gov.au for service information and updates.

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23 Responses to
Action Buses… AGAIN
JC 9:16 pm 29 Oct 13

watto23 said :

I agree with the OP in the sense of the time it takes to get from A-B. Now maybe a weekend is asking too much to expect commuter grade service, but in general buses will take 2-3 times longer than a car journey. And the light rail won’t help because its a slow service down northbourne, when what we really need is rapid intercity public transport via rail or dedicated busways.

Bull crap. Have a look at a timetable, the connections between the town centres are already fast and regular. Besides how much more do you reckon you can knock off the travel times? I know you could knock 5 off Belconnen to the City by going back to the old 333 routing which avoided UC, CIT and Calvary Hospital, though each of those are traffic generators so really worth keeping. Don’t see how you could make City to Woden any quicker, nor for that matter Woden to Tuggeranong.

About the only route that could be made quicker is City to Gungahlin by making it limited stops.

Now what slows the buses down end to end is the meandering through the suburbs. Something that unfortunately is a necessary evil as they need to do that to pick up enough people to make the service worth while. Cannot think of anyway to make the trips in the burbs any quicker, except maybe give everyone a taxi ride for the cost of a bus fare.

TP 3000 9:15 pm 29 Oct 13

In relation to you getting from the unserviceable bit of Gundaroo Road to the City. May I suggest walking a 15 minute walk to Palmerston & catch the 956 (https://www.action.act.gov.au/routes/pdf/956.pdf) directly to the City.

In relation to weekend Red Rapids, when the two most direct City to Gungahlin services leave 5 minutes apart they are well patronised. Also the 980 from the City to DFO is also popular. If you put two things together that would suggest that the 200 would work on weekends.

How can we justify light rail to Gungahlin when we can’t justify a bus frequency that Tuggeranong to Belconnen get 7 days a week (every 5 minutes on weekdays & 15 on weekends). Hopefully we see a short version of the 201 on weekends in Network 14 with a 20 minute frequency. I’m sure Franklin/Harrison residents wouldn’t mind losing an hourly, windy bus route for a frequent direct service on weekends.

NoniDoll 8:03 pm 29 Oct 13

I always have a bit of a chuckle when people complain about bus services in Canberra. It just makes it blatantly obvious that they’ve never been a non-driver in a country town. In my home town, a regular bus service is the stuff of dreams, like unicorns and non-racist locals.

gospeedygo 7:56 pm 29 Oct 13

JC said :

Op your comment about Melbourne made me laugh. Whilst in the inner city area the trams are great, go our into the suburbs and I would have a bet that the bus service is as ‘good’ if not worse than Canberra. Bit hard to compare inner city with the burbs, even though what is considered inner city in a place like Melbourne may be the same distance as some of the burbs in Canberra.

Yes but Canberra doesn’t have a train system to funnel the bus passengers into.

lovelydovely 6:24 pm 29 Oct 13

I have to disagree with you on overall quality of Action buses. Having grown up in Queanbeyan, I never even thought of public transport as a viable option (thanks Deane’s…)

Recently I moved to Crace, and have been using the buses more and more frequently at different times of the day (peak and off-peak.) I think all it takes is a little bit of planning and patience. We are a pretty low-density city, so of course the buses will be a bit less frequent and the routes more limited than Melbourne or Sydney. Hell, even when I was staying in East London, I had to change to get to Oxford Circus or Kings Cross- shock horror, not a transfer!

I am very excited to start Uni next year and use my student MyWay card to only pay $1.30 to get to the city! Money saver 😀

fromthecapital 5:36 pm 29 Oct 13

maxblues said :

Solidarity said :

Waaa I chose to live in a far away suburb but expect the same level service as all of the other suburbs waaaaaa

If you happen to live in the “far away suburb” of Belconnen, and decide to go into town for a beer on a Sunday after the sun goes town….waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.
I wouldn’t wish that “same level service” on any other suburb.

If you live in the suburb of belconnen, get the blue rapid

Genie 5:20 pm 29 Oct 13

I don’t catch buses on the weekend so I can’t comment.

However the new proposed services that will come into place early 2014 seem to be more convenient. HOWEVER expect to hear complaints as ACTiON plan on removing stops in suburbs and making them more direct, which mean people have to walk further to get to their stop.

johnboy 5:17 pm 29 Oct 13

chicken and egg with the weekend services though.

if they weren’t so crap they might get more than the utter desperadoes.

watto23 5:16 pm 29 Oct 13

I agree with the OP in the sense of the time it takes to get from A-B. Now maybe a weekend is asking too much to expect commuter grade service, but in general buses will take 2-3 times longer than a car journey. And the light rail won’t help because its a slow service down northbourne, when what we really need is rapid intercity public transport via rail or dedicated busways.
I’d rather have less frequent but a more rapid service myself.

But as for the weekend, i think you might have to suck it up, very few people ride buses on the weekend, so they can’t be anywhere near as efficient. the only time Action seems to be efficient is for special events, but even then using the word efficient is a stretch.

Henry82 5:12 pm 29 Oct 13

So basically you haven’t checked the weekend bus timetable in how many months/years?

maxblues 5:09 pm 29 Oct 13

Solidarity said :

Waaa I chose to live in a far away suburb but expect the same level service as all of the other suburbs waaaaaa

If you happen to live in the “far away suburb” of Belconnen, and decide to go into town for a beer on a Sunday after the sun goes down….waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.
I wouldn’t wish that “same level service” on any other suburb.

maxblues 5:07 pm 29 Oct 13

Solidarity said :

Waaa I chose to live in a far away suburb but expect the same level service as all of the other suburbs waaaaaa

If you happen to live in the “far away suburb” of Belconnen, and decide to go into town for a beer on a Sunday after the sun goes town….waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.
I wouldn’t wish that “same level service” on any other suburb.

JC 4:59 pm 29 Oct 13

Op your comment about Melbourne made me laugh. Whilst in the inner city area the trams are great, go our into the suburbs and I would have a bet that the bus service is as ‘good’ if not worse than Canberra. Bit hard to compare inner city with the burbs, even though what is considered inner city in a place like Melbourne may be the same distance as some of the burbs in Canberra.

RB78 3:38 pm 29 Oct 13

Okay, I’ll bite.

“However the service that runs on the weekend is such an ambiguous winding route that it took me best part of an hour (estimate) to get from the city to Gungahlin last weekend.”

That seems excessive. I don’t live out that way so I’m not familiar with the routes, but looking at ACTION’s website, there’s a number of routes that run Belconnen-Gungahlin-City or between two of those three, via some suburbs. The 956, for example, travels City-Gungahlin, via Palmerston, while the 951 travels direct to Gungahlin then goes off into the suburbs. Perhaps it would be best to catch one of the runs that goes direct.

“From there i needed to sit in the hot sun (i gave up the only shaded seat to an elderly lady) to await the next bus to my part of Nicholls (Gundaroo Rd). The connection time was an hour.”

Isn’t the main interchange at Gungahlin Marketplace? If so, there’s air-conditioned shopping centres that could easily kill an hour.

“Once on the bus i noticed it turning into Nudurr Drive (Crace) instead of the usual continuation along Gundaroo towards Belco. I asked the driver what was happening and he said the bus stop near my place is no longer ‘active’ on the weekends.”

It pays to check your timetable to make sure your bus goes where you want, especially if you are an infrequent user.

“You wonder why nobody likes the ACT public transport system?”

Because people seem to want a bus stop at their door, buses every ten minutes, and no transfers. It’s just not economically viable.

Solidarity 3:34 pm 29 Oct 13

Waaa I chose to live in a far away suburb but expect the same level service as all of the other suburbs waaaaaa

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