Rapid buses doomed before start?

Kramer 29 September 2009 21

Yesterday, Jon “Eco-Warrior” Stanhope announced the new and improved REDEX (Rapid Express Direct) bus trial – starting one month after the initially planned start date.

Meanwhile, the ABC reports the delay of REDEX bus trial is due to the wait for new ACTION buses to arrive.

The ACT Government has cut the routes, and delayed the start of the trial before we have seen any action from ACTION. Is the REDEX service doomed before the start? Are the government’s actions negligence, sabotage, or just covering their arses for when it all goes down the toilet??


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21 Responses to Rapid buses doomed before start?
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TP 3000 TP 3000 5:04 pm 01 Oct 09

Aren’t there plans for a Park & Ride at the intersection of Wells Station Road & Flemington Road? It would be in land on the Harrison side of the tip.

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 6:38 am 01 Oct 09

bd84 said :

The route that it takes will take around about 40-45 minutes to complete even with limited stops, and what is the demand for a service to Kingston railway station? I don’t think it would be very high. Add in that the service ignores the vast majority of Canberra, I don’t see how this service will be of much use to a lot of Canberrans.

I also wonder if the Government have also considered the impact of parking, particularly in the Gungahlin Town Centre, when people will have to travel by car to catch this service.

Kingston yes, the railway station less so, but it is only the very end of the line. My point was that all other stops along the way are logical and will be heavily used.

To put this in perspective, all Gungahlin commuters will know that Flemington Rd has very heavy traffic every day already. But did you know that the current low numbers of buses (that’s buses not busses folks) already carry as many people on Flemington Rd as all those cars do?

On parking, it isn’t about having a p’n’r in the town centre. It is about changing the culture (passengers and ACTION’s) that you should be able to get on one bus in your street and stay on it until you get to the city. A smart network has suburban wanders that collect everyone and drop them at the nearest hub. Then they get on the next express service that comes along for the key link in.

That said, we are campaigning strongly to get a major P’n’R built at EPIC in their unused overflow parking to the north, and this new service if continued would drop in there as part of connecting to Mitchell. The logical time for this P’n’R to happen is when the Sandford Rd extension to the Federal Hwy is built, which is 1st half of 2010.

damien haas damien haas 12:02 am 01 Oct 09

Just thought id post the ORIGINAL spin for the Rapid trial. In the media release from yesterday, a lesser service is now ‘improved’.

This is what was promised in April:

Media Release
New rapid transit buses every 15 minutes

Released 28/04/2009

Commuters can expect a bus every 15 minutes during peak times and every 30 minutes during off-peak times on high demand weekday routes when the ACT Labor Government trials new rapid transit buses, Chief Minister and Minister for Transport Jon Stanhope revealed today.

The Budget will provide $1 million for the new service, REDEX – Rapid Express Direct, to be trialled in 2009-10 between 6:30am and 7pm on weekdays during school terms.

Mr Stanhope said passengers and businesses would benefit from better transport access to town centresand the Parliamentary Triangle.

“This responsible investment by the ACT Labor Government will deliver more buses more frequently in peak demand periods,” Mr Stanhope said. “The rapid transit buses will create the capacity for an additional 300,000 passengers travelling to major employment hubs, town centres and through the Parliamentary Triangle.

“REDEX is expectedto commence in October 2009 to coincide with the start of the 4th school term. New ACTION buses that were funded in last year’s Budget, for nearly $50 million, will provide the additional bus capacity needed to deliver the services. A review of the trial and community feedback about the new services will inform the future of REDEX and its potential growth.

“The ACT Labor Government is committed to providing Canberrans with better public transport options. By increasing the frequency of our bus services we can help to address traffic congestion, reduce transport emissions and provide better access to our town and employment centres,” Mr Stanhope said.

REDEX 1 will be a return service to Gungahlin, Dickson, City, Russell, Barton, Woden, Erindale and Tuggeranong. REDEX 2 will be a return service to Kippax, Belconnen, City, Russell, Barton, Woden, Erindale and Tuggeranong.

Buses will run every 15 minutes from 6:30am to 9:30am and 3:30pm to 6:30pm and every 30 minutes at all other times.

Pandy Pandy 11:53 pm 30 Sep 09

Minutes of the GCC online would be nice.

BTW: Fiona looks hot from these new fan dangled profile pics

damien haas damien haas 11:51 pm 30 Sep 09

proper rapid transit buses would feature:

seperate lane on road
few stops
different coloured buses

im not surprised at the gradual dissolution of the ‘rapid’ buses. the govt like to wrap their services with great sounding names – rapid, sustainable, nowaste etc. actual delivery differs to the spin.

they could use the rapid routes as recommended by their consultant, and actually offer real rapid transit, as recommended by their consultant – but im doubtful that will occur.

the question has to be asked – why go through a farcical consultation process when they never actually deliver improved mass transit services ?

bd84 bd84 8:44 pm 30 Sep 09

Gungahlin Al said :

bd84 said :

Another bus to nowhere, no improvement, no surprise. The route was decided by the same people who have designed the network that currently exists?

Sorry??
Gungahlin to Mitchell, the City, Russell, the Parliamentary Triangle, then Kingston. Direct. Straight down Flemington Rd, Northbourne, etc.

Most of us work in Mitchell, Civic, Russell, or the triangle. So how exactly is that a bus to nowhere on indirect routes?

That said, your other comments about about the need for network overhaul are valid, and in keeping with what I said earlier.

The route that it takes will take around about 40-45 minutes to complete even with limited stops, and what is the demand for a service to Kingston railway station? I don’t think it would be very high. Add in that the service ignores the vast majority of Canberra, I don’t see how this service will be of much use to a lot of Canberrans.

I also wonder if the Government have also considered the impact of parking, particularly in the Gungahlin Town Centre, when people will have to travel by car to catch this service.

antycbr antycbr 8:24 pm 30 Sep 09

I think this is the equivalent concept of the Metrobus (route 10) in Sydney – which is basically a Sydney Buses route operated by some specially painted buses (and some normal ones at peak times) that links major activity centres. The Northbourne-Civic-Russell-Triangle-Kingston route is a pretty major group of activity centres not currently well serviced by a single route number other than at peak times. This allows people to go to a stop and know a bus with a consistent number will turn up within 15 minutes.

miz miz 8:08 pm 30 Sep 09

Why doesn’t the redex go to Lanyon centre (the south equivalent of the G)?

Ryan Ryan 6:32 pm 30 Sep 09

Mr Waffle said :

Really? Wow, it’s like being in the not-too-distant future! Too bad I don’t catch the bus, but still, nifty…

Gungahlin Al said :

I understand it will always use buses with bike racks for those interested.

These are the buses to be utilised on the REDEX Service: http://actbus.net/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=16958

You can see the information screen in the second row, third photo along.

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 5:05 pm 30 Sep 09

bd84 said :

Another bus to nowhere, no improvement, no surprise. The route was decided by the same people who have designed the network that currently exists?

Sorry??
Gungahlin to Mitchell, the City, Russell, the Parliamentary Triangle, then Kingston. Direct. Straight down Flemington Rd, Northbourne, etc.

Most of us work in Mitchell, Civic, Russell, or the triangle. So how exactly is that a bus to nowhere on indirect routes?

That said, your other comments about about the need for network overhaul are valid, and in keeping with what I said earlier.

GregW GregW 3:40 pm 30 Sep 09

bd84 said :

When will they learn that…

I’ve never been convinced by any poster that mentions this phrase that they actually know something that those in charge are not aware of. And I’ve seen this written thousands of times by many highly opinionated people. If you actually have considered suggestions for how to improve the the bus network without breaking the bank then Action would love to hear about it.

Gungahlin required more bus services so new buses would have been needed anyway. By branding these as “rapid” express services rather than just more Action routes more people will consider using them because they might be ‘different’. Even if this claim is not strictly true, it is almost free to make and might have some effect on patronage.

The live bus stop screen are a good idea and are presumably relatively cheap to buy (perhaps not to maintain?). I wonder if they would serve as more of a PR exercise in Canberra, because regular commuters know the routes and arrival times, and action busses are reasonably reliable, whereas Melbourne/Sydney are larger and have a higher share of dependent tourists.

bd84 bd84 3:10 pm 30 Sep 09

Another bus to nowhere, no improvement, no surprise. The route was decided by the same people who have designed the network that currently exists? Well that’s hardly a surprise given the uselessness of the new service, it will go well with the rest of the useless routes. When will they learn that the network requires a complete overhall and some radical new ideas rather than more buses that are indirect and go nowhere.

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 2:16 pm 30 Sep 09

This service is welcome and bringing it in now (hopefully lasting beyond the trial) is in line with what GCC has been saying about Jarrett’s 2031 PT strategy – that it’s a great plan but precisely what we need right now – not in 22 years time!

And there will always be the basic problem that relying on buses puts your reliance on a mode that has to mix it up with the very traffic it is trying to reduce/avoid. A “tidal bus lane” down the centre of Northbourne would go a long way towards correcting that though…

ACTION reps will be at the next GCC meeting on Wednesday week to discuss the trial. (I understand it will always use buses with bike racks for those interested.) Also at that meeting and related to this issue, will be TAMS reps to discuss the new Cycling and Walking Strategy. Palmerston Community Centre, Tiptree Crs from 7.30pm.

‘Live updated’ bus stop signs like this one are commonplace elsewhere in places like Sydney and the Sunshine Coast. I agree – we should have them here. Anothr area where Canberra’s infrastructure is lagging badly.

sepi sepi 10:09 am 30 Sep 09

I think all these frills are a waste of time and money, when they still can’t afford enough buses and drivers to run enough services.

niftydog niftydog 9:36 am 30 Sep 09

Fiona said :

I know where I am on a bus. I look out the window.

Which is all well and good, provided you’re in a location you are familiar with.

If the trams in Melbourne didn’t announce the next stop I’d still be going in circles around the CBD.

justbands justbands 9:09 am 30 Sep 09

> What would be nicve would be an easy way to tell how the bus is running from your bus sop, rather than on the bus itself. I know where I am on a bus. I look out the window.

I’ve seen that o/s, they have electronic signs at the bus stops that show how many minutes away the next few buses are…it’s fantastic.

Fiona Fiona 8:43 am 30 Sep 09

What would be nicve would be an easy way to tell how the bus is running from your bus sop, rather than on the bus itself. I know where I am on a bus. I look out the window.

trevar trevar 6:22 am 30 Sep 09

That’s interesting. This “DIRECT” service diverts and stops at four places along the way. Very clever indeed, to be at once direct and indirect! Also clever is the ability to be “RAPID” and still late!

Anyone got a spare dictionary for His Ecoliness?

Mr Waffle Mr Waffle 12:17 am 30 Sep 09

Ryan said :

These vehicles have internal information screens which show the bus progressing along the routes and announce the next stop.

Really? Wow, it’s like being in the not-too-distant future! Too bad I don’t catch the bus, but still, nifty…

Ryan Ryan 9:58 pm 29 Sep 09

It has been delayed to allow for the delivery of more MAN 18.320 buses which will operate the REDEX route. These vehicles have internal information screens which show the bus progressing along the routes and announce the next stop. Only three or four of these have arrived at the moment and only the one has entered service so far.

Apparently the route was changed due to consultant advice, and to avoid duplication with the existing intertown route.

If nothing else, at least it gives Gungahlin residents an express into the city each fifteen minutes, something which would be awesome for many of us Tuggers folk that have to spend 50 minutes on a so-called ‘Expresso’ into town.

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