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What should we do with ACTION? [With poll]

By johnboy - 7 June 2012 60

action bus

Following on from yesterday’s news that ACTION is costing $101 million in public funds every year and bringing in just $21 million in ticket revenue one has to wonder if the cart has been placed in front of the horse.

I mean every man woman and child in the ACT is (on average) chipping in $282 a year to run this service and then they want us to pay more to set foot on it?

So we’re throwing it over to the public as to what should be done with it.

ACTION should

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60 Responses to
What should we do with ACTION? [With poll]
Innovation 12:47 pm 07 Jun 12

Not enough options in the poll. The problem is not cost (unless you are travelling with children – which needs other remedies). The problem is regularity and more direct routes.

I suggest trialling new and specific multi occupant disabled access taxi licenses in a small number of suburbs and which only follow the former bus routes in those suburbs to and from bus stops on the nearest major road. Rather than the current fee structure for taxi fares, passengers could use their MyWay card and could then transfer for free on and off buses. It costs ACTION very little per passenger for their direct service buses so, at least during the trial, ACTION could wear the cost of these transferring passengers and the suburban route taxi drivers could keep the $2.50 per passenger.

A single taxi could probably follow a dedicated route zipping in and out of two or three suburbs, more quickly than a bus and, if taxis only carried an average of five passengers at a time, they would still gross around $12.50 every five to ten minutes on their route.

If the trial was successful, routes and fee/revenue structures could be tweaked and the trial could be expanded to other areas. The main benefit of such a trial is that it would introduce competition between ACTION and another service (and create an incentive for future ACTION bus drivers to accept more reasonable and competitive employment conditions).

1967 12:42 pm 07 Jun 12

Here’s the thing,
If you main objective is providing a service, then actually making any money out of it is immaterial.

If you’re trying to run a profitable business, then perhaps we should just do away with the busses altogether.

If you big goal is to reduce greenhouse gasses, then make it completely free and run them more regularly.

And if, IF, we get a light rail system, can we have some carriages like these, to shift cyclists from one end of town to the other.

http://www.brentcyclists.org.uk/node/97

(Or convert a few busses, just a few, that’s all it’d take)

bitzermaloney 12:42 pm 07 Jun 12

It should be renamed…. “INAction”

VYBerlinaV8_is_back 12:38 pm 07 Jun 12

jimbocool said :

Alternatively, make the whole thing free – it’ll only cost $21m (actually less than that as you won’t need a ticketing system or a money/banking system/ loss control/accountants etc) and patronage will increase massively. Increased patronage means less cars on the road and all the benefits, monetary and other, that that brings.

This is spot on. If we completely removed the cost of managing ticketing and the associated infrastructure and resources the real cost would be a lot less than $21M more than now.

Getting more people onto buses would be good, and would justify further rationalising routes and times to further reduce operational cost (hey, people would be getting it for free). Anything to reduce traffic and associated cost and hassle has to be a good thing.

I wonder if the ACT govt has ever seriously costed making public transport completely free. Anyone know?

Thumper 12:34 pm 07 Jun 12

Jim Jones said :

Thumper said :

I was always big on momorail simply because it is seriously cool.

And Sydney no longer has one.

However, I now see the errors of my ways and have but one word.

Underground.

(Well, it’s two words if you seperate them, but one if you… ah, you get the idea….)

And what’s so bad about living underground eh? … With just a handful of men. We’ll start – we’ll start all over again!!!

Well played sir.

Squidward 12:34 pm 07 Jun 12

We just dont have the numbers to make any sort of public transportation profitable. Its easier to drive to places as well as in the city. Unlike places like Sydney where you are better off catching buses in the city.

Jim Jones 12:18 pm 07 Jun 12

Thumper said :

I was always big on momorail simply because it is seriously cool.

And Sydney no longer has one.

However, I now see the errors of my ways and have but one word.

Underground.

(Well, it’s two words if you seperate them, but one if you… ah, you get the idea….)

And what’s so bad about living underground eh? … With just a handful of men. We’ll start – we’ll start all over again!!!

lindilou 12:07 pm 07 Jun 12

Thumper said :

However, I now see the errors of my ways and have but one word.

Underground.

Underground would be the best option if the ACT Government had more than several billion dollars at their disposal or some private entity would be willing to splash out more of the funds…

Madam Cholet said :

The talk about light rail suggests that the Government will implement it perfectly. If they can’t get buses right, how the heck will they do light rail properly? Best stick with the devil we know. Not everyone will benefit from light rail due to where you reside but I don’t expect that this will make the remaining bus services any better either. And a bus service will still be required to get people to and from light rail hubs.

If the ACT Government don’t do anything, nothing will be improved and we’ll be stuck with the same crappy thing forever.. Most people will have to use both modes of transport because that’s how it’s meant to be, but that shouldn’t matter. And on the contrary, light rail will benefit everyone because it will cause a positive domino effect. Light rail will bring faster, more reliable, on-time services with more capacity and frequency and buses will carry people to the suburbs, which will also be faster, more reliable, on-time and will deliver more frequent services. Capacity shouldn’t be much of an issue with buses as they would become a feeder service.

jimbocool 12:01 pm 07 Jun 12

@Madam Cholet – I think you’re partway right, some of the bus system should be free, but not the commuter routes as they are the only ones that actually make more money than they cost to run. If you make the feeder routes free you draw more people into the profit making part of the operation – more revenue which can then cross subsidise the loss-making part.

Alternatively, make the whole thing free – it’ll only cost $21m (actually less than that as you won’t need a ticketing system or a money/banking system/ loss control/accountants etc) and patronage will increase massively. Increased patronage means less cars on the road and all the benefits, monetary and other, that that brings.

Deref 11:48 am 07 Jun 12

Reon said :

Our city is too spread out for public transport to be cost-effective?
BETTER BUILD A TRAIN.

I believe the correct internet expression for this is:

“lol wut?”

Yep. Or “I don’t want to live on this planet any more”.

Martlark 11:45 am 07 Jun 12

$21mil in ticket sales is doing better than other Government services such as schools, hospitals, roads, parks, ambulance, fire and police manage. The Government should stop providing so much free car infrastructure .

Madam Cholet 11:42 am 07 Jun 12

Free for commuter trips would be a good compromise. If the ticket sales are only bringing in $21 million, why not just be done with the expectation of income, but continue with incentives to use by only making the commuter buses free.

The talk about light rail suggests that the Government will implement it perfectly. If they can’t get buses right, how the heck will they do light rail properly? Best stick with the devil we know. Not everyone will benefit from light rail due to where you reside but I don’t expect that this will make the remaining bus services any better either. And a bus service will still be required to get people to and from light rail hubs.

Thumper 11:34 am 07 Jun 12

I was always big on momorail simply because it is seriously cool.

And Sydney no longer has one.

However, I now see the errors of my ways and have but one word.

Underground.

(Well, it’s two words if you seperate them, but one if you… ah, you get the idea….)

Reon 11:23 am 07 Jun 12

Our city is too spread out for public transport to be cost-effective?
BETTER BUILD A TRAIN.

I believe the correct internet expression for this is:

“lol wut?”

lindilou 11:18 am 07 Jun 12

We need the Government to invest in light/heavy rail system that will bring more capacity, frequency, speed, on-time services and more services on weekends. Then ACTION Buses can become a feeder service to the suburbs, which would bring more reliability, more frequency and on-time services for both weekdays and weekends. They spend this much on public transport already, so if they decided to spend some more and make this happen, people will be flocking to use public transport, commuters and tourists alike!

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