Should we not be moving all busses in Melbourne to the Smart bus network?
- Not all routes need the frequency of Smartbus. For many routes every 20-30 minutes would be more than adequate. Some not even that frequently (e.g. 684 to Eildon ) Get hold of the bus review reports from the DoT website, some of them discuss the theory behind the decisions and it's quite interesting.
- Not all routes need the technology. In fact, I'd be tempted to suggest that Smartbus technology would be largely out of date in around 10 years time give or take a few years. The reality is that a lot of people nowadays carry around the technology required to deliver them live updates on demand wherever and whenever they are (and in the case of the tram network, it happens now). It will be far more beneficial to have a webpage designed for mobile web browsers with live departure information (e.g. such as what is done now with the Tram Tracker website) so people can look up the arrival of the next bus before they even get to the bus stop (i.e. before they leave home or if they are at the shops and deciding if they have time to grab a coffee). If the bus is running 10 minutes late, that information is actually of little use to me once I am at the stop with the PID or screen or voice information. I'm still stuck there anyway. On the other hand if I know as I am walking out the door that I have another 10 minutes, I can decide to fill in 10 minutes, rush less or drive. Whilst some would suggest that a system that encourages people to drive is a bad thing, I would argue that one trip in the car to overcome a temporary inconveience is better PR than several waits at a bus stop for 10 minutes which would encourage people not to bother in the first instance.
- As it's unlikely to happen in my lifetime, I'd rather push for a network of high frequency routes with connecting local services, not unlike the current setup with orbital Smartbuses and DART. If a few more targetted routes were made Smartbus standard then I think this would be adequate. Not ALL routes!
I would disagree with the middle point.
What for people who do not have mobile devices?
++People who choose not to get one, like me
++People who loose their mobile device
++People who have a mobile device and experience a device failure such as battery gone flat.
++Not nearly as easy to use as, just looking up to a screen to see the information.
+++To use a mobile device you need to...
..........Turn the thing on
..........Find out the website, OR search your menu of application buttons
..........Navigate around the website to find your stop
There is nothing that can replace having a screen or display fixed there at the stop.