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Nightrider condemned.

By johnboy - 22 June 2011 23

report cover screenshot

Territory And Municipal Services have released their report into the operation of the NightRider bus service this summer.

Key Learnings from the trial were:

1. The service could not be seen to be cost effective in its current design at an average cost of $157 per passenger
2. The service carried most passengers on New Year’s Eve and night where there were special events.
3. Saturday nights usually carried almost twice as many passengers as Friday nights.
4. The Nightrider services to the suburbs carried most passengers. The loop services did not attract significant patronage.
5. An earlier procurement decision would have allowed for an earlier start on promotion.
6. Relocating the Nightrider bus stop may improve traffic operations.

RiotACT humbly suggests that more online advertising and a smartphone app showing where the buses are, combined with sticking with it for more than a few months at a time, would dramatically help too.

What’s Your opinion?

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23 Responses to
Nightrider condemned.
audioangel 2:26 pm 22 Jun 11

I didn’t even know this was happening! I certainly would have caught the bus home rather than waiting in cab line and paying huge taxi fare! Where was the advertising?

random 1:54 pm 22 Jun 11

chewy14 said :

Why can’t they just run a bus that goes through Gungahlin, Belco, Civic, Woden and Tuggers at night?
Screw the suburb runs.

This is addressed in the report. There was a proposal to just run Nightrider buses to the other centres, where users could walk or catch cabs, but apparently ACT Policing expressed concerns that this would just move alcohol-fuelled violence from Civic to other areas where they would be less able to respond quickly.

dpm 1:33 pm 22 Jun 11

chewy14 said :

Why can’t they just run a bus that goes through Gungahlin, Belco, Civic, Woden and Tuggers at night?
Screw the suburb runs.

It’s a tough one really. It would be easiest to do just that as running buses into the suburbs would take more resources – or really long and winding bus routes!
But what do you do (if you lived in Curtain or Rivett for example) when you get dropped off in Woden? There’s no Taxi rank open there late at night (or buses) so do you then walk to your home? I suppose you could stagger in to the Southern Cross club and order a taxi from there, but they probably wouldn’t be too thrilled with that happening constantly….
Perhaps at the food van on Corrina St? Taxi drivers seem to frequent there for late night snacks.
Or you could get someone to come pick you up from the bus interchange there, but then if they are going to that trouble, they may as well get you from Civic – only another 10 mins down the road in the first place.

Classified 1:10 pm 22 Jun 11

Primal said :

Not surprising, really. Hasselhoff has always been rubbish.


chewy14 1:03 pm 22 Jun 11

Why can’t they just run a bus that goes through Gungahlin, Belco, Civic, Woden and Tuggers at night?
Screw the suburb runs.

Primal 12:54 pm 22 Jun 11

Not surprising, really. Hasselhoff has always been rubbish.

johnboy 12:47 pm 22 Jun 11

Classified said :

What happened to point (5) of the Key Learnings?

That’s what happens when I have to re-type the points. Fixed now, thanks for that.

Classified 12:41 pm 22 Jun 11

What happened to point (5) of the Key Learnings?

dpm 12:32 pm 22 Jun 11

Elmo said :

… +1 to running it all year. I would go out more and use it if it ran every weekend- winter included!

Unfortunately with the new liquor laws that make bars pay more for staying open, the Govt is actually trying to make LESS people go out at night in Canberra, if that is possible! Maybe them scrapping initiatives like this is just another example of that goal?

Innovation 12:27 pm 22 Jun 11

I think the problem was running the service out into the suburbs (it cost ACTION too much to run and it took too long between bus runs). Cheaper more regular runs to major centres would get people out of the city more quickly and then let people get shorter and therefore cheaper taxi rides home from there.

Skidbladnir 11:41 am 22 Jun 11

1) Why run an extensive procurement round late in the project when there are only two local bus operators, and the inability of one to provide service is the entire reason you need to run a procurement round?
Either sort out ACTION’s staffing woes, or start building a greater long-term relationship with Deane’s,

2) Running ACT public service designed promotional-material through drive-time radio, the Canberra Times, and BMA, expecting to saturation-target youth audiences?
Who the hell thought that was a good idea?

One of the recommendations concerning future options include better analysis of behavioural, decision-making, and service needs of young people, probably the best idea in the thing is to recruit the Arts\Media students to better design the promo materials, and engage their targetted service participants -much- earlier.

Elmo 11:40 am 22 Jun 11

I used it once and it was awesomely convenient and cheap. That said- I ONLY found out about it 2 weeks before it stopped running.

They need to ADVERTISE! John Stanhope was complaining about the lack patronage however he also thought it was well advertised, way to govern John. FAIL

+1 to running it all year. I would go out more and use it if it ran every weekend- winter included!

Elmo 11:37 am 22 Jun 11

I used the nightrider once but only found out about it two weeks before they cut it off! It was an all year round thing I would use it all the time! I hardly go out because the $40-50 cabfare back to Gungahlin is too expensive.

ADVERTISE! Hardly anyone knew about it! You cant bitch about the service not being used when it isnt advertised in the first place.

harvyk1 11:34 am 22 Jun 11

3 months isn’t a very long trial… I would expect passanger numbers would increase as more and more people get used to the service being available, I’d certainly use it if I went out to the city (except I didn’t head into the city over the three month trial)…

Of course the other way to look at is for every drunk person on the service it’s one less drunk driver on the roads… Makes $157 look cheap if you consider the actual cost of a serious car accident… (Damage to property, loss of income, medical costs, disability costs etc…)

luther_bendross 11:25 am 22 Jun 11

+1 for more (any) advertising. I was unaware of this service until after the trial and had I been aware I would have used it.

Surely it’s not surprising that the loop services didn’t do well, I don’t think $5/pp to Manuka is good value: if there’s more than two people, a cab would be cheaper. However $5/pp to the deep dark south is fantastic and I wish I had known, as I can’t sustain >$60 cab rides and no taxi has 12 seats.

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