Do you prefer your buses late or early????

dks00k 30 March 2011 22

Do any Rioters happen to know if the times listed in ACTION’s bus timetables are proper timing points or just a wild stab in the dark??

I can tolerate a bus that is late. At least I am at the bus stop waiting and, sooner or later, usually sooner, I’m pretty sure the bus will turn up. I may get to where I am going perhaps 5 or 10 minutes late but for me thats no big deal. I will allow myself enough time to cope with such an eventuality.

But one thing that pisses me off are buses that are early. Esp when you need to drop the young bloke off at school at 9am, which gives you a good 5 minutes to walk the 50 yards across the road to the bus stop to catch the bus which is due at 9.04am. Then at 8.59 as you are leaving the school the bus sails by……

wtf??


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22 Responses to Do you prefer your buses late or early????
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sezzle sezzle 3:25 pm 31 Mar 11

I regularly get any bus from Woden to Civic, but if I don’t get to the stop on Melrose Drive before 8:10am a bus won’t stop for at least 20-30min (depending on the day). Every single light change I see a bus I could get on come round the corner and every time they always go straight past without stopping because they are so full.
If I get there early, the buses are normally 5-10min earlier than the scheduled time.

I really hope ACTION get a better understanding of their clientelle from this new MyWay system.

canberran85 canberran85 2:57 pm 31 Mar 11

Timing points are one of my bugbears with ACTION. Drivers are instructed to stop at timing points until the timetabled time. Timing points can be identified by times on the ACTION timetables. Signs at bus stops which are not timing points are approximate. As with anythings which involves schedules you need to allow a couple of minutes for error between different clocks, however the extent to which some services run early is very frustrating.

The whole network isn’t like this. A commuter bus I used to catch used to showed up in the morning within the same 30second window all year. Not once was it earlier and it was rare that it was more than one or two minutes later than usual.

The best advice about early services is to ring up customer service (13 17 10). All complaints result in the driver having to respond to a manager. It would be hoped that a bank of complaints about early services against a driver would result in performance being monitored. When initially promoted, the new ticketing system was apparently designed to monitor on time running. It might help ACTION identify whether complaints about early/late services are valid.

That said, its not always easy for drivers to keep to time, particulary on weekend services where timing points are so pooly planned. I’ve been on weekend buses that have left 5 minutes late, crawled as slowly as possible without obstructing traffic and then arrived early at the next timing point. Let’s hope the new ticketing system allows a more robust timetable to be developed.

LackADaisy LackADaisy 8:57 am 31 Mar 11

Whether the bus turns up or not, it’s not like you can even ring up to complain. I have been told a couple of times that the ‘posted times are approximates ONLY’ and therefore the drivers don’t need to be accountable to them. I have no idea why they bother putting the stupid things up in the first place. There’s a FB group called Action on Action or something, you’ll find more people there (and the link to their forum) who have similar issues with Action.

Ian Ian 12:09 am 31 Mar 11

On time or a minute or two late is fine. Randomly either side of the scheduled time is not.

damien haas damien haas 11:32 pm 30 Mar 11

It was quite amusing on the weekend ACTBUS bus tour of Canberra in the vintage ex-ACTION bus , while going down some streets a few people obviously thought that the old bus was their bus coming early, and would lurch into a run for their stop. One bloke tried to board the bus when it was in Civic!

http://onfourwheels.blogspot.com/2011/03/actbus-take-ex-action-bus-670-around.html

Genie Genie 8:14 pm 30 Mar 11

I hate it when the bus is late is the evening….

My “expresso” bus is usually a good 10 minutes late when it comes from Barton through the City. Which means that up to twice as many people cram onto the bus, those who waited for the earlier bus… and those who thought their bus was early.

Then you’ll always find that the idiot that needs to get off on the FIRST stop has sat on the back seat of the double bus and needs to squeeze past the 30-50 odd people standing up…….

However it does make for a good laugh with people yelling at the driver to stop when they pull away from the stop thinking everyone who needs to has gotten off…

thy_dungeonman thy_dungeonman 7:21 pm 30 Mar 11

Stevian said :

It’s a crap shoot whether they show up at all

and then you ring ACTION and all they can say is that “it should be there”, well I knew that from the timetable.

georgesgenitals georgesgenitals 6:59 pm 30 Mar 11

I love the buses, they couldn’t be better if they tried.

(That’s right, I’ll never set foot on one with the stinky, unwashed public…)

matt31221 matt31221 5:16 pm 30 Mar 11

beejay76 said :

I’m pretty sure that there’s a network of spies laid by ACTION. They follow me around, surreptitiously observing my movements. They probably have me bugged as well, so they can hear when I’m about to catch a bus. And then: WHAM! bus comes early. Really, really early if I’ve allowed time. It always comes as I’m on the wrong side of the road and have no way of racing across 4 lanes of traffic to reach it. It happens more than coincidence could allow. I’m sure that’s where their budget is going…

Hmm, I’d be willing to wager that your watch is set 5 minutes slow! 1194, number for the atomic clock…

Jono Jono 4:51 pm 30 Mar 11

beejay76 said :

I’m pretty sure that there’s a network of spies laid by ACTION. They follow me around, surreptitiously observing my movements. They probably have me bugged as well, so they can hear when I’m about to catch a bus. And then: WHAM! bus comes early. Really, really early if I’ve allowed time. It always comes as I’m on the wrong side of the road and have no way of racing across 4 lanes of traffic to reach it. It happens more than coincidence could allow. I’m sure that’s where their budget is going…

I thought it was just me they were after.

My problem these days is that no matter what time I leave the house, the bus always goes past when I’m still 200m away from the stop, so I can watch as it drives merrily on its way without me…

dundle dundle 4:18 pm 30 Mar 11

puggy said :

dundle said :

The timetables do have a disclaimer that the times are approximations…

Which raises the questions, why quote times such as 7:57am? Why not round to the earlier 5 minutes (e.g. 7:55am)?

I wondered that too! It seemed silly to have the disclaimer and the amazingly accurate times. I suppos because distance between listed stops can sometimes be less than 5 minutes and they don’t want to round all of them.

Now I think about it, that disclaimer used to be on the physical stops, I don’t even know if they still include it.

Stevian Stevian 3:44 pm 30 Mar 11

It’s a crap shoot whether they show up at all

Davo111 Davo111 2:18 pm 30 Mar 11

late.

p1 p1 2:12 pm 30 Mar 11

Aenveigh said :

Seriously, can they not pull over and wait a couple of minutes if they get that far ahead!! As dks00k says, eary running is far worse for the hapless passenger than a late one given the gaps between services in Canberra.

Or, they could drive a little slower in those situations. You know, accelerate a little slower from stops, take corners a little slower, etc.

Although this isn’t nessesarily a good idea either, ’cause then if they do hit something that slows them (traffic or whatever), they’ll be suddenly running late and will cop crap for it.

Aenveigh Aenveigh 1:49 pm 30 Mar 11

After complaining about consistent early running, I received formal advice from ACTION that “they advise passengers the bus may arrive up to 5 minutes prior or after the scheduled time”. In other words, we’re not sure when it will turn up, why don’t you try your luck down at the lottery?

Seriously, can they not pull over and wait a couple of minutes if they get that far ahead!! As dks00k says, eary running is far worse for the hapless passenger than a late one given the gaps between services in Canberra.

puggy puggy 1:38 pm 30 Mar 11

dundle said :

The timetables do have a disclaimer that the times are approximations…

Which raises the questions, why quote times such as 7:57am? Why not round to the earlier 5 minutes (e.g. 7:55am)?

dundle dundle 1:06 pm 30 Mar 11

Fuzzy said :

I don’t use the buses with as high a frequency as I used to but I remember a few years ago, the bus drivers were obligated to stop at certain ‘timing points’ (like the local shops/school etc) if they were running early to let the timetable catch up. I guess they don’t do this anymore?

No they still do it and it is REALLY annoying to the passengers on the bus. Unfortunately if your stop happens to be before one of those timing stops though it can still go past early.

What I prefer depends on which situation I’m in. When I’m sitting on the bus I like it to be early and don’t care about missing passengers. When I’m waiting, I’d rather it’s late because I have also seen it sail by ahead of schedule when I’m on the wrong side of the road.

The timetables do have a disclaimer that the times are approximations and you should be at the stop a little earlier. I find the buses are mostly pretty good, but there are odd times when I’ve had a long wait then see a bus randomly and I have no idea if it’s a really late bus or a really early bus.

housebound housebound 12:13 pm 30 Mar 11

I’d be happy if they would just show up.

Fuzzy Fuzzy 12:08 pm 30 Mar 11

Most people allow for a few minutes either side, but 5 mins early isn’t even close to the timetable.

I don’t use the buses with as high a frequency as I used to but I remember a few years ago, the bus drivers were obligated to stop at certain ‘timing points’ (like the local shops/school etc) if they were running early to let the timetable catch up. I guess they don’t do this anymore?

beh1972 beh1972 11:36 am 30 Mar 11

An early bus is a whole lot worse than one that is late.

This isn’t Europe where another one will come by in ten minutes, it will be 30min at best or an hour. If it is one of the Expresso specials then you are really stuffed, you have to call work and say you will be two hours late stuffing around at two bus interchanges.

I’ve had this happen to me a several times, seems to happen on weekends more. What really makes you crack your biscuit is you are usually within sight of the bus stop when it pulls up 5 minutes early.

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