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Action packed

By Madam Cholet 9 February 2013 34

I follow Action buses on Twitter, not so I can be riveted by exciting bus news, but so i can find out if my bus has been cancelled or is late for some reason. I get the bus two days a week.

Over the past few days my family has been affected by some cancellations, and I noticed that the daily summation of the morning commute by Action has been in the region of 715 out of 726 services delivered in the peak hour. This is down from an almost perfect service for much of January and February – at least for the peak hour.

Today’s summation was as follows:

“@ACTIONbuses: The ACTION team delivered 715/726 services in the 7.30-9am peak. Covering school services is always a priority & may impacts regular runs.”

Whilst 10 buses is not that many, 10 buses in the peak hour could carry at least 400 people, possibly more.

I perfectly understand that kids need to get to school safely and on-time but obviously full fare paying passengers are being dumped in favour of subsidized school trips.

Is it possible that Action could perhaps employ more drivers before committing to timetables? Or do they indeed also need extra buses to actually move said commuters? Is this the way it’s going to be for the foreseeable future?

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gungsuperstar 5:30 pm 12 Feb 13

bd84 said :

The entire operations of ACTION are subsidised. There is little point of differentiating between between types of passengers. Although you could to start use the same argument for disabled people too if you want to look like a bigger dick? Whether you or a child catches a bus does not make it any cheaper to run the bus.

Really? There’s little point differentiating between a bus with 50 adults on it paying 4 bucks each, and a buss having 20-30 kids on it, many of whom don’t pay anything? And you had the nerve to question my schooling when you can’t do simple maths?

bd84 said :

If you think about it carefully, if they did not provide bus services for school children, it would cost more to run the bus and there would be less taxes to pay for it when all the parents that need to drop off and collect their children start late and finish late each day. Then add in the extra traffic congestion making longer travel time for all, and it will result in higher bus fares for you to make up the shortfall. Your bus will still break down and you might be late to work every once in a while. But you are an adult and have a better chance of defending yourself against others compared to a child. You could even explain to your boss that you were late because your bus didn’t come and you can work an extra hour to make up for it.

If there is a security risk in getting children to come to school, then I come back to my original point of view – it is their parents job to get them to school if they don’t trust the bus service. It is not for my employer to wear the burden of me apparently being less important than a school kid.

Genie 1:00 pm 11 Feb 13

thatsnotme said :

Genie said :

I too am a little concerned by the amount of services cancelled over the last few days. But what I don’t understand is why they can’t cancel the 300 series buses that run roughly every 8 mins instead of a suburban bus.

Most of the 300 series buses are suburban buses though. They normally have a suburban component to start and finish the intertown section, so you’re still may be cancelling a service that leads to a half hour wait for someone.

No I meant the actual 300 series that only run between the interchanges. There is normally 5-10 each way between 730-9am

Also some of the suburbs routes depart within 5-10mins of the previous one. Eg 319 at 723am and again at 728am from Lanyon. Soooo there’s that option too

DrKoresh 11:46 am 11 Feb 13

Made a big lumping mess of the quotes there, it’s meant to be Poetix all the way down to “So the car wins”, then I come in.

DrKoresh 11:44 am 11 Feb 13

poetix said :

Why is there no way she’s changing buses in Civic? It’s the best place to be to have to change buses and in the mornings and afternoons it’s full of students and public servants. Unless she’s younger than 10 years old I don’t understand why you’d be worried.

Firstly, a trip that takes us 15 minutes would take her well over an hour, possibly a lot more. She has quite a lot of homework, as well as having a life and playing computer games.

Secondly, practical things aren’t always her forte.

Thirdly, I would be too worried about her missing a bus or being abducted, and would sit around feeling sick, unable to do any work myself.

I know these fears are exaggerated, but that’s how my brain works.

Fourthly (and possibly the main reason) I like picking her up! I get there early to find a park, and write. It is quite productive.

Her school is on the way to Mr P’s work, so he drops her in the morning.

So the car wins.

Well that’s a practical and reasonable explanation. I was worried it was all down to fears of abduction :p
but action can turn a 15 minute trip into an hour or more of jumping through hoops. I went to Lyneham high and Dickson college, so getting to school on Action was fairly simple. There would be a bus that would get me within 10 minutes walk from school leaving from one platform or another every five minutes. I almost never caught actual School Bus buses though, they were always crowded and dropped you right at the front door (i.e, into the loco parentis of the state) which made it hard to nick-off to the shops before hand

thatsnotme 11:33 am 11 Feb 13

Genie said :

I too am a little concerned by the amount of services cancelled over the last few days. But what I don’t understand is why they can’t cancel the 300 series buses that run roughly every 8 mins instead of a suburban bus.

Most of the 300 series buses are suburban buses though. They normally have a suburban component to start and finish the intertown section, so you’re still may be cancelling a service that leads to a half hour wait for someone.

Genie 11:17 am 11 Feb 13

I too am a little concerned by the amount of services cancelled over the last few days. But what I don’t understand is why they can’t cancel the 300 series buses that run roughly every 8 mins instead of a suburban bus.

I had a route disruption last week from a cancelled service. But unlike most routes the next bus wasn’t scheduled for another 45 mins.

Luckily I checked twitter and ran out the door JUST catching the earlier service. This bus was extremely overcrowded and didn’t arrive into the City until approximately 25mins after its ETA. Got me thinking if either
a) people are actually checking twitter
or b) this route needs additional services. About half the bus are school kids. So only this particular day with the 8am service being cancelled. A lot of school kiddies would have been left at the stop

wildturkeycanoe 10:39 am 11 Feb 13

Isn’t it great to see adults trying to save the environment, but complaining when the children try to do the same by catching a bus. So, if you catch a bus to work and see it’s full of doctors, lawyers, car salespoeple or tradespersons, will you start telling them to drive to work? The more we see people trying to be enviro-friendly [which is what everyone is pushing us to do], the more we will see our public transport system struggle to cope. It is an unpleasant situation to which there is only one remedy – go back to the old ways and drive your car. Don’t blame the kids, they probably don’t have another option. Don’t blame the government, they are just doing the best to please you by saving the planet. If it is such an inconvenience, just go on the earlier bus in case yours has been delayed. What’s wrong with getting to work ahead of schedule?

As for blaming kids for being “subsidized”, why don’t you go out and complain about every other “subsidized” citizen in Australia for getting before you in life, such as the disabled, indigenous, unemployed, married with children, not married with children, senior and politician [just to name a few]. Pick on someone your own size.

Madam Cholet 10:25 am 11 Feb 13

Today’s summary….719 out of 726, which is better although a number of those that ended up running after initially being cancelled did run late so passengers are still being left to wonder what’s going on. It’s ok if you near the city or a town centre as there will likely be a bus along not too soon after your scheduled service, however if you are in the ‘burbs then options may be limited to waiting for the next scheduled bus on the on,y bus route available to you, which may or may not turn up and will more than likely be packed. So you may not even get on the next one.

Action is always asking for feedback, so he is some they could take note of.

dtc 9:58 am 11 Feb 13

gungsuperstar said :

It’s the parents responsibility to get their kids to school, not the tax payers.

And its your responsibility to get yourself to work. If the bus doesnt turn up, I guess you can avail yourself of the many other methods of travel available to those of working age. Its not my responsibility to get you to work.

Alderney 9:47 am 11 Feb 13

Nobody seems to have mentioned the fact that with MyWay, we have pre-paid our fare.

One is surely entitled for their pre-paid service to actually show up?

Sandman 9:37 pm 10 Feb 13

gungsuperstar said :

What a stupid assumption. Do you think the people arguing that loss-making school buses should not be prioritised care about the kids on those buses? I don’t. It’s the parents responsibility to get their kids to school, not the tax payers.

Hang on. I’m a taxpayer. I don’t have kids on those buses and my job negates using those buses. Why is it not my responsibility to get a group of people who aren’t old enough to drive, aren’t street smart enough to use on road cycle lanes and may be vulnerable while walking, yet it somehow is my responsibility to get your sorry a$$ to work on time every day?

I already built YOU a bunch of cycle lanes on MY roads, available for your use 24 hrs a day with no timetable required. I’ll use MY buses the way I see fit.

Instant Mash 6:58 pm 10 Feb 13

After raising their prices this past week, I promptly had my bus break down and was left stranded outside of the ANU for over 20 minutes. To me, that’s a very long wait considering it’s on the 300 route and it was a peak period.

And for such a supposedly small number of cancellations etc, I regularly seem to be left waiting at the bus stop with an ever-growing crowd for buses that just don’t show up.

I really hope they can get their act together in terms of reliability. It should be much easier with extra cash coming in but it’s not as if it’s the first time.

RB78 6:15 pm 10 Feb 13

Clearly the bus is not for everyone – especially for those who need to do the school dropoff/pickup for whatever reason.

Eleven or so services not running out of 726 is a very small number. Surely it’s a driver shortage rather than a bus shortage – there seems to be a heap of buses at the old Woden Depot that never seem to move?

poetix 2:53 pm 10 Feb 13

DrKoresh said :

poetix said :

gooterz said :

How many parents send their kids half way/ all the way across the ACT so their kid can attend private school?

Because freedom of choice is bad…

My daughter is driven both ways because there is no school bus service that comes near us, and there is no way she is changing buses in Civic. So we are a burden on the climate, not on the buses.

Why is there no way she’s changing buses in Civic? It’s the best place to be to have to change buses and in the mornings and afternoons it’s full of students and public servants. Unless she’s younger than 10 years old I don’t understand why you’d be worried.

Firstly, a trip that takes us 15 minutes would take her well over an hour, possibly a lot more. She has quite a lot of homework, as well as having a life and playing computer games.

Secondly, practical things aren’t always her forte.

Thirdly, I would be too worried about her missing a bus or being abducted, and would sit around feeling sick, unable to do any work myself. I know these fears are exaggerated, but that’s how my brain works.

Fourthly (and possibly the main reason) I like picking her up! I get there early to find a park, and write. It is quite productive.

Her school is on the way to Mr P’s work, so he drops her in the morning.

So the car wins.

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