25 June 2010

Life without buses

| johnboy
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So today, thanks to the fight between ACTION management and their militant drivers, we get a taste of what life would be like if the ACT didn’t spend millions on public transport.

How does your life today compare with other days?

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Thoroughly Smashed12:45 pm 08 Jul 10

pete74au said :

Less Buses, the more car traffic there is on the roads, and all the effects that brings with it.

FIFY.

Less Buses, the faster the traffic moves, the lower the impact on roads and the lower the particulate pollution. I wonder how much we saved in the $60M+ subsidy we give Action, coupled with was the air any more poluted with the addition transport – personally I doubt it.

For reference, this website is the only place where I saw notification of this strike.

Back when I was at ANU I normally rode in, catching a bus only when rain, broken bike or other reasons made them a preference. In such a case a wouldn’t have seen any signs.

No difference. To me Canberra will always be a car city.

Hells_Bells7410:06 am 27 Jun 10

Yesterday? I skipped a day.. nice!

I see reading through I wasn’t the only one enjoying the peace.

Hells_Bells749:16 am 27 Jun 10

I haven’t read through the comments yet, but I have to say. For me, yesterday was a tad wanky in organising.
But the peace at my house, oh lovely and the peace on the roads in general. Gosh they’re a cranky lot barrelling through Belconnen too (although I wouldn’t be too happy if they added two extra main stops but didn’t bump the timetable to match it).
Some bus drivers really just drive for themselves, a couple have really freaked me out lately. Oh well, put it down to a bad day, just a shame the bad days are most days now.

just stayed in bed all day :/

aussieboy said :

You’re a complete idiot!

Public transport is a crucial public good, something the cannot be just replaced on a whim.
Car ownership is extremely irresponsible, in terms of the environment and externalities from congestions, and you don’t seem to realise this.

Ive wondered, what do people without cars do when they have an emergency situation? Sure, not everyone needs a car all the time, but theres a good chance (especially if youre a uni student) that you know someone with a car. Which is more irresponsible, owning a car, or simply failing to turn up to work/exam? Im talking personal responsibility here, not society’s responsibility.

I dont have a landline, but if there was a problem with the mobile network and I couldnt call someone in an emergency, Id accept that as my own fault, for choosing not to have a backup plan. If you live in Canberra, and dont own a car, youre pretty much asking to end up in a situation like this from time-to-time.

neanderthalsis said :

Normal, rational people would have found a way. There was plenty of notice of this strike, plenty of opportunity to ask around the office to see if someone who lives near you can provide a lift, plenty of time to organise to drop the wife at her sewing circle, the kiddies at school so that you can use the trabbie for a day. Sounds like a lot of people just wanted to skive off for the day.

You’re a complete idiot!

Public transport is a crucial public good, something the cannot be just replaced on a whim.
Car ownership is extremely irresponsible, in terms of the environment and externalities from congestions, and you don’t seem to realise this.

The sexist comment doesn’t help your case much either.

Devil_n_Disquiz said :

Took a lady from Condor to Convention Centre and it was $58.00

No, you took a lady from CondEr. You know, that suburb named after the man, not the large bird?

Besides – there is little financial incentive for ACTION to run a service just for students and children as they are on subsidised or free fares anyway – the adult workers are the ones contributing to the bottom line and as Very Busy said very few of these would catch a bus home.

Personally – the total ban was a corageous move by management – the TWU have always been a bit over the top with demands at these times and while drivers do have a tough job they have always come out OK in previous bargaining. I can’t believe that staff get paid almost full time to be workplace union activitiests – that is incredibly generous!

Devil_n_Disquiz7:03 am 26 Jun 10

Yeah well. City to Gilmore down the Parkway would do it. Esp if it was on the night time rate. Effectively taking you halfway to Belconnen before starting to head south.

Fare increase is explained by copy and pasting from the ABC website 🙂

Taxi fares in Canberra will increase by 2.48 per cent from 1 July 2010.

The flagfall for standard hirings will increase to $4.50 while the rate per kilometre between 6 am and 9 pm on weekdays will go up to $1.80.

The kilometre rate at other times will be $2.07.

wooo hooooo I’m getting a 1.24% pay rise.

Monster of the Deep11:40 pm 25 Jun 10

dvaey said :

I was just thinking, didnt we see a story about cab fares going up to $2/km? If you paid $80, thats almost 40km of driving. Google maps says you can do 39km if you travel from Banks to Mitchell, via Monaro Highway, so if you got charged 40km to civic, you got ripped off. (by the way, these figures are worked out on the new, increased cabfare)

Civic to Gilmore, to be a little more exact. The guy took us down the Parkway – we’d just moved Southside and didn’t know our way around. It was late at night too – I don’t really know how fares are calculated, but the fucker had the gall to tell us AFTER he’d dropped us off that it would have been cheaper and faster to go via the Monaro Highway. Gee, thanks for that.

That ‘The Canberra Times’ sensationalist prediction of “traffic chaos” on the roads didn’t materialise today is no surprise.

As happens every winter, a lot of people are out of Canberra to escape the winter cold (especially now that Parliament has finished for now) and Friday is usually a quieter day on the roads and for ACTION anyway. Many senior high school students have finished their exams and finished with school for this term …….

WonderfulWorld10:53 pm 25 Jun 10

I was surprised at the amount of car spaces available at 845. Usually if I’m not in by 815 it is too late. I think it is because the parks near my work are free and usually taken up by people who park there for free then catch a bus to their workplace.

Lazy I said :

shaneb said :

Students are taking exams at the moment.

Rumours from ANU are that many students have missed their morning exams because they didn’t know about the buses. Luckily most of todays exams are first and second year courses and the students can take the courses again (albeit at the cost of six months work and several hundred dollars in tuition fees).

Sensationalist much? if a uni student can’t work their way around a bus strike I am not sure they deserve the degree anyway.

Not really, considering that ANU students can’t work full time, many can’t:

-Afford to own a car
-Are forced to live in the outer suburbs where accommodation is cheaper, and thus can’t ride a bike or walk to the ANU
-Can’t afford $100 for a taxi from the outer suburbs to the city, and back again.
-Are from interstate or overseas and having lived in Canberra as little as 6 months don’t know people they can catch a lift with.

Short of standing out on major city bound roads and trying to hitch hike, I’m not sure what a lot of people would do.

There seemed to be more traffic than normal and I had to pay $10 + petrol to drive to work rather than $5 worth of bus tickets.

troll-sniffer6:01 pm 25 Jun 10

random said :

I take it that your walk in doesn’t take three hours, then.

As an environmentally responsible citizen of the world I have ensured that my place of abode is within walking distance of my workplace. That was a conscious decision I took years ago. So no, through good management, it doesn’t!

Monster of the Deep5:31 pm 25 Jun 10

ThatGuy said :

Again, there was more than enough notice to discuss this with your employer and decide whether they believe it to be worthwhile reimbursing you or giving you the day off. It should not be assumed by anybody that they can simply call up on the day and say “not coming in, no buses”.

I was just commenting on the price of taxis across Canberra. I wasn’t whinging, as I don’t catch buses and didn’t chuck a sickie.

Devil_n_Disquiz said :

hahahahaha only idiots who allow themselves to get ripped off would pay $80 for a taxi from Tugg to City. Your ‘experience’ was an exception. Def not the norm. Shoulda stayed awake 🙂

I was just thinking, didnt we see a story about cab fares going up to $2/km? If you paid $80, thats almost 40km of driving. Google maps says you can do 39km if you travel from Banks to Mitchell, via Monaro Highway, so if you got charged 40km to civic, you got ripped off. (by the way, these figures are worked out on the new, increased cabfare)

MsCheeky said :

On a related note, I did listen to both the TWU rep and the Action rep on ABC while driving in. The discussion was around the length of the strike, and apparently the meetings of drivers around town had all voted to go back to work after their meeting. However, Action had rolled down the shutters and wouldn’t let them. Action argued that they had to give the public ‘certainty’, and the best certainty was to shut down the buses for 24 hours. What a load of absolute nonsense. I bet there are many parents out there who would have been very pleased to know that their little darlings could get the bus home from school this afternoon, even if that knowledge only came about after the meetings this morning. Provocative posturing and absolute fail by Action management.

Yep, fair dinkum, is this the quality of the General Manager of ACTION. What hope is there of getting a decent bus system for Canberra when we have some drongo coming up with this sort of thing. The only bit of certainty that is provided by this brain wave is that commuters are inconvenienced alot more than necessary especially given the wet weather forcast.

I believe that the reasoning behind this move is that many people who drove to work this morning obviously wouldn’t catch the bus home. This means that the cost of running afternoon bus services would still remain but revenue would be down due to fewer passengers. ACTION management should be focused on providing the best possible service for commuters, not shafting them for their own self serving purposes.

As one of those who is unable to get anywhere without the buses – unable to afford a car, and too unfit to use a bicycle, I was reliant on the kindness of friends to get to work. The ANU did not have anything posted, but I wouldn’t have considered it to be their responsibility to do so. The university is quiet today, even for exam period – everyone who can work from home is doing so.

Another friend reports that three of her colleagues (working in retail in the city) had called in unable to get to work.

The ease of traffic is not the point of the exercise. Without the buses, traffic might move more easily, but there are at least hundreds, and likely thousands who are reliant on the buses as their primary form of transport. These are the people who are affected and hwo have scrambled for alternate arrangements. The buses’ absence would cause a high level of traffic on the road (one day is not a good measure of a Canberra without public transport).

Devil_n_Disquiz3:41 pm 25 Jun 10

#28 if you live in Tuggeranong and work in Civic, make that $80 each way for a taxi. :/ I know from experience.

hahahahaha only idiots who allow themselves to get ripped off would pay $80 for a taxi from Tugg to City. Your ‘experience’ was an exception. Def not the norm. Shoulda stayed awake 🙂

Took a lady from Condor to Convention Centre and it was $58.00

ThatGuy said :

You really missed the point didn’t you.

Perhaps read the previous comments before posting to avoid looking foolish in future?

Pot, kettle, etc.

random said :

You don’t want to spend $80-160 getting in, so you take a flex day and make a long weekend of it? Incomprehensible!!!1one

You really missed the point didn’t you.

To organise a flex day means you actually took a proactive approach as opposed to those who simply called up this morning stating that they are incapable of coming in due to the lack of buses. Perhaps read the previous comments before posting to avoid looking foolish in future?

ThatGuy said :

I have no idea how the act of skipping work can be considered ‘rational’.

You don’t want to spend $80-160 getting in, so you take a flex day and make a long weekend of it? Incomprehensible!!!1one

troll-sniffer said :

I walked in instead.

I take it that your walk in doesn’t take three hours, then.

forgoodnessake2:13 pm 25 Jun 10

I would like to know whether UC and/or ANU had notices about the strike around campus? I find it odd that the student union wouldn’t have done that. Most workplaces would make their workers aware, so why wouldn’t schools and universities do the same? especially at exam time? Anyway.

Had to walk 20 minutes to work. Normally no drama, but on-going health problems, a cold and a brisk walk meant it was less than ideal. Had to leave work early and then walk home again. I did have plans of going into Civic later today, but they’ve been shelved.

Otherwise, though, I’ve been surprised by the peace and quiet that no buses has meant in suburban streets. Quite pleasant, really. Maybe some of the old bangers could be convinced to bang less or more quietly and give us all some tranquility from time to time.

troll-sniffer1:53 pm 25 Jun 10

I was worried about the roads being clogged with other cyclists so I walked in instead. It was like OMG so totally cool. Seems that if you put one foot in front of the other in the direction you want to go, you can like get to where you’re going without hassling your parents for a bus ticket or a really emabarrassing ride in the Tarago.

51modelBloke1:39 pm 25 Jun 10

merlin bodega

I think you better get your facts right, no drivers will lose money, in fact they have been offered pay rises. The changes the TWU object to are not unreasonable and will allow the Government to run a more cost effective service.

as for increases in fares, what a loser, obviously you don’t pay rates or you’d winge about subsidising the bus service.

buy a faresaver 10 ticket, it equates to 7 cent per ride increase. My heart bleeds for you..

When studying for exams you often don’t pay as much attention to news media or go out as much as you would otherwise. It’s entirely possible to understand how students couldn’t find out. I caught buses earlier this week and there were no signs. I didn’t hear anything about the strike in the news so I’ve only heard about it strike from other people. Somebody less well-connected and studying really hard might not be paying attention.

Slack of the uni not to send a reminder email, even my sibling’s school did that.

shaneb said :

Students are taking exams at the moment.

Rumours from ANU are that many students have missed their morning exams because they didn’t know about the buses. Luckily most of todays exams are first and second year courses and the students can take the courses again (albeit at the cost of six months work and several hundred dollars in tuition fees).

Sensationalist much? if a uni student can’t work their way around a bus strike I am not sure they deserve the degree anyway.

I had a very easy drive today – expecting all hell to let loose! I did hear someone remark yesterday when I was boarding the bus that they had arranged for the day off to combat the strike. Your average Govvie worker will be using flex today – especially as it is a Friday. maybe the ACT Gov could pencil this in as a potential new public holiday?

Fiona said :

shaneb said :

justin heywood said :

I thought the parking at ANU would be the usual nightmare, but it’s actually a lot better than usual – very strange.

Students are taking exams at the moment.

Rumours from ANU are that many students have missed their morning exams because they didn’t know about the buses. Luckily most of todays exams are first and second year courses and the students can take the courses again (albeit at the cost of six months work and several hundred dollars in tuition fees). I can’t help but think that this could have been easily avoided by an email to all students from the university, or by ACTION signs at the bus stops for the past week.

I would have assumed the Uni would have emailed around that sort of thing. Slack, really, if they didn’t… especially as many students don’t actually have other options

If the Uni students are too stupid to watch the news or pay attention to signs on the bus stops then why are they at Uni ??

There is a bus stop near my house that has had a sign on it for at least 3 days stating there is no buses today. I cant see how they didn’t hear from any form of media about the bus strike

Working in my APS Department policy was

“Make alternative arrangements or take the day off with Leave/Flex”

@#20 neanderthalis

+1 you beat me to the punch and echoed my thoughts exactly. I have no idea how the act of skipping work can be considered ‘rational’. Perhaps it would be rational to skip work if you were being threatened with death if you went in.

@#26 deye

Perhaps you’re right about some, but I can confirm that there are others who aren’t.

@#28 Monster

Again, there was more than enough notice to discuss this with your employer and decide whether they believe it to be worthwhile reimbursing you or giving you the day off. It should not be assumed by anybody that they can simply call up on the day and say “not coming in, no buses”.

shaneb said :

justin heywood said :

I thought the parking at ANU would be the usual nightmare, but it’s actually a lot better than usual – very strange.

Students are taking exams at the moment.

Rumours from ANU are that many students have missed their morning exams because they didn’t know about the buses. Luckily most of todays exams are first and second year courses and the students can take the courses again (albeit at the cost of six months work and several hundred dollars in tuition fees). I can’t help but think that this could have been easily avoided by an email to all students from the university, or by ACTION signs at the bus stops for the past week.

I would have assumed the Uni would have emailed around that sort of thing. Slack, really, if they didn’t… especially as many students don’t actually have other options

Monster of the Deep11:48 am 25 Jun 10

random said :

or paying $40 each way for a taxi.

If you live in Tuggeranong and work in Civic, make that $80 each way for a taxi. :/ I know from experience.

forgoodnessake said :

This craziness will force me to start riding a bike to avoid the BAD drivers in this town. ARGH.

lol, that won’t work.

ThatGuy said :

My unsubstantiated thoughts of the work ethic of the other public servants around me were today substantiated.

I don’t understand how adults on decent salaries can be in a situation where they cannot organise to get to work if there are no busses. It boggles the mind.

Maybe they are using laptops and working from home.

justin heywood said :

I thought the parking at ANU would be the usual nightmare, but it’s actually a lot better than usual – very strange.

Students are taking exams at the moment.

Rumours from ANU are that many students have missed their morning exams because they didn’t know about the buses. Luckily most of todays exams are first and second year courses and the students can take the courses again (albeit at the cost of six months work and several hundred dollars in tuition fees). I can’t help but think that this could have been easily avoided by an email to all students from the university, or by ACTION signs at the bus stops for the past week.

Remember its Friday folks, traffic is always lighter.

30 minute walk to and from work (bruce to belco) – if I hadn’t moved northside (richardson) it’d be a day off.

Have to catch a cab ($20ish) to the city to get to jolimont to go to Sydney.

Slightly inconvienience – and lucky I can afford the cabs.

A number of my friends are much worse off.

Expecting gridlock, I just rode my bike. It was pleasant (bike paths not busy roads), and I saved a bundle on bus fares and traffic. I should do it more often.

I’m actually surprised traffic wasn’t as heavy as anticipated. But don’t tell the government or they’ll use it as ‘evidence’ to downgrade bus services yet further so as to save money and fix traffic problems they’ve created.

I was surprised it was a nice easy drive into work today. I left “late” which is usually when traffic is a nightmare. But today I got to work reasonably quick.

Perhaps all those parents with children who bus it stayed at home to drop them off to school and start work late ? Thats my theory.

neanderthalsis11:08 am 25 Jun 10

random said :

ThatGuy said :

I don’t understand how adults on decent salaries can be in a situation where they cannot organise to get to work if there are no busses. It boggles the mind.

I’m sure they *could*, but if you don’t have a car and can’t reasonably ask someone for a lift in, today you would’ve had the thrilling options of riding a bicycle in the rain or paying $40 each way for a taxi.

It does not boggle the mind that rational people would take the day off instead.

Normal, rational people would have found a way. There was plenty of notice of this strike, plenty of opportunity to ask around the office to see if someone who lives near you can provide a lift, plenty of time to organise to drop the wife at her sewing circle, the kiddies at school so that you can use the trabbie for a day. Sounds like a lot of people just wanted to skive off for the day.

grunge_hippy11:05 am 25 Jun 10

people catch buses in canberra??? since when?

ThatGuy said :

I don’t understand how adults on decent salaries can be in a situation where they cannot organise to get to work if there are no busses. It boggles the mind.

I’m sure they *could*, but if you don’t have a car and can’t reasonably ask someone for a lift in, today you would’ve had the thrilling options of riding a bicycle in the rain or paying $40 each way for a taxi.

It does not boggle the mind that rational people would take the day off instead.

thy_dungeonman10:48 am 25 Jun 10

MsCheeky said :

Today was an absolute breeze. Did everyone stay home or do the buses use up lots and lots of road space and cause the congestion? 😉

Thumper said :

I guess everyone that usually takes the bus took the day off instead, or buses take up a hell of a lot of space and generally slow traffic to a crawl.

Because if everyone on a bus took a car by themselves that certainly wouldn’t increase congestion.

http://24.media.tumblr.com/EfFLvTB7Qlcokipa2Y7qyvSFo1_400.jpg

Although if everyone who normally took a bus just stayed at home then your theories are correct.

justin heywood10:41 am 25 Jun 10

DonnyBoy said :

Easiest drive into work in several weeks!

I thought the parking at ANU would be the usual nightmare, but it’s actually a lot better than usual – very strange.

Interestingly a lot of people at Woden parked in the Park -n-Ride bit of the carpark with their Park-n-Ride vouchers….highly suss..Could it be that they really don’t travel to the City or whereever they just get the vucher to park here for free?

I saw a few people riding around on really ancient push bikes. The riders themselves looked just as rusty.

forgoodnessake10:14 am 25 Jun 10

Well quite clearly there were A LOT of people on the road today who do not usually drive. I was nearly side swiped by an idiot who wanted to be in the lane I was in and then a car didn’t even break going through a busy round-a-bout, not to mention the stupid tail gating. PLEASE do what the bus drivers want. This craziness will force me to start riding a bike or something to aviod the BAD drivers in this town. ARGH.

Easiest drive into work in several weeks!

merlin bodega10:10 am 25 Jun 10

ThatGuy said :

My unsubstantiated thoughts of the work ethic of the other public servants around me were today substantiated.

I don’t understand how adults on decent salaries can be in a situation where they cannot organise to get to work if there are no busses. It boggles the mind.

ThatGuy – hold that thought!

georgesgenitals10:09 am 25 Jun 10

Perhaps busses aren’t as essential a service as we all thought?

My unsubstantiated thoughts of the work ethic of the other public servants around me were today substantiated.

I don’t understand how adults on decent salaries can be in a situation where they cannot organise to get to work if there are no busses. It boggles the mind.

merlin bodega9:58 am 25 Jun 10

Ironically coming along Northbourne Avenue from Gungahlin was quicker without the buses blocking a lane and slowing down traffic!

Pity though the poor of Canberra who are being used as a toy in a game between the ACT government and unions. The ACTION GM’s argument seems to be that because Canberra drivers get paid more than drivers in other states then they have to take a pay cut. Sure. Take that one out to the doctors, administrative clerks and teachers mate! That’s the rate you pay around here pal. Helloooo! Rents here are the highest in the country. Try taking your reasoning to the Pilbara and see how many employees you get working for you there?

Isn’t the even bigger scandal that on July 1 fares will have gone up by more than 30% since the last election? Four bucks a ride! Stanhope may have dropped the outrageous multi zone system the Liberals had in place when he was elected but brought it back by stealth through raising fares again and again and again. Get out and meet a poor person mate who relies on buses. These are the people catching the things. He is all talk about improving ACTION and in an even more splendid irony “no action”. Remember the bike racks that he said were going to be on all buses? Even the Redex, which was supposed to have a rack on every bus has increasing unreliability for it. Try riding a bus to work from Gungahlin every day – if you are not Tour de France fit before you start then you sure will be after a couple of weeks.

When I vote Labor at the next election I am going to make sure that is not one of these useless ponies in the Assembly now that gets my vote. That way I can get a Labor Government focussed on the community instead of ignoring it. I can get rid of the wistful musings of a Chief Minister that has stayed too long as well.

Absolute breeze. Traffic flowed nicely, normal amount of cars, and I even left 30 minutes later than usual so it should have been more congested.

I guess everyone that usually takes the bus took the day off instead, or buses take up a hell of a lot of space and generally slow traffic to a crawl.

ConanOfCooma9:55 am 25 Jun 10

I was earlier than usual, there were no buses flying front of me on round a bouts, I didn’t have to stop for any idiot bus drivers that think that pulling over at a stop means halting in the middle of the road, and I didn’t have to console any old ladies that had been wiped out by an ACTION bus.

georgesgenitals9:46 am 25 Jun 10

I’m interstate with work, and other than nursing a slight hangover from an awesome night out last night, everything is great.

quite #$@%@$ actually – given that I travel to work daily on a bus. Already told the boss I won’t be in until late (at least I’m able to do that) and will no doubt spend plenty of time trying to find a park in Civic’s already overcrowded parking lots.

Surprising easy to get to work and get a park. Surprisingly easy….

I usually drive from Jerra through Fyshwick then jump on a bus at Albert Hall to go into Civic. The drive is usually a bumper to bumper crawl from Harman to Narrabundah.

Today was an absolute breeze. Did everyone stay home or do the buses use up lots and lots of road space and cause the congestion? 😉

On a related note, I did listen to both the TWU rep and the Action rep on ABC while driving in. The discussion was around the length of the strike, and apparently the meetings of drivers around town had all voted to go back to work after their meeting. However, Action had rolled down the shutters and wouldn’t let them. Action argued that they had to give the public ‘certainty’, and the best certainty was to shut down the buses for 24 hours. What a load of absolute nonsense. I bet there are many parents out there who would have been very pleased to know that their little darlings could get the bus home from school this afternoon, even if that knowledge only came about after the meetings this morning. Provocative posturing and absolute fail by Action management.

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