8 March 2013

Do the buses need to do more?

| johnboy
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A friend posted this on Facebook and is OK with me reposting here.

Okay, I’ma get ranty.

So it’s the Canberra Centenary celebration this weekend, with a whole pile of events on during the day and evening on Monday (which of course is Canberra Day).

But Monday is a public holiday. Which means public holiday buses.

But wait, Action is helping us out! Free buses all day! Buses from the City around Lake Burley Griffin stopping at various event locations between 11:30am and 8:30pm! Free bus charter to major interchanges between approximately 9pm and 11:15pm after the fireworks!!!

*cough* Really helpful Action. Apparently if I want to get to any events in the evening (which I do, ie Fun Machine at Regatta Point for Canberra Rocks Festival) I can get a bus AN HOUR BEFORE IT STARTS from the city. Cheers. The last bus from my suburb to the city on a Sunday timetable is 6pm. So I can hang around in the city til the last Burley Griffin Loop bus leaves, then hang around for another hour til the actual event.

THEN if I want to get HOME I can get a free shuttle bus to the nearest interchange. Which is obviously really helpful if I actually want to get HOME without walking alone at night from an interchange. Huh.

Thanks Canberra for embracing those of us who can’t afford cars, I’m glad that you have tried so hard to make us feel included in such an important celebration.

Oh wait.

F*** you very much.

Here’s the link to the Action website where they tell us how helpful they are: http://www.action.act.gov.au/news/news_articles/free_travel_for_all_on_monday_11_march

Do we need to do away with the idea of public holidays being reduced service days? Certainly we need different timetables for non work days (because we’re not trying to get everyone to the office and home at the same times).

UPDATE: Somewhat in response to this ACTION have announced that they’re lazy:

Police and nurses work public holidays. Waitresses and retail workers work public holidays.

But bus drivers and their bosses don’t feel like it. So that’s OK.

Further update: Quite astonishingly we’re now getting hate tweets from the Blue Rapid 300 which appears to be ignorant of the concept of working in shifts.


Or sane communication:


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I agree that the bus service on Monday should be better but anyone who has any idea who bureaucracies work (which should be most people in Canberra) is a fool to expect ACTION to spend their own money on more services on Monday. I’m sure if the people in charge of the Centenary pot of money had been willing to pay ACTION to run more services then they would have.

Madam Cholet12:27 pm 09 Mar 13

Suspect that this @BlueRapid300 person must be an Action employee, but without authorization to speak on behalf of Action officially, at least in this manner. I wonder what Action plan to do about this? Can’t obviously trace it if they haven’t given their name, but I would not like to know that any employee of mine was trading on an aspect of my customer focused business to have a go at said customers, who might choose to take their business else where.

I’m sick of Action. My bus is always late, or cancelled on some occasions due to lack of staff, has a driver who thinks its his own personal vehicle where he can play his s*** radio as high as the volume will go, and drives like an idiot. It’s all very well to have an exterior that looks customer focused, but you actually have to be able to fulfill it.

I’m willing to be a believer, but in the last few months, the service has been worse than ever, but with tweets.

The response (supposedly) from Action doesn’t surprise me. I had a similar response from TfL (who are the mob that run London’s public transport) when I asked them why in a public transport dependant city like London that they didn’t run buses on Christmas Day (something Action manages to do might I add), and the response was pretty much the same, the drivers are entitled to spend Christmas with their families too.

This puzzled me a little because as someone pointed out there are heaps of essential services that have to run on Christmas day, so what makes bus drivers different to these other essential services?

In the case of London and Christmas I found this excuse ironic as a good 75% of the drivers appeared to come from ethnic backgrounds that I would have a guess didn’t even celebrate Christmas, so not sure what they were going to do all day. As for their method of getting around on Christmas day the suggestion was to get a bus the night before and a bus home on boxing day.

To be fair on the drivers, do you think the ACT government should have budgeted a little more to pay a few dozen bus drivers a little bonus to work Sunday night of the city’s 100th birthday??

Or perhaps the government knows that 33.3% of the Canberra population are so proud of their city’s birthday that they’ve taken off down the coast.

But to the whinging bus driver, don’t you idiots who work in services, whether it’s bus driving, selling shoes or shovelling sh*t out of my sewer, realise when @TonyAbbottMHR gets rid of all those whinging public servants then there’ll be no one to catch your bus, buy your shoes or need you to shovel their sh*t, which means you too will be out of a job.

poetix said :

Picture a new version of Duel with the Blue Rapid chasing a cyclist down Northbourne…

With the bus stopping as required to set down and pick up passengers, then furiously chasing the no bell cyclist through red light cameras…

Picture a new version of Duel with the Blue Rapid chasing a cyclist down Northbourne…

Oh wonderful, the folks at action are handling this with great professionalism and aplomb. I wonder if the blue rapid series would have a less sporadic timetable if it weren’t busy flaming journo’s on twitter.

johnboy said :

What an exciting era when I can get hate tweets from a bus route!

Hahahaha! AWESOME! “Our bus system would work fine if it wasn’t for these pesky Canberra passengers”! Classic, @bluerapid300!

johnboy said :

Endrey said :

If the original writer of that post gets in touch with fun machine through the band’s facebook page we’ll arrange transport for them.

A Fun Machine based transport solution. Nice one.

I wonder if it’s anything like Scooby’s Mystery machine?!

That would be a fun machine! Hahaha! 🙂

What an exciting era when I can get hate tweets from a bus route!

It’s nothing new for us, we’re increasingly filling the vaccuum of state services. Homeless shelter, food for children, etc. In 2011 we invaded Yemen.

Endrey said :

If the original writer of that post gets in touch with fun machine through the band’s facebook page we’ll arrange transport for them.

A Fun Machine based transport solution. Nice one.

If the original writer of that post gets in touch with fun machine through the band’s facebook page we’ll arrange transport for them.

PR death for their social media person. A certain well-regarded restaurant lost a lot of the business from a certain large gov’t department after a comment much like that one was made.

ACTION will never get it right. I’m still amazed that after dropping my car in Hughes for a service, it took 2 hours to get from Hughes to the Airport precinct. Wow.

This is classic (in)Action buses ridiculousness.

Without a car you’re basically screwed if you want to participate in anything in the community (theatre rehearsals for example are often in far out venues). And we all know this isn’t just a public holiday problem.

But you’d think that on the ONE DAY that Canberra has a huge celebration that won’t be repeated for YEARS, they could at the very least run a normal timetable.

Is that seriously an official tweet from ACTION saying drivers need a public holiday too?? That is outrageous, truly outrageous, for all the carry on about public transport in this town – and particularly this weekend!!

What – consider driving so they can issue another 1000 parking fines – or do the inspectors need a day off too??

And does the fire brigade etc also need a day off – just let me know now in case my house is burning down…

Personally I’d be happy to pay a surcharge on Public Holidays if it meant I got decent bus service.

Apparently the Centenary celebration organisation need to do less of the events and more of the helping the less priveleged Canberrans actually get there in the first place.

I’d be happy to pay normal bus fares. Just saying.

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