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Nightrider Trial ends – who’s to blame? [With poll]

By johnboy - 28 February 2011 14

The ABC has the sad news that the Nightrider bus trial has ended with the average cost per passenger carried around $400.

That’s more expensive than a flight from Canberra to Hayman Island right now on the Virgin Blue Website.

The Greens are claiming the service was never advertised properly (certainly they did not advertise here), Mr Stanhope, however, says 10% of the budget for the service went on marketing (in which case one has to wonder who’s made like a bandit on that one).

There’s also the question of how long a service needs to operate in order be habit forming compared to say, taking a chance on drink driving or just standing in the taxi line hoping to not get punched.

But what do you think?

Nightrider bus service

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14 Responses to
Nightrider Trial ends – who’s to blame? [With poll]
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PaulM 3:48 pm 30 Apr 11

Sigh. Of *course* it’s going to lose money if you only run it for three weeks or whatever and people haven’t learned to rely on it. And running a huge bloody bus up Jardine street at 4 in the morning is just – a bad idea.

Smaller buses. More commitment to the idea.

And – an online service where you can request the nightrider on your iPhone and that shows you the current location and intended route of each bus. May mean that each bus needs two staff – a driver and a navigator. Or perhaps not: we have GPS phones now – it’s all do-able.

teej7 7:17 pm 02 Mar 11

ML-585 said :

Had Deane’s been allowed to run the service their way, who knows what the outcome might have been. Certainly it couldn’t be any worse.

I can’t quite remember where I read it, but Deane’s offered to include a comprehensive promotion as part of the contract price, but were knocked back.

The article also said pamphlets including the timetable were distributed to pubs around the city (am yet to met a single person who got one though) – but then they cut services anyway so those (phantom) timetables were obsolete.

I agree that instead of trying to get everyone home on buses in the middle of the night (apparently they would drop you at the bus stop nearest your house) people would be happy to get at least in the vicinity of their house and taxi the rest of the way. A taxi from Civic to my house is $40+, from the nearest bus interchange, $10. I don’t understand why they’re trying to change to world when just cutting costs a little can make a huge difference.

eq2 2:22 am 02 Mar 11

When I’ve taken nightrider the buses usually go on some convoluted route through the stops in the suburbs.
2 Recommendations to fix night transport in the city:
1. On the hour buses to each of the main city centres (belconnen, gunghalin, woden etc) and then have a close taxi rank so people can get a cheap taxi back to their home. If the buses become popular the taxis will also go to these ranks instead as they won’t have the long empty return trip back to the city.
2. Multiple taxi ranks should be in the interchange (eg south rank and north rank). This will mean mean that people can share taxis more easily, taxi drivers can go to their preferred region and the taxi rank system will be more efficient. Have you ever noticed that often in the city there can be a huge line of people and a huge line of waiting taxis but both lines move so slowly because there is only one short rank for people to get into the taxis? They could at least make the line start closer to the lights so more taxis could pull up next to the queue at a time.

M Rose 7:28 pm 28 Feb 11

As a frequent late-nighter in civic I had heard of the service. However I had no idea how much is cost, where to catch it/how to arrange a ride, and what the full service it offered was.

Very poor advertising indeed.

Spykler 6:47 pm 28 Feb 11

I only found out throught this site that it was on.Total absence of public awareness, the idea is sound, but the promotion was non-existent.

Davo111 6:26 pm 28 Feb 11

totally agree

random said :

Why wasn’t there a huge poster by the taxi rank? “Taxi to Tuggeranong: $80. Nightrider bus, platform X: $10.”

I didn’t even know it was on at all.

Alf 6:15 pm 28 Feb 11

A Uni of Qld study worked out in 2008 that road accidents cost Australia $17 billion annually. That is 2.3% of our GDP. “The damage and pain inflicted by more than 25,000 serious injury accidents each year is reflected in these costs. But our totals don’t even touch on the considerable burden that non-fatal injuries can impose on the victims and the families who care for them,” Dr Connelly said. (http://www.uq.edu.au/news/index.html?article=9863)

So, if you are complaining about $400 for one person to catch the bus and one of those people instead ended up needing years of rehab or a lifetime of physical care because they drove drunk and had an accident, then it seems like a bargain.

Holden Caulfield 4:52 pm 28 Feb 11

I blame KITT.

ML-585 4:26 pm 28 Feb 11

The Nightrider contract was always set to end last weekend so there is no-one to ‘blame’ for it ending as this article wants to suggest.

It’s not just a question of whether it could have been advertised better – there is also the question of whether it could have been run better. Just remember that Deane’s were contracted to run the service exactly as dictated by ACT Transport (fares, routes, timetables were all set in place by ACT Transport) – so this is an example of how well (or not) having a separate Government agency to control public transport works in Canberra.

Had Deane’s been allowed to run the service their way, who knows what the outcome might have been. Certainly it couldn’t be any worse.

I still have to wonder though why the service was not advertised on ACTION buses since the people who were most likely to use Nightrider would also travel on ACTION.

Skidbladnir 4:15 pm 28 Feb 11

There was a nightrider service?
(Where did that 10% go, Mr Stanhope?)

LadyxBec 3:45 pm 28 Feb 11

random said :

Regarding advertising, I was idly thinking about catching it a few weeks ago, but wasn’t even sure if it was still on: when I looked around earlier there was no evidence it existed. No signs at the platform, nothing.

Why wasn’t there a huge poster by the taxi rank? “Taxi to Tuggeranong: $80. Nightrider bus, platform X: $10.”

+1
I tried to catch it more than once, only to be confused by the lack of signage, get sick of waiting and end up in yet another overpriced taxi

Tetranitrate 3:43 pm 28 Feb 11

I didn’t even know it was on at all.

Tetranitrate 3:42 pm 28 Feb 11

I didn’t even know it was on at all.

Damn… I could have been going out a hell of a lot more than I did over summer.

random 3:22 pm 28 Feb 11

Regarding advertising, I was idly thinking about catching it a few weeks ago, but wasn’t even sure if it was still on: when I looked around earlier there was no evidence it existed. No signs at the platform, nothing.

Why wasn’t there a huge poster by the taxi rank? “Taxi to Tuggeranong: $80. Nightrider bus, platform X: $10.”

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