Action says arriving after the school bell is not late

Spiral 22 March 2018 33
Action bus

Photo: File photo.

Living in Coombs, our local high school is Mount Stromlo High.

After receiving many notifications from Stromlo High that our daughter was arriving late to school we started logging the times the dedicated Action school bus (route 501) actually arrived.

The bus is scheduled to arrive at 8:43 am, and the bell rings at 8:45 am. In the last 25 times my daughter has taken the bus (since the 19th of February) the bus has arrived at school after the bell 23 times (92% of the time).

We informed Action of this issue, only to be told that the bus was rarely if ever late because Action does not consider a bus late until it is more than 10 minutes after its scheduled arrival time.

This may be a reasonable standard of service for a normal bus.

But when the bus is a dedicated school service, arriving after the bell is not on time, it is late.

It is truly bizarre that management at Action could even consider that getting kids to school after the bell is acceptable.

The 501 service is a very long one which either needs to start earlier or be broken into two routes.

That the government considers arriving on time to school to be such a low priority sets a very bad example to the students.

In addition, the school bus does not even enter Coombs, forcing all students to make their way to John Gorton Drive. This is fine on lovely days, but not so good in the middle of a Canberra winter.

In the afternoons there is no school bus service to Coombs at all. Action only runs a morning service. In the afternoons, the students need to take a bus to Cooleman Court and then change to a standard Action bus to get to Coombs.

The government claims it wants to encourage Canberrans to use public transport and is spending billions on the tram. Yet they can’t even provide a bus service that enters our suburb, runs in the afternoon and get our kids to school on time.

What are your thoughts on this issue? Share them with us by commenting below.

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33 Responses to Action says arriving after the school bell is not late
Grail Grail 11:27 am 22 Mar 18

Sounds like the school needs to update the timetable so that the latest bus is scheduled to arrive 15 minutes before the bell, allowing 10 minutes for ACTION’s schedule wiggle and 5 minutes for unforeseen circumstances.

    Spiral Spiral 9:19 pm 22 Mar 18

    The school has no real control over the bus timetable. That is Action’s role. The school can, and has asked for a more intelligent timetable, but with no success.

1967 1967 12:26 pm 22 Mar 18

I don’t know the layout of Mt Stromlo High school, or where the buses pull up there, but 2 minutes seems a very optomistic timeframe in which to expect the average teenager to get themselves to class.

Perhaps an earlier bus?

Or petition ACTION to get their schedule changed, (good luck with that).

Kelly Williamson Kelly Williamson 8:06 pm 22 Mar 18

Same thing happens with the Dunlop/Macgregor bus to MelbaCopland College. My son can’t take it because it’s always ten minutes after classes start. Instead he needs to make a 1 hour ride into Belconnen and back out to school. Crazy.

    Kelly Williamson Kelly Williamson 10:36 pm 23 Mar 18

    Satu TN yup. If he misses the earlier bus I need to drive him to school. We only moved to the area last year, didn’t realise he was actually being marked absent in class for being ten minutes late!

    Marko Lehikoinen Marko Lehikoinen 7:25 am 25 Mar 18

    This is why we tried our hardest to get our youngest in to Canberra High, because the morning bus goes from Macgregor to the Belco exchange and all the way back to Melba. There isn't an afternoon bus at all, yet Copland is our local area enrollment high school. Go figure? Scary enough for a 10 y.o. taking school bus for the first time but worse when it has such complications. Thank goodness CHS took him in😊

    ACT Council of Parents & Citizens Associations ACT Council of Parents & Citizens Associations 10:34 am 27 Mar 18

    Kelly, we (ACT Council of Parents & Citizens Associations) have a parent rep on Transport Canberra's School Bus Liaison Committee and can raise issues there about problems with school buses to public schools. Would like to know more about the situation, route number etc. You can Message us on FB if you like. Thanks!

George Brenan George Brenan 8:11 pm 22 Mar 18

Need to adopt a more Japanese approach to timeliness

Dory Johns Dory Johns 9:12 pm 22 Mar 18

It this a 'Yes Minister' episode?

Claire McGreevy Claire McGreevy 9:57 pm 22 Mar 18

Bus routes are planned by people who don't use the bus service...

Wade Bermingham Wade Bermingham 10:01 pm 22 Mar 18

get the school to give them a nudge

Michael Ahern Michael Ahern 10:21 pm 22 Mar 18

The same with the Gungahlin to Merici Bus- 10-15min late every day. ACTION won’t adjust the bus schedule to take into account the grid lock caused by Gungahlin’s all consuming and never ending roadworks.

Elspeth Shannon Rollason Elspeth Shannon Rollason 10:30 pm 22 Mar 18

How can you have a school bus service one way and then not the other? Same with the one to Belconnen High. Only a service in the afternoon and the one in the morning got cancelled yrs ago. Action and the ACT Gov't need to up their game with regards to public transport for ALL of Canberra.

    Lin Van Oevelen Lin Van Oevelen 10:55 pm 22 Mar 18

    Same with the school bus between Gungahlin and Lyneham High. I enquired about this once with ACTION and they said it was because there wasn't enough demand for the morning one. And that it was the school's responsibility to request a service. Because school staff don't have enough to do without having to ask around if anyone would use a certain bus route?

    I also asked them why there was a such a large gap between buses from the town centre out to the suburbs after the school bus arrives in Gungahlin and was told that it was after the school peak. Um, school peak time finishes before your school bus reaches the town centre?

    We pretty much gave up and I end up driving an extra hour to drop my child off most days.

    ACT Council of Parents & Citizens Associations ACT Council of Parents & Citizens Associations 10:42 am 27 Mar 18

    HI Elspeth Shannon Rollason, which service to Belconnen High (from where) is only available in the afternoon?

    Elspeth Shannon Rollason Elspeth Shannon Rollason 6:06 pm 27 Mar 18

    Currently according to Action Buses website there are 3 PM services but no AM services. There apparently use to be an AM service but it was cancelled before 2016. How can you have 3 PM services but no AM service. This seems to be the case for quite a few schools. Maybe something the ACT P&C might want to take up. Less congestion around schools would be a good thing.

Tessa Jensen Tessa Jensen 10:38 pm 22 Mar 18

An Action bus is never late, everyone else is simply early... 👌 🙄

Jason O'brien Jason O'brien 11:10 pm 22 Mar 18

Why is the bus scheduled to arrive 2 minutes before the bell? Of course it’s never on time!!

Peta Siebert Peta Siebert 11:23 pm 22 Mar 18

The school needs to take it up Transport Canberra. They are the only ones able to request changes and additional services. We have similar issues with the Mackillop buses, some kids have to walk 20 mins to the bus stop in the morning. The afternoon bus services the stop 5 mins away. There’s enough demand for the morning service to change but the school won’t do it and TC won’t do it unless the school requests it.

Nikki Jackson Nikki Jackson 11:25 pm 22 Mar 18

This was my daily experience getting the bus from Tuggers to school in the 90s.

Lauryn Roberts Lauryn Roberts 1:31 am 23 Mar 18

Admittedly last time I used busses was a while ago, but damned if they were ever on time...

Bronwyn Todd Bronwyn Todd 8:00 am 23 Mar 18

The 916 bus is usually 20 minutes late each day getting to Dickson College.

Nik Smalley Nik Smalley 8:57 am 23 Mar 18

When the timetable has ‘times are indicative only’ on it you know you are in for Stella service. Australia’s public transport is a joke and Canberra is the worst.

bj_ACT bj_ACT 10:41 am 23 Mar 18

I can’t believe that these type of issues are still continuing in a place like canberra.

My son used to have a 7 minute walk to a school at Kambah until the ACT Government and Andrew Barr as Education Minister closed my sons school.

They promised a dedicated bus service and much improved education standards and better school resources. These promises sounded like at least something to partly alleviate the pain.

Unfortunately for my son and the other kids in the suburb, a bus that got the kids to school on time and a better education experience never ever eventuated.

Lee Powell Lee Powell 4:19 pm 23 Mar 18

Yep. My daughter used to catch that bus to stromlo but now catches an earlier one so she doesnt have to run to her first class. Its a joke.

Rob Sanders Rob Sanders 6:59 pm 23 Mar 18

Rumour: ACTION to provide service dogs to eat homework en route. Boy, they think of everything!

Brydie Kelly Brydie Kelly 11:40 am 24 Mar 18

If you're on time, you're late 😝

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