For those unaware of the history of these two routes, both routes run between Federation Square (Russell St) & LaTrobe Uni on weekdays only, using the Eastern Freeway instead of running via Clifton Hill (as per Route 250). Route 350 is a peak version of Route 340, but with stopping restrictions.
Morning peak 350s towards the City only pick up passengers from Waterdale/Crissane Rds to Grange Rd/Christmas St then only set-down passengers from Hoddle Street/Johnston Street - Russell/Flinders Sts (Federation Square), while afternoon peak 350s from the city only PICK-UP passengers before Grange Rd/Christmas St, Fairfield then only SETS-DOWN passengers from Grange Rd/Christmas St to Waterdale/Crissane Rds (the bus stop before Kingsbury Dve), then PICKS-UP and SETS-DOWN from Waterdale/Crissane Rds to Latrobe Uni Interchange. Route 340 runs at other times, with no stopping restrictions.
Peak hour stopping restrictions on 350 were introduced in the first half of 2003 (I have the leaflet somewhere with the exact date). Due to passenger confusion regarding the stopping restrictions, on 19/1/04 the all stops version was renumbered as Route 340. Now we've come full circle, and the stopping restrictions (& Route 350) are being removed.
Judging by the timetables on the Metlink website, they've come up with a complicated way to implement this, in order to remove 350 at the start of 2012:
Friday 23/12/11: last day of the normal timetable
Wednesday 28/12/11 - Friday 30/12/11 : Summer holiday timetable begins, with the stopping restrictions still in place (ie 350 still runs)
Tuesday 3/1/12 - Friday 6/1/12: Summer timetable continues, stopping restrictions now removed (all trips run as 340)
Monday 9/1/12: Normal timetable resumes, all trips now operate as 340
Would be easier to explain to the public if 350 was deleted on 23/12, with the entire summer holiday timetable operated as 340.
Reminds me of the situation a few years ago, when 216 ran to Melton for the first Saturday of the MBL holiday timetable, before this extension was replaced by additional 456 trips. Not only did MBL provide a printed timetable for one day, the following year the receptionist accidentally printed me off another copy with the following holiday timetable period effective dates as a footer, as it was still in MBLs holiday timetable spreadsheet. Collectors item indeed Bradley
- on the combined timetable, you should note the stopping restrictions footnotes are removed on the timetables from 31/12/11 - 6/1/12 & 7/1/12 - 31/12/12.