why flexbus is a fiasco

bonfire 3 November 2006 13

Tonight i caroused with friends at various alehouses in Civic. Normally i would get a taxi home, but one of my friends was going to Woden via bus where his spouse would collect hm from the bus terminal.

As his bus pulled away i decided to catch a bus home myself, and see how the flexbus system worked.

After arriving at Belco exchange i discovered that i had a 40 minute wait.

The bus arrived. I boarded and asked if the bus went near a specific street.

The bus driver said it might but it was at his discretion. he then pointed out there were 20 people standing behind me and noted on a clipboard the street i wanted to go to. I then sat down and watched 20 other people ask roughly the same question.

Several asiatics, presumably students with english as a second language seemed very confused.

Eventually the bus pulled away – with noone advised what particular route the driver had chosen to deliver his cargo.

We wound around several suburbs and occcasionaly people got off.

No one boarded.

Eventually when i figured i was kilometre away from my bunker i got off and walked. He did not drive down my street.

He might have eventually but without any idea of the route i couldnt be certain i wouldnt end up back at Belco caught in some infinite loop trapped forever in actions discretionary route system.

So this is why Flexbus sucks arse and should be shitcanned:

– it provides no certainty that you will be delivered anywhere near your home.

– by cutting all the other bus services, surely waiting an hour for the ‘flexible’ bus is a nonsense.

– the driver should have a route announced when he pulls away.

Even better – cancel flexbus and extend the regular routes to at least midnight.

Action patronage must have dropped during this flexbus experiment fiasco.

next time im taking the taxi…

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13 Responses to why flexbus is a fiasco
KandyA KandyA 12:24 pm 06 Nov 06

flex bus was the perfect accompinment to a drunken night out – you could get your usual bus home, still have no idea where you were or how you got home, no missing out on staggering, as you hopped off the bus in some spot you werent sure wher you were, but feared that the unfamiliar streets may take you far away, and the unhelpful (and I guess unhappy) drivers provide plenty of aggro

I commend it as a form of transport perfectly matched to the very drunk. Probably designed and introduced by the very drunk,( while on a bendy?)

Jey Jey 11:43 am 06 Nov 06

yeah, kind of knew the meaning, just haven’t heard it been applied to ppl before.

bonfire bonfire 11:17 am 06 Nov 06

seepi – combining multiple routes would work as it would provide certainty.

jey – oxford english dictionary defines it as: asiatic – relating to or deriving from asia.

miz – loop buses would also work as it provides certainty.

gaelhope gaelhope 3:17 pm 05 Nov 06

How about running a FREE system like in WA? The Central Area Transit (aka CAT) operates three bus loops through Perth central – all of which run every 10 minutes. A fourth operates in Freo. Only the bus routes that take you outside those circuits actually cost money – and EVERYBODY uses the CAT buses. They could bring back the 333 – make it ‘free’ between all interchanges and then hike up the prices a bit to head on out to the burbs. At least that way peeps would be encouraged to use public transport, and you could make a choice to a) use the specrapular taxi service to take you home directly, or b) wait around until the next bus can take you on an increasingly circuitous route home.

So my question is…that if WA’s population is probably more affluent than here, and also a ‘small’ city, then why can’t we do something similar?

miz miz 1:20 pm 04 Nov 06

Area buses worked when you wanted to go home from an interchange, but I think Flexibus tried to also help get people from their homes to an interchange conveniently.

Good idea, but for me the stumbling block was trying to work out what to do and actually having to be pro-active (ringing every time to try and work out when was the next one, where it would take me, how to connect, was a pest and I could never work it out). I’m fairly organised but I found this a barrier.

Also, on our side of town they simultaneously combined introduction of Flexibus with making Erindale a hub, and I still don’t get that bit either – don’t know where to wait or which side of what road, when, where it takes me (Tuggers or Woden?) etc.

I like the concept of loop buses so you can go inter-suburb without having to go via an interchange, as well as to the centres.

Jey Jey 12:43 pm 04 Nov 06

I always expected Flexibus to be a problem.
Mainly because ppl wouldn’t be completely aware of the service and would be waiting for buses that don’t come.

Bonfire, I’m curious about the choice of term ‘asiatics’. I haven’t come across it before. Is it more PC? Or an attempt at creative linguistics?

seepi seepi 10:17 am 04 Nov 06

It is pity it didn’t work out. Flex bus used to work well when they had it years ago (called Area Bus). Used to be they combined two neighbouring bus routes, people getting on would advise their normal busstop, and the bus would go there. The driver would take the quickest way to get each person to their stop. The busses were going from town centres outwards, and there was no intention that anyone would get on along the way. It’s a pity it didn’t work this time – instead we get half empty busses goign at night, or no bus at all.

johnboy johnboy 9:39 am 04 Nov 06

I’d still like to see the bus routes straightened out and the buses refitted to allow light personal transport to be carried on

(scooters, bicycles, electric bikes under 25kg etc)

Absent Diane Absent Diane 9:12 am 04 Nov 06

yes an experiment that I have never been game to do

boomacat boomacat 1:27 am 04 Nov 06

ps should say here not hear, forgive me but i’ve sat two 3 hour exams in the last 2 days.

boomacat boomacat 1:26 am 04 Nov 06

Yeah its gotta be difficult.

Bearing in mind there is only 300K or so people who live hear, all located in a widely spread out area, it’s a bit ambitious to expect a Sydney/Melbourne level public transport service (mind public transport is shit in sydney in my experience).

But agreed Flexibus is bollocks. Good riddance. I would much rather catch public transport than have to own my car and drive it around everywhere, but the convenience factor is just too much to ignore.

futto futto 12:13 am 04 Nov 06

organising a public transport system for such a car-centric town that is very dispersed is hard.

I wouldn’t know where to start…

I caught the bus from woden to civic every day for a few years. It wasn’t too bad but now i have a car and i don’t live near any bus stops.

DrShrink DrShrink 11:22 pm 03 Nov 06

Action has wisely abandoned flexibus.

Yet somehow now will run even less services.

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