Free Buses?

dundle 2 December 2010 19

Every ACTION bus I’ve caught this week has been free. I’ll bring out my ticket and the driver will tell me just to get on the bus without validating it. This has happened on every journey and to every passenger I’ve seen not paying by cash fare!

I assume it has something to do with the new MyWay system about to be unrolled, but the ACTION web site says it won’t start until January.

I’m I the only one who has had free bus rides this week? Aren’t ACTION losing a lot of money this way? Does anyone know why it is?

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19 Responses to Free Buses?
eelbe eelbe 7:35 pm 03 Dec 10

Yep, Yep!

I catch 2 buses every morning (one from Suburbs to City, then City to Woden) and the same every afternoon. Only once a week or so do I have my ticket validated on both buses on each trip – I’ll either “pay” for the suburb to the City or for the City to Woden.

Although they’re not loosing anything from me because I’m always validating morning and night, I hate to think where all the money for these free fares is coming from for others who don’t pay anything.

For a while there was an Action Staff member at the City Interchange every morning… Although she was lovely, I struggled to know her purpose – especially because she was telling people to “just jump on, don’t worry about paying.” She often went so far as to ship people on the back doors, even if the ticket machine was fully functioning and all the people getting in the front door were validating them.

She hasn’t been around for a few weeks now… not sure why not?

cegee cegee 12:04 pm 03 Dec 10

I’ve noticed that the people who have prepay tickets get on for free, but the bus drivers press a button and the new machines make a noise… looks to me like they’re logging the amount of prepay tickets to try to gauge how many people will use the new MyWay system?

but yeah, i’ve seen lots of times when people who dont have prepay tickets still have to pay. in the mean time i am loving all my free bus trips!!

Genie Genie 11:48 am 03 Dec 10

Sir Pompously said :

Eric, the usual stance is if the validator is broken everyone gets a freebie. I have never seen a driver charge a fare if others do not validate, so a very rare occurrence..

Actually on numerous occasions I’ve seen bus drivers charge people for a cash fare and everyone else got to walk on free of charge if they had a ticket in hand.

I got stopped the other day on a bus because once I saw the fluro yellow sign over the validator I put my wallet away, the driver asked to see my ticket.

Rosencrantz Rosencrantz 11:01 am 03 Dec 10

3 out of 6 buses I have caught this week have been free. But at the same time, 3 out of 6 buses I have attempted to catch this week – not necessarily the same ones – have failed to arrive at all.

So a 50% reliable service for a 50% discount – is that value for money, gentle readers?

Sir Pompously Sir Pompously 8:12 pm 02 Dec 10

Eric, the usual stance is if the validator is broken everyone gets a freebie. I have never seen a driver charge a fare if others do not validate, so a very rare occurrence.

The old Wayfarer Validators are on the way out, ACTION do not seem to be maintaining them anymore (Due to MyWay) according to many drivers (They are at the end of their life anyway). I had three buses where the validator did not work yesterday out of the four ACTION Vehicles I caught, had to validate on the fourth so got my to work journey free.

Eric Eric 6:03 pm 02 Dec 10

Felt sorry for the people paying cash fares the other day – anyone with a ticket got on free, those paying cash had to cough up for a ticket. Doesn’t make sense, if you have a ticket, you are getting a free ride!

Unfortunately I suspect teh drivers don’t have much choice? If the machine is broken and a spot check is done as long as passengers have a ticket, it doesn’t matter if it has been validated or not (fare faresaver), and paying passengers will have their single fare ticket. Of course, the last time I got checked to see if I had a ticket in tha last 15 years was…um. Never.

dtc dtc 6:01 pm 02 Dec 10

I’m not sure about cars off the road – yesterday every car park in Civic West (including the multi story and the ‘new’ underground one in the building next door) was full by 10am, which is the first time I have seen that happen (not that I drive very often).

cmdwedge cmdwedge 5:16 pm 02 Dec 10

dtc said :

Shirley, this should be a front pager for the CT. (and thanks to Leslie Nielson for appearing in 6 of the best 15 comedies ever).

oh, wait. sorry. its the CT.

They’ll find some way to peg it on the Liberals.

Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 4:27 pm 02 Dec 10

colourful sydney racing identity said :

I must be catching the wrong busses….

Try the other buses instead.

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 4:00 pm 02 Dec 10

I’m loving all the free trips. And totally with you AG. Free buses = massive numbers of cars off the roads = good driving for those who can’t/won’t use buses + less road construction bills for all ACT taxpayers.

But I’m a little over having to stand most mornings the whole way in…
More buses needed Mr Roncon!

dtc dtc 2:28 pm 02 Dec 10

Shirley, this should be a front pager for the CT. (and thanks to Leslie Nielson for appearing in 6 of the best 15 comedies ever).

oh, wait. sorry. its the CT.

bitzermaloney bitzermaloney 2:06 pm 02 Dec 10

Newton’s 3rd Law:

“For every Action, there’s an equal and oposite re-Action”.

thatsnotme thatsnotme 1:32 pm 02 Dec 10

The ticketing machines on the buses are on their last legs – I’m not even sure broken machines can be fixed anymore. Given that the majority of people who catch buses tend to be travelling on the same route and about the same time, there’s a very good chance you’re on the same bus today as yesterday…and if the machine was broken yesterday, it’ll probably be broken today too.

Which sucks if your regular bus actually has a working machine!

AG Canberra AG Canberra 1:31 pm 02 Dec 10

The old ticket reading machines currently installed on all buses are past their serviceable life. The company that made them no longer exists and spare parts are no longer available.

ACTION did promise that the proximity scan-on, scan-off system that is appearing in some buses (but not yet active) would be operational months ago. This sitaution is costing tens of thousands of dollars each week – and the ACT Minister has admitted this.

Word is getting around and the buses I have been on are busier than ever. All of this supports my theory that the ACT Gov should further ramp up parking fees (maybe even increase petrol excise buy 1c) and make the entire bus network free. This will make people get out of their cars and into buses.

schmeah schmeah 1:11 pm 02 Dec 10

The majority of buses I’ve caught for the last few weeks, possibly more, have been free and I only catch a bus on average about 2 times a week. I’ve noticed that my morning bus is very rarely free, but that the afternoon bus was nearly always free.

I thought it was part of an ongoing industrial dispute between the TWU and the ACT Government. But that may have passed, since I caught my first free bus this time last year.

colourful sydney racing identity colourful sydney racing identity 12:42 pm 02 Dec 10

I must be catching the wrong busses….

Rollersk8r Rollersk8r 12:42 pm 02 Dec 10

Have only had the 1 free ride this week, though 1 or 2 free rides per week is fairly normal.

Although what amazes me is they can let almost a whole busload ride for free because the machine is broken, but then selectively turn schoolkids, or senior citizens away for having the wrong ticket or some other petty reason.

Of course drivers must collect fares and I’m not saying it should become known as a system where any excuse is acceptable for a free ride – but apply some common sense. Most people aren’t looking to personally gyp the driver, they just need to get somewhere.

Which reminds me (on a roll now) – how about making the bus free during Floraide!? It would be a great chance to showcase the network etc – and would stop the 5 minute negotiation every time someone from out of town gets on a bus without knowing the system.

South Side Dad South Side Dad 12:18 pm 02 Dec 10

From what I understand this has been an ongoing problem. A friends child is only half way through their second ten trip ticket for the school term. Kinda scarey when you think about it. Don’t get me wrong I engoy a freebie as much as the next, though makes you think where else could this lost revenue have been used…. Mowing the grass prehaps?

JessP JessP 12:03 pm 02 Dec 10

4 Rides this week and 2 have been free. I thought it was a good strike rate until I saw this post!

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