31 October 2005

Bus-bike trial cancelled

| Kerces
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Steve Pratt brings us the slightly odd news that the bike racks on buses trial has been prematurely cancelled.

Apparently the 2004-05 June Quarter Capital Works Progress Report has the word “cancelled” beside the $345,000 ‘Bicycle Racks on ACTION Buses’ program.

Not-the-transport Minister Simon Corbell told the Assembly earlier in October that the bike rack trial was due for completion in November.

It has been suggested on this site previously that the bike racks on the front of buses were illegal because they make the buses longer than the standard size. Certainly the few buses I have seen that are fitted with bike racks have had make-shift signs tied to the racks which say they are not to be used.

So what we appear to have here is a trial of a perfectly good idea where the practicalities were not thought through and, as a result, it’s been cancelled before completion and presumably money has been wasted on fitting the racks which cannot be used.

UPDATE Mr Pratt’s got another effort out here in which he says during today he’s talked to a number of his constituents and they all remarked on the “not in operation” signs tied onto the bike racks (he could have saved himself some time and just looked here). Anyway, he now wants to know not only why the program has been cancelled, but why the bike racks being trialled aren’t even in use.

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Samuel Gordon-Stewart11:06 pm 02 Nov 05

Naturally if it came to that I would submit a story of apology…and if that fails, post a comment.

I respect the site owners right to editorial policy and ownership, especially after the gazillion loony spammers who visited my site…and were eventually dealt with.

Areaman – The front page of RiotACT is not Samuel’s to determine.

But I imagine we can see our way clear to looking after it in this case.

I still think combining private low power transport (scooters, skates, electric two wheelers, wheelchairs) for suburban transport with buses providing wheel-on access and lift between town centres is a more sensible way forward than rinky two bike racks on the front.

Samuel Gordon-Stewart7:34 pm 02 Nov 05

Areaman, not only will I post a public apology on RA if the bike racks do get used (and not to be drawn out on a technicality, I mean available for public use), but I will personally write a letter to Simon Corbell apoligising for not trusting his word, a letter to ACTION apoligising for any negative publicity I may have generated, and further letters to The Chronicle and Canberra Times editors making further public apoligies.

I still reserve the right to take issue with the extra time it will take for the bikes to get on and off the racks securely, and to have concerns about the bikes which are not properly secured.

Thanks Simon for the response, but I don’t believe it has cleared up the doubts over the legitimacy of the bike racks…

1. Ok, treasury proved their incompetency by doubly allocating funding for the racks

2. You say the trial wil still go ahead, but I don’t think you really cleared up the concern over the legality of the racks.

“the trail will go ahead when all the racks are installed” – how long can it take?
Ive seen them on buses for a few months now, why not kick it off?

You say not to trust the Pratt, maybe, but all you have shown us is that we sure can’t trust your treasury, and the racks still remain to be trialled. Contoversial; I think so 😛

I think it is fair to question the trial

So Samuel will you post a public apology on the front of RA if/when they are used?

Samuel Gordon-Stewart6:50 pm 01 Nov 05

I still stand by the information I have…Sorry Simon, but I’ll beleive the bus racks will be in use when I see it with my own eyes.

I don’t doubt that you want to have them in use, I just doubt it will happen. Sorry Simon, just a personal opinion.

Vic Bitterman6:24 pm 01 Nov 05

Good onya Simon for getting involved in discussions on the internet sites of the little people!!!

Hats off to ya!

Bonfire, no it wouldn’t, not if you include the significantly higher maintinance overheads you’d have.

mr corbell, why did you dismiss light rail as being too expensive, yet commit up to 150 million for a busway between belconnen and civic ?

surely 150 million would deliver a good first start to a light rail network.

Simon Corbell11:43 am 01 Nov 05

Kerces, in reply to your question, I have responsibility for public transport policy and planning, through both ACTPLA and part of Urban Services. In addition I am responsible for ACTION. The reason for this is to have a coordinated approach to public transport policy and delivery through a single minister.

Mr Corbell (while you’re here), how come you were being asked questions in the Assembly about buses? It’s been bugging me because I would have thought buses were an ubn services responsibility and therefore belong to Mr Hargreaves.

Simon Corbell11:02 am 01 Nov 05

Don’t beleive everything Steve Pratt says. The Bike Racks trial has not been cancelled. The money has been allocated and is being spent with 45 out of 55 bike racks already installed. Mr Pratt is referring to the withdrawal of a “double payment ” for this project. Both ACTION and DUS were mistakenly allocated the funding for this project by ACT Treasury. This oversight was corrected and the money provided to DUS returned to Treasury. The payment to DUS was cancelled, not the project itself.

The Bike racks trial will go operational later this month, once all racks have been installed. All buses on the 300 ( intertown ) routes will have the racks.

i think the liberals cut n pasted riotact into their press release yesterday.

there are trials designed to succeed and some designed to fail.

but expecting people to wait by the side of the road in the hope that the bus which comes by next has a rack on it (and that the rack isn’t already full) never seemed entirely realistic.

I’d say this was a case of throwing a bone to pedal power.

Samuel Gordon-Stewart6:40 pm 31 Oct 05

Yes Vic, they are.

Vic Bitterman6:09 pm 31 Oct 05

Are these racks the yellow devices I see on the front of some of the newer buses?

the advantage of lightrail is that there are standards. unlike bizarre guided busways like in adelaide or the one action really want (a guided bus that follows a magnetic line, which doesnt need a driver, but they have to have one anyway because of oh&s rules, so its pointless having the guidance system in the frst place, but hey lets budget for it anyway).

all the hard work in research of vehicle tyoe has already been done. they even manufacture lightrail vehicles locally.

In any case, this still doesnt mean recumbent bicycles should be legal.

Hey, I just had an idea! Attach a large dozer blade to the front of each bus and they can make their own busway and/or move cars, bikes, animals, cripples, etc out of their way during peakhour. Sir Joh would love this idea!

Bloody typical! This is the second time the ACT Govt has tried to attach bike racks to the ACTION fleet, only to find out later that they can’t do it! The last time was in the early-mid 1990s, and if my memory serves me correctly, the problem back then was the issue of public liability if a bike fell off or if someone injured themselves while placing their bike on the rack.

Bonfire’s idea of grab handles sounds like a the way to go!

We could put in place a light rail system that uses an obsolete and unsupported type of train.

I suggest 5foot 13in imperical standard as a place to start looking, even though I made it up, I’m sure the government will find something along those lines to purchase.

excellent. I love this govt of ours. Is there anything else we could piss perfectly good money up against? Perhaps a fruit and vegetable store that specifically caters for those on hunger strrikes perhaps?

why not attach grab rails to the buses and then teh cyclists can get towed around ?

of course set the grab rails high enough so that recumbent cyclists cannot reach them.

Samuel Gordon-Stewart9:43 am 31 Oct 05

And I will suggest it again…they are illegal. I won’t mention names, but the people I heard this from work for ACTION and would know.

There were a few other liability problems with the bike racks, mainly that the plan was for the cyclist to be responsible for putting the bike on the rack and making sure it stays on (anybody care to tell me how much extra time these bikes going on and off would take?). Personally I think some kind of inside-the-bus system would have made more sense, but the powers that be didn’t think of that. Johnboy, perhaps you should send them some of your suggestions.

White… Elephant…

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