The shocking state of the ACT Internal Omnibus Network

damianheffernan 12 August 2008 34

 Since Action has now had a couple of months to work out the bugs in it’s new schedule I’m forced to ask: is this as good as it gets?

On my run we have five buses running between 8am and 9am This isn’t enough buses by far but it would work a lot better if the service could run anywhere near on time. Every morning the same story plays out: the first bus runs late and the second bus starts to run early because it’s right behind the first bus. This compounds because people from two buses now pack the first bus and it takes so long to squeeze them in that it gets further behind. By 3/4 of the way through the route the second bus is actually stopping at the stop seconds after the first bus and taking on no passengers. It’s passengers turn up 2 minutes later unaware their bus has already been and gone. So they double up with bus 3’s passengers and the whole thing repeats. I’ve actually been on the ‘packed to the rafters’ bus and been overtaken by the empty bus which arrives at the interchange before the bus that is ahead of it on the schedule.

But because there is no one watching at the other end how would action know their service has serious issues.

The bus that picks up ends up carrying way over it`s limit and the photo below really doesn’t do the overcrowding justice but it’s  hard to surreptitiously take a photo when you’re packed in like sardines. God help us it a bus carrying way over it’s legal limit gets in an accident. People are going to get savagely injured and Action is going to get sued.

I  can’t believe I’m unlucky enough to get the only route this is happening on so I’m assuming that our new ‘going in the right direction’ bus service is an outright failure.


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34 Responses to The shocking state of the ACT Internal Omnibus Network
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JC JC 4:24 pm 13 Aug 08

In regards to the orginal poster, considering he is a candadate and as he has since said this is one of his ‘issues’ then there is no excuse for not revealing his motive for posting, real name or not. Welcome to public life, if for some reason you get elected you better get used to it.

Now if the post was about something not related to him running then fair enough.

sepi sepi 11:48 am 13 Aug 08

Bring back the 333.

Yes people don’t like changing busses – but the worst of it is hanging around the interchanges. The 333 went every 5 minutes, so there wasn’t too much wasted time.

dragonflygal dragonflygal 11:07 am 13 Aug 08

The other problem with the buses not running on time, is being stuck behind a bus that’s running ahead of schedule and decides to potter along at half the posted speed limit to try to get back to the schedule. It’s pretty frustrating!

Spectra Spectra 11:27 pm 12 Aug 08

I don’t see how it’s a vested interest other than the same interest anyone else who crams onto a bus has. The post may show people what I’m interested in but will it make people vote for me?
My point was more that it could be considered you had a vested interest in making the incumbent members look bad (rather than just being an “average voter” having a whinge). As I also said, though, I can see both sides of the argument and on balance I think I’d much rather have candidates posting their opinions here than not.

…you can’t tell me there’s no one in the world, in similarly sized cities, that hasn’t already tackled this problem and won!
I can’t because I don’t know for sure, but if you’re aware of a city in that category I’d be very interested to know. It’s not just Canberra’s size in terms of population that’s the issue, but the relatively low density. Again, I’m not saying for a second it can’t be or hasn’t been done but I’d really like to know about a specific example rather than vague assertions that “there must be such a place” 🙂 Intuition says there are probably many, but intuition is often a lousy judge.

grunge_hippy grunge_hippy 10:16 pm 12 Aug 08

bring back the 333.

i cant even remember the last time i caught a bus in canberra… even if i wanted to, the network is not conducive to travelling across canberra unless you are going north/south or east/west. living in isabella plains and working in narrabundah would take almost 2 hours i’d imagine. so no ACTION, you are not going my way.

global warming be damned, i’ll stick to my car thanks.

bd84 bd84 9:50 pm 12 Aug 08

I gave up on the bus network long ago. It only gains my patronage on special occasions like when my motor vehicle is being serviced.

There’s not much use complaining to drivers or emailing ACTION unless it’s timetable suggestions, they can only deal with what they’re given.

teepee teepee 8:39 pm 12 Aug 08

Gunggie?

OzChick OzChick 7:35 pm 12 Aug 08

^ Yeah, it’s better than Belcompton

Felix the Cat Felix the Cat 7:33 pm 12 Aug 08

I-filed said :

I like the nickname Belco. Does Gungahlin have a nickname yet?

Gunners maybe?

I-filed I-filed 6:58 pm 12 Aug 08

I like the nickname Belco. Does Gungahlin have a nickname yet?

boomacat boomacat 6:56 pm 12 Aug 08

I have altogether given up on public transport and have moved into the inner city so I can walk everywhere, and occasionally catch taxis on rare times when I have to go somewhere unusual.

Centralised living is the way to go if you ask me. No more way out town centres, eg Gungahlin or Tuggers, just bunk everyone close to Civic.

mutley...again mutley...again 6:50 pm 12 Aug 08

I indeed post in my own name, own my opinions and stand behind everything I say and am prepared to send stuff out into the public domain for debate. I’m a Candidate for the elections for the next few months, I’m a citizen of Canberra for all the rest of the time. My public comment won’t stop after the election.

I don’t see how it’s a vested interest other than the same interest anyone else who crams onto a bus has. The post may show people what I’m interested in but will it make people vote for me?

No problems with that at all, and I agree with the sentiment of the post. I just think that if a candidate is posting stories, they should declare their candidacy and not rely on the readership to make the connection.

Vic Bitterman Vic Bitterman 6:45 pm 12 Aug 08

It’s only poor people who catch buses, and they don’t vote.

bigred bigred 6:27 pm 12 Aug 08

Well seeing light rail won’t happen for a few reasons relating to vested interests we are stuck with buses. They work pretty darn good on trunk routes, but it seems it is the connections that Haven’t been thought through properly. Surely some predictive type analytics could provide the smarts to liklely demand patterns?

damianheffernan damianheffernan 6:27 pm 12 Aug 08

Oh sorry I forgot. I did contact Action to complain and received the following reply:
“I have forwarded your feedback to ACTION’s Customer Services Manager to
discuss with the driver the importance of adhering to the timetables and
what effect early running causes our passengers.”

bubzie bubzie 6:26 pm 12 Aug 08

5 buses running from 8 till 9? yeesh, consider yourself lucky! down south, on my route, we’ve only got ..3. And dont get me started on the fact, that in the old network, it’d be two different routes (with what, 3 or 4 buses in that hour??)(and then there’s the fact that it only took 10 mins to get to tuggers, unlike the 30 min bus trip i’m left with now)

and we had one break down or something today, which got replaced with one of those 9 seater vans.
Which was nice, because im on one of the first stops, so i actulary got a seat, but ..there was at least 30 more people who clearly couldnt fit, so they had to wait another half an hour, for the next bus, which as you’ve described yourself, all have to cram into the next bus, which gets even more full, and so on and so-forth.

damianheffernan damianheffernan 6:24 pm 12 Aug 08

Some clarifications and additions: The second bus overtook on Barry drive and the remaining two stops from there don’t have people waiting to be picked up as they’re very close to the City. Secondly you can’t wait for the second (empty) bus because it’s so hit and miss whether it will turn up or not or even turn up 20 minutes late and be right in front of the next one…or not.

I indeed post in my own name, own my opinions and stand behind everything I say and am prepared to send stuff out into the public domain for debate. I’m a Candidate for the elections for the next few months, I’m a citizen of Canberra for all the rest of the time. My public comment won’t stop after the election.

I don’t see how it’s a vested interest other than the same interest anyone else who crams onto a bus has. The post may show people what I’m interested in but will it make people vote for me?

I know our public transport network can be fixed. Not by me because I’m no expert, but you can’t tell me there’s no one in the world, in similarly sized cities, that hasn’t already tackled this problem and won!

molongloid molongloid 6:21 pm 12 Aug 08

I’ve caught buses in other markets where there are procedures to cover the two-bunched-together problem, e.g. the at-capacity bus becomes an alight-only bus for the next 5 stops, the second bus pauses for 5 minutes, the two buses take turns at being the front bus, etc. When you take the bus every day for 5 years you notice these things. You’re effectively emulating light rail (to some degree).

el el 6:12 pm 12 Aug 08

Packed in, even.

el el 6:12 pm 12 Aug 08

He did use his real name, and….he’s right. I rarely catch buses but the last one I was on we were packing in like fcuking sardines.

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