Nightrider condemned.

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.


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23 Responses to Nightrider condemned.
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madscientist madscientist 9:31 am 23 Jun 11

One thing I noticed was that the frequency of the NightRider service was a little bit woeful – every 90 minutes – infrequent public transport tends to be poorly used.

Also, what’s the options if you miss a bus by a few minutes? Either cough up for a taxi, or go back into the bar and use the same money to get even more drunk? I’m not sure that one’s well thought out…

eq2 eq2 5:02 am 23 Jun 11

Agreed with many of the comments. Please re-trial with drop-offs at city centres, no security guards and could start as a Saturday night/event only service.

gooterz gooterz 9:48 pm 22 Jun 11

Its easy.. Late Bus loops tuggeranong to belconnen. Places like woden and tuggeranong the bus stops outiside the police station where it can be watched by CCTV and easily patrolled!
Bus stops at station people get off and the guard counts the number of taxis required. (Hopefully some already waiting) and bus driver calls for more.

Start out small.. 1 day per month until numbers come up.

I caught the night rider on NYE back down south and told the driver where i was going and rude when asking which part of the suburb i lived. Having the coaches were overkill and it took way too long to get around the burbs. Would have rathered a tip to a main centre and then taxi.

Mujer Mujer 9:06 pm 22 Jun 11

Down in Melb the night rider bus does buses out to the burbs, and if you don’t live on the main route the bus company will call for a cab to meet you at the drop off point to take you to your destination. The main route usually followed the train line stopping at the stations,

There were no guards on the bus either but plenty of police presence in the city.

canberran85 canberran85 6:15 pm 22 Jun 11

There were a lot of things wrong with the 3 month trial, many of which were summarised in the report. The design of the service seemed to be a rather expensive one which would be hard to justify.

Current design:
-$157 a passenger
-large coach + driver + security guard
-system not integrated with ACTION ticketing.

Potential cost savings:
-Using existing ACTION infrastructre
-Use smaller buses on low patronage routes (eg. special needs buses or the smaller older Renaults -larger buses could be used for special events)
-Consider need for security guard
-Integrate with myWay ticketing system
-Consider large buses running to major interchanges with small buses running to suburban destinations

A poor summer trial shouldn’t be seen as a reason to abandon attempts to establish a regular late night service. With the ACT Government releasing its 2030 Transport for Canberra strategy in the next 12 months, there is an opportunity to plan towards a properly integrated public transport service, which includes late night services in Canberra.

steveu steveu 4:01 pm 22 Jun 11

I get the feeling that the ACT Govt is running ACTION simply for looks, rather than trying to make public transport work in this city.

Innovation Innovation 3:42 pm 22 Jun 11

random said :

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.

I haven’t read the report but isn’t this argument cutting off their nose to spite their face? Rather than get the potential crime/violence out of the city and out to other centres (and possibly dilute the risk) the nightrider buses get cancelled altogether so all of the potential offenders stay in the city. If only all crime could be encouraged to occur in the one place……

And #13 dpm – if there was less business for taxis in the city, wouldn’t the taxis naturally start to operate closer to the other town centres if passengers were dropped off there? It would also mean that taxis on the return trip from the suburbs might not have to travel as far to pick up passengers. As for your Curtin and Rivett analogy, some passengers might even want to get off on the side of Yarra Glen, Melrose Dr or Hindmarsh Dr (if ACTION allowed it) and walk.

chewy14 chewy14 2:37 pm 22 Jun 11

random said :

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.

Aren’t there police stations pretty close to each of the interchanges?
Anyway, maybe they could hire one or two private security guards to stand at each of the interchanges?
It’s got to be cheaper than $150 a passenger.

It probably won’t happen though, because then the cabbies wouldn’t be able to gouge $50+ out of passengers who live in the outer suburbs.

audioangel 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 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 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 Classified 1:10 pm 22 Jun 11

Primal said :

Not surprising, really. Hasselhoff has always been rubbish.

YOU TAKE THAT BACK!!

chewy14 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 Primal 12:54 pm 22 Jun 11

Not surprising, really. Hasselhoff has always been rubbish.

johnboy 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 Classified 12:41 pm 22 Jun 11

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

dpm 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 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 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 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!

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