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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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What should we do with ACTION? [With poll]
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ML-585 3:08 pm 09 Jun 12

johnboy said :

No, no, no.

We do not need buses driving around when drivers feel like driving.

We need buses driving when customers want to get to place.

If the current bus divers (sic) don’t want to drive at those hours then get bus drivers who do want to work the hours needed.

I thought by now JohnBoy you would have learned not to say things that you can’t back up.

Where is ANY evidence that there are bus drivers who don’t want to drive at “those hours”? Where is the evidence that all bus drivers expect to work 9-5?

Did you not see, for example, the NightRider buses over Christmas where drivers worked between midnight and 5am Saturday and Sunday mornings? Are you aware that many drivers start work between 5 and 7 am? (Are you at work at 5am or 11pm?)

And as for the question of making public transport free – ask yourself these questions: “who is more likely to catch a bus if they don’t have to pay for it?” and “if you get something for free, do you actually regard it as having value?”

My opinion only: the same bus fare should apply to all passengers but fares should vary depending on level of service – more expensive during peak, cheaper during off-peak, nights and weekends.

drfelonious 9:06 pm 08 Jun 12

Not free, but nominal fee – 50 cents or a dollar.

Forget about servicing the most unprofitable routes and focus on the most bang for buck. If our socially responsible comrade government think that is disempowering people then how about you stop bending me over (no lube) with your mafia style house price racket and then we can talk about looking after the transport of the already taxpayer subsidised pensioners etc.

Consider these very basic propositions –
– Dont waste everyone’s time and money running buses that take longer to get from A to B than it would take to ride a bike from A to B.
– The bus should not be any more than (at most) 20 percent slower than a car otherwise I WTF would you use the bus (I think the figures say I speak for the majority of Canberrans on this).

Dacquiri 8:00 pm 08 Jun 12

It’s not a question of who owns it, but how it’s required to be run. Successful transit operators in other countries actually engage in some sort of dialogue to find out the needs and preferences of passengers and potential passengers. Turns out that the issues are not only about frequency, routes and journey times, but include many of the reasons that people prefer personal, private transport to buses, even ‘rapid’ ones: the way the insides of buses are configured, lack of space for shopping, seats too small, seats need to be easy-clean, desire for more personal physical space and protection from other people’s coughs and sneezes. Successful companies respond to these concerns by addressing these issues. ACTION, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to care. Interesting that a whole subset of the population that you would think would be ideal public transport passengers — ie, working males aged 20-50, are the group most conspicuous by their absence on my bus routes ( which are used primarily by middle-aged women and foreign students), and they are also the ones who are most wedded to their cars because the idea of being jammed up thigh-to-thigh with some smelly, flu-carrying stranger is just, well, like why would you do it?

Genie 6:10 pm 08 Jun 12

Why is everyone having issues with paying roughly $282 a year to fund the buses when we pay approximately $100 a week to fund people on welfare ???

    johnboy 6:35 pm 08 Jun 12

    because we’re more likely to end up on welfare ourselves than on a bus?

Antagonist 4:43 pm 08 Jun 12

pink little birdie said :

I disagree they should have some say in the hours that they work. A rigid system of working times would suck regardless of industry. I pretty sure if we did that we would end up with alot of casual drivers with a high turnover of staff. That means more money on training drivers and recuitment.

Bus drivers should be working hours when they are needed. If they want to work a 9-5 job then they are in the wrong industry.

We don’t shut restaurants during lunch and dinner so the chefs/waiting staff can go home for a feed because it suits them best. Likewise we don’t shut clubs down at 7pm so the barstaff can spend more time with family because it suits them better. These people provide a service when it is needed by the majority. It is one of the most basic principles of ‘providing a service’.

Unlike the bludgers at Centrelink Lanyon who DO close down during lunchtimes.

dungfungus 4:36 pm 08 Jun 12

Diggety said :

dungfungus said :

Diggety said :

Jim Jones said :

Diggety said :

Privatize it.

Fire every single person that has had anything to do with it’s operation (including politicians). Buy a NERF gun and actually shoot them like Ari Gold.

No private company would ever want to run it. There’s absolutely no chance of making profit within current industrial relation laws.

There you are, fixed it for you.

ACTION could be offered “free” as a going concern to all ACTION staff. I am sure there are some people within the organisation that could form a company/co-operative to take it on after all, they probably all believe in credit unions. The TWU would have to do some teeth gnashing but they would have to accept it. If this offer was declined by the staff then the government could sell it to the private sector and there would be no way the ACTION people or unions could complain because they had first choice. Market forces (without subsidies) would do the rest.

I like your ideas…

Caveat: like all public ‘sale’ of assets (or liabilities in this case), there is no point in selling it over to the market if there is a chance of a monopoly– in which case the market won’t work. The scenario you suggest will still need competition.

Top marks for a thoughtful comment dungfungus, run in the election, I’d vote for you.

Thanks for the encouragement but you would be the only Rioter that would vote for me. I reckon HenryBG would run against me just to spite me. Being a Canberra ratepayer that rarely uses the buses I don’t like subsidising them at the current level. I don’t have any qualifications in transport policy but I have looked into other systems around the world and I believe that a “management buyout” of ACTION as I suggested would work well for Canberra and the bus system could be integrated with a Territory owned/operated light rail using the latest battery powered trams (which are running successfully in Europe now) which would be a third less cost than the “old technology” overhead wire type trams that everyone has on their mind. The light rail network would only run on the main high volume routes between town centres and to Queanbeyan (and perhaps beyond) replacing all buses. This would provide extra road space for other (always increasing) traffic and the buses could do the feeder work. I am not an enthusiast (no toy trains in the garage) but I have created successful businesses and the experiences and principles I have learnt along the way should be taken into consideration when I say I am serious about what I am saying.

pink little birdie 3:23 pm 08 Jun 12

now I want icecream. but there is no geltissimo in woden 🙁

johnboy 3:08 pm 08 Jun 12

pink little birdie said :

By this logic I usually want icecream in a cone in civic usually around 8pm on Tuesdays and around 10pm on the weekends so someone should be open to sell me icecream at the time.

Yes! If the majority of customers want to buy at 8pm then that is the time to be selling.

Have a look at the operating hours for bars to get a handy clue!

pink little birdie 3:04 pm 08 Jun 12

johnboy said :

pink little birdie said :

I disagree they should have some say in the hours that they work. A rigid system of working times would suck regardless of industry. I pretty sure if we did that we would end up with alot of casual drivers with a high turnover of staff. That means more money on training drivers and recuitment.

Is there a bus driver on this forum willing to give an opinion on shifts and other things?

No, no, no.

We do not need buses driving around when drivers feel like driving.

We need buses driving when customers want to get to place.

If the current bus divers don’t want to drive at those hours then get bus drivers who do want to work the hours needed.

By this logic I usually want icecream in a cone in civic usually around 8pm on Tuesdays and around 10pm on the weekends so someone should be open to sell me icecream at the time.

I’d rather have a balance bus drivers already do work at night and on weekends when people want to travel they also work peak hours. I do like to have professional bus drivers as Action’s (or Murray’s or Dean’s or other bus company) bus drivers. I know it’s a job I couldn’t do.

watto23 3:02 pm 08 Jun 12

pink little birdie said :

watto23 said :

.

Lets not go the whole hog with light rail initially but rapid transit busways that enable a 15 minute trip from Tuggeranong or Gungahlin to Civic. Then we can work on the feeders after that.

That takes more than 15 minutes in a car… going direct… 19 minutes Kaleen to Kambah using the barton highway on ramp and 21 minutes Kambah to Kaleen..

Good luck with that

Also my family catch the bus weekdays and never have a problem with the buses (aside from them missing it but that’s not action’s fault) daily from Kambah to Civic return, 1 bus feeder to Woden then trunk route the rest of the way.
If the 705 became a bike bus that would make it worth my while each morning. (the stop is a little too far from my house.

The transit time I stated was based on a busway of say ~20kms with a bus travelling at 80km/h. The idea of a Rapid bus transit, is to have their own roads that bypasses all traffic and doesn’t stop. Buslanes don’t work when the bus stops at the lights just like everyone else.

Most people pay more now for the convenience of cars over the less convenience and cheaper to use bus system.

rhino 1:40 pm 08 Jun 12

What about if they charged more for people who use it so that I don’t have to fund it as much? haha
Works for me.

FioBla 11:50 am 08 Jun 12

johnboy said :

No, no, no.

We do not need buses driving around when drivers feel like driving.

We need buses driving when customers want to get to place.

If the current bus divers don’t want to drive at those hours then get bus drivers who do want to work the hours needed.

This sort of transport is available with taxis.

Thumper 11:24 am 08 Jun 12

johnboy said :

pink little birdie said :

I disagree they should have some say in the hours that they work. A rigid system of working times would suck regardless of industry. I pretty sure if we did that we would end up with alot of casual drivers with a high turnover of staff. That means more money on training drivers and recuitment.

Is there a bus driver on this forum willing to give an opinion on shifts and other things?

No, no, no.

We do not need buses driving around when drivers feel like driving.

We need buses driving when customers want to get to place.

If the current bus divers don’t want to drive at those hours then get bus drivers who do want to work the hours needed.

One would think that this is the underlying idea regarding public transport and buses.

Evidently not.

Thumper 11:23 am 08 Jun 12

johnboy said :

We need to completely throw out the window what bus drivers want.

Write the schedule for what is the best service and then offer the roles to the existing drivers and advertise the un-filled positions.

Anything else is just a taxpayer transfer to the TWU.

Expect a knock on the door and a visit from some large men in suits who want a word in your ear.

johnboy 11:22 am 08 Jun 12

pink little birdie said :

I disagree they should have some say in the hours that they work. A rigid system of working times would suck regardless of industry. I pretty sure if we did that we would end up with alot of casual drivers with a high turnover of staff. That means more money on training drivers and recuitment.

Is there a bus driver on this forum willing to give an opinion on shifts and other things?

No, no, no.

We do not need buses driving around when drivers feel like driving.

We need buses driving when customers want to get to place.

If the current bus divers don’t want to drive at those hours then get bus drivers who do want to work the hours needed.

pink little birdie 11:14 am 08 Jun 12

johnboy said :

We need to completely throw out the window what bus drivers want.

Write the schedule for what is the best service and then offer the roles to the existing drivers and advertise the un-filled positions.

Anything else is just a taxpayer transfer to the TWU.

I disagree they should have some say in the hours that they work. A rigid system of working times would suck regardless of industry. I pretty sure if we did that we would end up with alot of casual drivers with a high turnover of staff. That means more money on training drivers and recuitment.

Is there a bus driver on this forum willing to give an opinion on shifts and other things?

Truthiness 11:08 am 08 Jun 12

Why not replace the bus drivers with Google’s driverless car system?

Busses could run for free, 24 hours a day, and costs would still be cut.

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