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Public transport from the airport. Is there a worse Western World capital?

By farnarkler - 28 August 2011 40

Deane’s are about to pull the plug on their airliner and there’s no Action buses going through Brindabella Park on the weekends.

I wonder if there is another capital city in the Western World with a similar lack of transport to and from its’ airport?

What’s Your opinion?


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40 Responses to
Public transport from the airport. Is there a worse Western World capital?
Gungahlin Al 9:25 am 29 Aug 11

gooterz said :

I guess you don’t have to often drive people to and from the airport. Unless your going somewhere and back the same day, most people don’t like to take their cars and ask for a lift!

Pedant prod: “you are” = “you’re”

Henry82 1:33 am 29 Aug 11

The Cityrail “airport tax” is because the station is privately owned, and that’s the contracted rate. Thats what happens when you privatise a public asset.

Innovation said :

any bus carrying say 30 to 40 passengers could potentially cost the airport $60 to $80+ for each bus.

I’m yet to see a bus in Canberra have 30-40 passengers, with the exception of coming home from the rugby

dungfungus said :

Really, the reason why the buses are not viable is that who on earth would catch a bus from Canberra airport to the Jolimont Centre?.

I would, but im not the average customer. It’s a $25 cab fare to civic, the centre for public transport. And for most people it would be easier to be picked up from civic. The main issue is the people using the taxi’s (businesses/politicians) don’t value the money wasted as someone else is paying.

I suspect its also about changing peoples attitudes about public transport. The sydney airport-central route is very under utilised, i’ve never seen more than a handful of people get on the train with me. To get it working here, they would need guaranteed services every 15minutes, AND an outright ban on taxi’s for certain hours.

EvanJames 12:10 am 29 Aug 11

LAX isn’t bad, actually. Trick is to visit the visitor info people at the Tom Bradley who’ll tell you how it works. Get a carpark shuttle out to Carpark A or whatever, and get town bus from there. I have used it several times over the years, usually the Santa Monica bus that is going to end up in Hollywood Boulevarde.

Our airport is a bad joke, just a rich man having been handed the keys to making a fortune, however he wants to do it.

Porkchop 11:05 pm 28 Aug 11

I had not heard that Deane’s were pulling out. When and where did that news get released?

In reply to Frank2112, I suggested that to them last year and they said “No thanks, it is not our core business”. That would explain why they did the deal with Deane’s bus company. I note that in the airport’s March 2011 Quality of Service report public transport was not raised as a serious problem by the passengers using the airport. This indicates to me that there is no reason for the airport to change anything. If Deane’s are pulling out that may provoke some negative feedback, but I can only assume that they are pulling out because there is not enough demand for their service for it to be profitable for them to provide it. I drive a taxi on Saturday and don’t bother hanging around at the airport with the other 25-plus cabs because in the long run I end up losing money by doing so. The airport have made it so cheap to park your car there that many locals who are going away for less than a week and who trust the airport security do that. We obviously do not get enough non-local passengers wanting to use the bus to make it profitable to run.

In reply to qedbynature, I recently asked ACTION why they do not provide a service to and from the airport. Their reply was:

“Thank you for contacting ACTION Customer Service about services to and from the Airport.

Public transport services to and from the Airport are provided through a private arrangement between the Airport and Deane’s Buslines. This arrangement excludes ACTION from running a regular route service to and from the Airport.

ACTION does, however, provide commuter services to the commercial precincts within the Airport area at Majura Park, Brindabella Business Park and Fairbairn Park. These services operate during business hours and have been implemented through negotiations with the Airport. The nearest stop on ACTION’s Route 10 or 28 to and from the Airport would be at Brindabella Business Park.”

In reply to Innovation, I suspect that the airport sees taxis as a cash cow, maybe small cows in terms of their overall budget but useful nonetheless, and at $2 a vehicle much more profitable than buses of any size hence their lack of interest in making it easy for minibus operators to have their own rank there. Let’s face it, though, normally the only times there are so many passengers arriving in a short space of time as to overload the taxi fleet is between 08:00 and 09:00 in the morning between Monday and Thursday when Parliament is sitting. The rest of the time, i.e. the other 100 hours per week that there are flights arriving, there are usually between one and two dozen cabs waiting hungrily for a customer to walk up to the rank and ask to be taken to Tuggeranong, or Gungahlin, anywhere further than the City to justify the hour or more they have been waiting there.

gooterz 10:19 pm 28 Aug 11

Martlark said :

Canberra is a wealthy city and people travelling on aeroplanes are a bit wealthier still. Ergo: I’d imagine 99% of them have the ability to get driven there and back. Thus: the tiny numbers of poor sods who need to resort to bus transport makes the whole public transport to/from quite unviable. Just give it up.

I guess you don’t have to often drive people to and from the airport. Unless your going somewhere and back the same day, most people don’t like to take their cars and ask for a lift!

If you get in early Murrays can take you to sydney airport in 3-4 hours for $15.

gooterz 10:14 pm 28 Aug 11

Cityrail has an airport tax on their rail tickets. $15 to get from either sydney airport to central station.

Similar distance is about $2-3 for any other stations.

Which is about the same as catching a cab to the nearest station (~$13) and catching a train from there.

I dont see how it could be that hard for action and Snow town to work this one out. Just have a fee that covers the cost they would have gotten for parking.

if the airport needs less parking they can build more nice offices!

dungfungus 9:00 pm 28 Aug 11

Really, the reason why the buses are not viable is that who on earth would catch a bus from Canberra airport to the Jolimont Centre? (assuming that is the city destination of buses)
From there, another journey for most is on the cards and this is probably by taxi so this is why most people get a taxi from the airport in the first place. A lot of people in Canberra who have lived here for over 30 years have never caught an Action or any other suburban bus anywhere. Canberra is for cars.
It’s the same situation in most cities the size of Canberra.

Martlark 5:40 pm 28 Aug 11

Canberra is a wealthy city and people travelling on aeroplanes are a bit wealthier still. Ergo: I’d imagine 99% of them have the ability to get driven there and back. Thus: the tiny numbers of poor sods who need to resort to bus transport makes the whole public transport to/from quite unviable. Just give it up.

Innovation 2:08 pm 28 Aug 11

Doesn’t the airport charge a fee for taxis’ to park there? I wonder how much more the fee is/would be for buses to park there? At a guess, if its $2 per cab (and a lot more for short stay parking) any bus carrying say 30 to 40 passengers could potentially cost the airport $60 to $80+ for each bus.

May be the bus parking fees are so high its’ just not viable for anyone to operate a regular service there.

Gungahlin Al 1:40 pm 28 Aug 11

Interesting – given that maintenance of a viable public transport service to/from the airport was a condition of their Master Plan approval…

qedbynature 1:37 pm 28 Aug 11

LAX is pretty crap too. Interestingly in Melbourne recently a productivity commission inquiry decided that car park fees for using their airport, which is further from the centre of town than ours, were “not a rip-off” despite that airport collecting a cool $94 million in parking fees.

When the airports were sold to the private sector, the government handed these investors natural monopolies that they have to exploit to get a return on their investment. Connecting the airport via an efficient public transport link to say the centre of town is hardly a priority. But parcelling up the land and renting it back to government agencies, now there’s an idea.

Still you have to wonder why Action which has a service out to the airport area already doesn’t simply extend it.

Deref 1:11 pm 28 Aug 11

Great opportunity for Jim Snow to put on an airport shuttle at $100 a throw.

harvyk1 1:10 pm 28 Aug 11

Some of the airports in the US are pretty dismal when it comes to public transport to and from the airport.

poisonivy 1:10 pm 28 Aug 11

First, learn this rule – it’s worth its weight in gold:
its = possessive
it’s = it is

To answer your question: transport and pickups – they’re both appalling.

frank2112 1:06 pm 28 Aug 11

I’m surprised the Airport doesn’t run one. It could be yet another revenue raiser for them.

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