An open letter on bus bike racks

johnboy 16 January 2013 44

Dear ACTION,

Last Friday (12 Jan 2013), I left home on my bicycle at 7:10. I reached Osbourne Dr in Macgregor and waited for the 7:27am 703 bus. It arrived bu did not have a bike rack. The next 703 bus arrived at 7:47 and also did not have a bike rack. Finally I caught a 43 bus at 7:57, then had to wait at Belconnen Interchange for a bus with a bike rack to come (that was the third one to arrive). I finally arrived at work at 9am.

It took me also 2 hours to get to work by bike and bus. Not that the buses that did not have bike racks were a SCANIA K320UB and a new Scania K360UA.

I am dismayed that ACTION is buying buses that cannot have bike racks fitted. It is already annoying enough that I have to wait for multiple bases to arrive before one finally turns up with a bike rack. Why are you compound this problem by buying buses that cannot fit bike racks?

It is already hard to convince Canberrans to get on buses, why limit their options to only being able to walk to their bus.

Regards,

Dr Justin Murray


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44 Responses to An open letter on bus bike racks
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460cixy 460cixy 10:23 am 17 Jan 13

Antagonist said :

460cixy said :

The racks are actually illegal you can’t have anything protruding from the front of a vehicle like those racks and it also puts the bus over length I don’t know how there getting away with it

I am pretty sure the ACT government issue themselves with an exemption. Somebody more knowledgable may be able to explain why the same exemption cannnot be extended to the entire ACTION fleet.

I would expect that to be the case anyhow this is the ADR in question 11.1.1. any object or fitting, not technically essential to such vehicle, which protrudes from any part of the vehicle so that it is likely to increase the risk of bodily injury to any person;

KB1971 KB1971 10:00 am 17 Jan 13

thatsnotme said :

KB1971 said :

I am not so sure about this. Take the 318 & 319 for EG.

I regularly see the 319 as a tag steer jobbie, even at off peak times (2pm one day in Civic trying to get home with a bike, ended up just riding from Tuggeranong) and the 318 as just a 12m jobbie. Both of them start & finish at Lanyon, they just do different sides of the valley.

It seems that they have not divided them evenly between all 300 routes. This is a PITA for me as I rely on the 319, I have had the supervisors say to me “just get on another one” which wont get me home all the way.

BUT the Expresso buses seem to have more racks on them now so I can rely on them (except for the bloke who drives the long 785 in the afternoon…..).

Ha, the 318 / 319 are buses I use as well, but on the other end heading to Kippax – and I rarely if ever see a standard bus doing either route! I had hopes that these services extending to Kippax would give me more options, but the number of them that are steer tag makes it a lottery (and the odds are weighed against me about as much as the lottery too!)

I sure as hell can’t complain though…if I have my bike, there are 5 different buses that can get me near to home in the afternoon. Even with all that choice though, sometimes things can go wrong – like the afternoon I was waiting for the 43 at Belco – which always has a rack – but when it showed up it was an old articulated bus, apparently the only bus left in the depot!

Yah, its on the change. The 318 sitting at the shops waiting to start its run this morning was a tag steer.

Pitchka Pitchka 9:46 am 17 Jan 13

Bussie said :

damien haas said :

ACTION wont be able to schedule buses with bike racks on specific routes at specific times, because seniority of drivers determines who gets what run, and drivers can also choose what bus they want to drive.

Bulls***. Shifts are picked by seniority. The shift specifies a particular make of bus and if you pick that shift you have to drive that bus.

For someone who seems to think of himself as an expert on public transport you don’t know much do you? Maybe you should stick to playing with your model trains.

\
Chuggintoooooooonnnnnnn, chugga chugga chugga chugga chuggington, CHUGGINTON!!!!

Antagonist Antagonist 9:21 am 17 Jan 13

460cixy said :

The racks are actually illegal you can’t have anything protruding from the front of a vehicle like those racks and it also puts the bus over length I don’t know how there getting away with it

I am pretty sure the ACT government issue themselves with an exemption. Somebody more knowledgable may be able to explain why the same exemption cannnot be extended to the entire ACTION fleet.

Bussie Bussie 9:00 am 17 Jan 13

JC said :

As bike racks are fitted to all the midi, standard rigid buses, wheel chair rigids, with just the long Scania’s and the articulated buses not having them fitted due to length it wouldn’t be hard to identify what bus type is doing what run and they wouldn’t change.

Not quite, the midis don’t have bike racks.

Bussie Bussie 8:50 am 17 Jan 13

damien haas said :

ACTION wont be able to schedule buses with bike racks on specific routes at specific times, because seniority of drivers determines who gets what run, and drivers can also choose what bus they want to drive.

Bulls***. Shifts are picked by seniority. The shift specifies a particular make of bus and if you pick that shift you have to drive that bus.

For someone who seems to think of himself as an expert on public transport you don’t know much do you? Maybe you should stick to playing with your model trains.

Mike Bessenger Mike Bessenger 8:42 am 17 Jan 13

Why not invest in a quality folding bike and a bag to suit. That way you can get on any bus, train or plane without any issues.

460cixy 460cixy 8:10 am 17 Jan 13

The racks are actually illegal you can’t have anything protruding from the front of a vehicle like those racks and it also puts the bus over length I don’t know how there getting away with it

JC JC 6:11 am 17 Jan 13

Deckard said :

Why not allocate the buses that have bike racks to different routes at set times? Then on the timetable you could have a little bike symbol next to those times that a bus with a rack will turn up. Or is that all too hard for someone to work out?

Seems to work overseas with trains that take bikes.

They do allocate a particular bus type to a particular run. So what you suggest isn’t hard to do.

benno1 benno1 10:35 pm 16 Jan 13

You have a bike… ride the damn thing and stop whinging!

Anti Anti 9:38 pm 16 Jan 13

You would have looked tre cool standing at a bus stop wearing Lycra holding a bike, you lazy git – ride all the way to work next time.

JC JC 7:53 pm 16 Jan 13

damien haas said :

ACTION wont be able to schedule buses with bike racks on specific routes at specific times, because seniority of drivers determines who gets what run, and drivers can also choose what bus they want to drive.

That’s only partially right Damian. Runs have designated bus types, ie midi, standard rigid, wheel chair rigid, long, artic etc and drivers can, within reason choose within that type but unless there are none available cannot choose a bus in another class. Ie if the run is a rigid they cannot take an articulated or long bus out.

As bike racks are fitted to all the midi, standard rigid buses, wheel chair rigids, with just the long Scania’s and the articulated buses not having them fitted due to length it wouldn’t be hard to identify what bus type is doing what run and they wouldn’t change.

HarrisonExpress HarrisonExpress 7:45 pm 16 Jan 13

Crazy idea…did you ever consider riding the bike? I have no idea where you work, but you could ride the length of Canberra in under 2 hours.

Deckard Deckard 7:42 pm 16 Jan 13

Why not allocate the buses that have bike racks to different routes at set times? Then on the timetable you could have a little bike symbol next to those times that a bus with a rack will turn up. Or is that all too hard for someone to work out?

Seems to work overseas with trains that take bikes.

thatsnotme thatsnotme 6:51 pm 16 Jan 13

KB1971 said :

I am not so sure about this. Take the 318 & 319 for EG.

I regularly see the 319 as a tag steer jobbie, even at off peak times (2pm one day in Civic trying to get home with a bike, ended up just riding from Tuggeranong) and the 318 as just a 12m jobbie. Both of them start & finish at Lanyon, they just do different sides of the valley.

It seems that they have not divided them evenly between all 300 routes. This is a PITA for me as I rely on the 319, I have had the supervisors say to me “just get on another one” which wont get me home all the way.

BUT the Expresso buses seem to have more racks on them now so I can rely on them (except for the bloke who drives the long 785 in the afternoon…..).

Ha, the 318 / 319 are buses I use as well, but on the other end heading to Kippax – and I rarely if ever see a standard bus doing either route! I had hopes that these services extending to Kippax would give me more options, but the number of them that are steer tag makes it a lottery (and the odds are weighed against me about as much as the lottery too!)

I sure as hell can’t complain though…if I have my bike, there are 5 different buses that can get me near to home in the afternoon. Even with all that choice though, sometimes things can go wrong – like the afternoon I was waiting for the 43 at Belco – which always has a rack – but when it showed up it was an old articulated bus, apparently the only bus left in the depot!

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd 6:42 pm 16 Jan 13

Pork Hunt said :

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

The only way actions crappy service can be fixed is to get rid of action and a bunch of actions *drivers*

You are one of the great thinkers of our times. You have the simplest answers to the most complex issues.

I know, right. Exactly why I should be mayor here, or at least prime minister of the entire country.

LSWCHP LSWCHP 6:41 pm 16 Jan 13

The “open letter” concept has always struck me as being both pompous and internally inconsistent. “I’m going to write a private correspondence that I actually intend all the world to see” just doesn’t sit right with me somehow.

Be that as it may, my advice to the good doctor would be to forget the buses, get on his bike and ride to work. Then, in the afternoon, get on his bike and ride home again.

I work with people who live in Belco and ride to Fyshwick, and I’d do it myself if my knees weren’t buggered.

wildturkeycanoe wildturkeycanoe 6:21 pm 16 Jan 13

For someone with a PhD, doesn’t seem too bright. Who waits for a bus with air conditioning whilst wearing a winter jacket in summer? Who orders wood fired pizza from the opposite end of Canberra expecting it to arrive crisp[y and fresh?
Why do people catch a bus with a bicycle instead of riding it and then complain about how long it takes?? Just get a motorbike and enjoy the thrill of the ride.

thy_dungeonman thy_dungeonman 6:06 pm 16 Jan 13

zorro29 said :

i don’t ride buses but it seems you’d need to expect that you’re not always going to get the bike racks if you’re not on the routes/bus numbers that promise them

That’s the thing, no routes have a %100 promise for a bike rack, which seems rather pointless, if you have a bike and want to catch a route you won’t try unless you know there will be a rack and if you don’t think tehre will be rack you won’t arrive on your bike, so if one does happen to show up you don’t have your bike with you anyway. The 300 series is basically “yeah you might get a rack but if you don’t we aren’t responsible” route.

Although many of you don’t seem to understand using bike in conjunction with a frequent bus service is actually very useful, when I was at the ANU I could ride from weston creek to woden, catch the bus to civic and then ride into university. If I went all buses and used the 27 then that would cut down the number of time a day I could leave and lengthen my journey at the end (and I could beat the 27 on my bike). So for areas where there is no connecting bus route at either end of a frequent route it is a great option. Although the way it has been implement its typically half-assed.

Pork Hunt Pork Hunt 5:13 pm 16 Jan 13

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

The only way actions crappy service can be fixed is to get rid of action and a bunch of actions *drivers*

You are one of the great thinkers of our times. You have the simplest answers to the most complex issues.

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