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Wollongong Rt. 55 Commenced Service & Split into 55A/C

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Re: Wollongong Rt. 55 Commenced Service & Split into 55A/C

Postby Swift » Tue Sep 19, 2017 9:17 pm

tonyp wrote:Big fight emerging in Wollongong over TfNSW introducing Perth-style system (scanning Opal card) for controlling the commuter carpark at Wollongong station which is being overrun by Wollongong CBD workers:

http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/stor ... me/?cs=300

Natalie Knight a big T-O-U-G-H to you. :!: Maybe you are one of the large percentage that could easily find a PT alternative (including the shuttle itself) but choose not to.
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Re: Wollongong Rt. 55 Commenced Service & Split into 55A/C

Postby tonyp » Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:00 pm

I was on the verge of suggesting that many CBD workers could actually use the suburban route buses to get to work all the way from home rather than driving but the conversation petered out. You have to be in on these internet chats at the moment, if you come along too late you're just talking into space!

The trouble is Wollongong is still at the stage of a country town to most of these people, so naturally they expect to be able to drive and park anywhere. The progressive drying-up of downtown parking (and certainly free downtown parking) as the city grows takes some time to sink in and accept - and Wollongong is developing like Topsy as the popualtion is pushed out of Sydney.

I remember when that Wollongong station carpark was opened back in Minister Campbell's time I was thinking then that:

1. This was CBD land that was too valuable to waste on a carpark and park and ride would be much better located at one of the adjacent stations.
2. CBD workers and shoppers are going to use it despite the rules and commuters are going to have a battle with them.

A few short years later my thoughts have come to pass!

Now to build some B line-type P+Rs for the Shuttle on all that empty land between North Wollongong and Fairy Meadow.
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Re: Wollongong Rt. 55 Commenced Service & Split into 55A/C

Postby tonyp » Thu Sep 21, 2017 8:46 pm

Elton John concert WIN stadium, patrons encouraged to use public transport, TfNSW responds by keeping buses on normal Sunday timetable, shutting down before the concert starts. Apparently they did the same on New Years Eve. Not even the Gong Shuttle.

http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/stor ... t/?cs=5755

We are truly blessed with our state "transport" agency.
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Re: Wollongong Rt. 55 Commenced Service & Split into 55A/C

Postby burrumbus » Thu Sep 21, 2017 9:00 pm

Crazy stuff,promoting public transport when there is no buses operating.The charter bus operators there might find some work.
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Re: Wollongong Rt. 55 Commenced Service & Split into 55A/C

Postby tonyp » Sat Sep 23, 2017 6:20 am

After a large public outcry, TfNSW has enabled Premier Illawarra to run three of its services through to after the concert - the Gong Shuttle and two routes serving areas away from the railway north of Wollongong and on the southern circuit around the lake. The previous arrangement of two extra trains each way still applies, including the shuttle to the station.

Doesn't TfNSW have a Wollongong office that you'd think would be attuned to the local transport environment? This is blind freddy and his dog stuff, yet the changes were only made in reaction to public and press. The other unaddressed matter will be interesting to watch - that the bus services aren't allowed to the stadium but will stop a block away on the western side of Corrimal St, the main north-south artery of central Wollongong. So now doubt there'll be massive traffic along the street, 20,000 people trying to cross it and the buses caught up in the mess on the other side of the street (they have to enter Corrimal in order to turn - maybe some double-ended buses would do the trick there!).

http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/stor ... ow/?cs=300

Buses now running after Elton John show Glen HumphriesGlen Humphries
22 Sep 2017, 1 p.m.
In a last-minute change, the Gong Shuttle and other buses will be running after Sunday's Elton John show.
Elton John fans will be able to catch the bus to and from the show on Sunday.

On Thursday the Mercury broke the news that the city’s bus routes would be running to the usual Sunday timetable.
That meant the last buses would leave the city around 8.30pm, before Elton John had even played his first encore.
Even worse, the Gong Shuttle would finish up at 6pm – half an hour before Elton played his first song.

In a last-minute change, on Friday morning it was announced that the Gong Shuttle will run after the concert finishes on a “fill and go basis” from the stops outside the Wollongong council building.

Premier Illawarra will be running two southbound buses that will follow routes 37 and 57.

The route 37 bus will leave Oak Flats station at 3.36pm, 4.36pm and 5.36pm.

The route 57 bus leaves the station at 3.38pm, 4.38pm and 5.38pm.

There will also be two bus routes servicing the northern suburbs, leaving from the stop near the Cawley and Rothery street intersection at Bellambi.

Route 3 will leave at 2.59pm, 3.29pm and 4.59pm while route 8 leaves at 3.23pm, 3.53pm and 4.23pm.

All four buses will operate as “hail and ride” services and will have a sign in the window reading “Elton John concert”

The bus routes will also run on a fill and go basis from Burelli Street after the show.

These services are in addition to the Elton Shuttle that will run between Wollongong station and WIN Stadium both before and after the show.

FULL DETAILS OF THE SUNDAY BUS ROUTES

The Gong Shuttle

55A and 55C shuttle buses will operate every 10 minutes from Wollongong University between 3pm and 6.10pm inclusive. Sign in Window 55C or 55A Elton John Concert.

Return 55A and 55C shuttle buses will operate from Burelli Street Council Chambers and IPAC bus stops from the end of the concert on a fill and go basis to meet demand.

Premier Illawarra service from Oak Flats Station

Following Route 37 via Warilla, Windang and Warrawong to Burelli Street departing at 3.36pm, 4.36pm and 5.36pm picking up as a hail and ride service – Sign in Window 37 Elton John Concert.

Following Route 57 via Albion Park Rail, Dapto, Unanderra, Figtree and West Wollongong to Burelli Street (IPAC) departing at 3.38pm, 4.38pm and 5.38pm - picking up as a hail and ride service – Sign in Window 57 Elton John Concert.

Buses will return on a fill and go basis from Burelli Street from the end of the concert.

Premier Illawarra service from Bellambi Point, Cawley and Rothery Streets stop in Rothery Street

Following Route 3 via Corrimal, Tarrawanna, Balgownie and Princes Highway / Flinders Street to Burelli St (IPAC) at 2.59pm, 3.29pm and 4.59pm. Picking up as a hail and ride service – Sign in Window 3 Elton John Concert.

Following Route 8 via Towradgi, Fairy Meadow and Princes Highway / Flinders Street to Burelli St (IPAC) at 3.23pm, 3.53pm and 4.23pm. Picking up as a hail and ride service – Sign in Window 8 Elton John Concert.

Buses will return on a fill and go basis from Burelli Street stop at Council Chambers from the end of the concert.
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Re: Wollongong Rt. 55 Commenced Service & Split into 55A/C

Postby tonyp » Tue Sep 26, 2017 6:28 am

The transport at the concert all went well from what I heard. Dions shuttle to the station was singled out for praise in some comments. There were about 20,000 people formally at the concert and an unknown further number listening to it for free sprawled around the parks and beaches outside the stadium! About 40% of attendees came from outside Wollongong (Sydney etc) and some of these came Saturday and stayed overnight. The whole thing was a great boost for Wollongong.

And it's amazing how things go when the state transport agency actually decides to provide transport, even if belatedly after being asked by the public. :roll:

We should be grateful that they didn't schedule a line closure for trackwork that weekend.
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Re: Wollongong Rt. 55 Commenced Service & Split into 55A/C

Postby Swift » Tue Sep 26, 2017 8:01 am

Their bumbling could be costing the economy many millions. You would think that would get the government moving.
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Re: Wollongong Rt. 55 Commenced Service & Split into 55A/C

Postby tonyp » Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:07 am

University of Wollongong some time ago produced an App for Android, iPhone and iPad to enable tracking of the various shuttle bus routes that serve the university.

http://www.uow.edu.au/transport/apps/index.html

It works very well - except that UOW hasn't been granted access to GPS data for the Gong Shuttle. :roll:

It has the shuttle timetable built into it ready to go but it doesn't look like TfNSW is coming to the party any time soon. Naturally, there is no TfNSW app for Wollongong. Of course the 55A/55C timetable in the app shows all the buses running exactly on time. Yeah right.

The app offers the only potential for gaining some insight into when the next Shuttle bus is coming, considering they're often running out of schedule due to previously-mentioned loading dwell issues at stops. Of course if you raise this with TfNSW you get the stock reply that it's a fixed interval memory timetable and you only need to walk up and wait - and they won't intall Perth-style countdown timers at stops for the same reason. Can't admit that the service is flawed can we?
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Re: Wollongong Rt. 55 Commenced Service & Split into 55A/C

Postby Tonymercury » Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:31 am

tonyp wrote:University of Wollongong some time ago produced an App for Android, iPhone and iPad to enable tracking of the various shuttle bus routes that serve the university.

http://www.uow.edu.au/transport/apps/index.html

It works very well - except that UOW hasn't been granted access to GPS data for the Gong Shuttle. :roll:



Back to the Shirley era - another 'Improvement in Progress' with the improvement moving at glacial speed.
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Re: Wollongong Rt. 55 Commenced Service & Split into 55A/C

Postby tonyp » Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:44 am

.... and the "improvement in progress" is being implemented by an outside party, UOW, with TfNSW having to be dragged like a sulking child to the table. I bet Premier Illawarra would be quite happy to be part of this, but nobody can do anything without TfNSW's say-so. Premier were quite enthusiastic about new ideas and new technology during the brief period I was able to talk to them before TfNSW slammed the door on our discussions.
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Re: Wollongong Rt. 55 Commenced Service & Split into 55A/C

Postby tonyp » Wed Nov 01, 2017 8:03 pm

News just in. The government is going to end the Gong Shuttle as a free service and it will become a normal revenue route. I'll post some press tomorrow.

Basically, being killed because it's too successful and threatens the income of vested interests - parking, taxis and Premier's normal revenue service. Some commentators have noted that the service has shown signs if letting go lately with buses running together and the like.so there goes the state's most successful bus service and the only city centre circulator left in NSW apart from Parramatta. That'll be next believe me. They can't stand anything being successful in NSW.

Meanwhile, such services are multiplying around Australia - Perth (9 of them plus all CBD services), Adelaide (3),elbourne (all CBD services), Canberra, Brisbane (2).

The public and political reaction in Wollongong tonight has been enormous, so much anger. The service has been a real city-builder. Just when you're already disgusted at the depths to which NSW governments and TfNSW can descend, they do something even more disgusting. Transport in NSW is just a sick joke.
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Re: Wollongong Rt. 55 Commenced Service & Split into 55A/C

Postby burrumbus » Wed Nov 01, 2017 8:16 pm

A very poor decision indeed.
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Re: Wollongong Rt. 55 Commenced Service & Split into 55A/C

Postby moa999 » Wed Nov 01, 2017 8:21 pm

Letter and plenty of responses on Twitter

Eg
https://twitter.com/h_laxton/status/925578684534177793
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Re: Wollongong Rt. 55 Commenced Service & Split into 55A/C

Postby moa999 » Wed Nov 01, 2017 8:25 pm

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Re: Wollongong Rt. 55 Commenced Service & Split into 55A/C

Postby tonyp » Wed Nov 01, 2017 9:10 pm

There's an absolute shit-storm exploding down here, just in one night. I've never seen anything like it for a "mere" bus service. The government couldn't have done better if they'd poked a stick into a large hornet's nest. It goes to show how much "silent" support there is for good public transport.
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Re: Wollongong Rt. 55 Commenced Service & Split into 55A/C

Postby Swift » Wed Nov 01, 2017 9:35 pm

This is the Liberal party in a nutshell. Find the opportune time to cut services for regular folks but keep justifying hundreds of millions on consultancy services as they defended recently as "essential".
No problem for these crooks to keep feather bedding their mates in high places while they attack the little man so shamelessly. Arrogant scoundrels.
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Re: Wollongong Rt. 55 Commenced Service & Split into 55A/C

Postby Linto63 » Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:41 pm

While there is a case that free buses should be provided, did appear a bit discriminatory that Wollongong retained its when most others were chopped a few years ago. Would expect Newcastle and Parramatta to follow suit.

From my limited experiences of 55A/55C, biggest users appeared to be foreign students traveling to and from Wollongong Uni, so no votes there. The seats of Keira, Wollongong and Shellharbour are all rock sold Labor, so that won't be a deterrent and the rest of the state will be of the why should they get a freebie while I pay opinion.
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Re: Wollongong Rt. 55 Commenced Service & Split into 55A/C

Postby BAMBAM » Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:52 pm

Linto63 wrote:While there is a case that free buses should be provided, did appear a bit discriminatory that Wollongong retained its when most others were chopped a few years ago. Would expect Newcastle and Parramatta to follow suit.

From my limited experiences of 55A/55C, biggest users appeared to be foreign students traveling to and from Wollongong Uni, so no votes there. The seats of Keira, Wollongong and Shellharbour are all rock sold Labor, so that won't be a deterrent and the rest of the state will be of the why should they get a freebie while I pay opinion.


Regardless of the users and whether their foreign or not does not matter in this case. This service did take people off the road and on to buses. Also Newcastle shuttle have disappeared ages ago, only Parramatta shuttle remains but without green livery buses and only a front board displaying shuttle bus.
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Re: Wollongong Rt. 55 Commenced Service & Split into 55A/C

Postby moa999 » Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:58 pm

Both Newcastle and Parramatta are getting light rail... What's the Gong getting?

To some extent with the addition of free transfers under Opal, the bus is still free (or 15c) for those coming into the city centre on other forms of transport.
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Re: Wollongong Rt. 55 Commenced Service & Split into 55A/C

Postby Linto63 » Thu Nov 02, 2017 5:18 am

BAMBAM wrote:Also Newcastle shuttle have disappeared ages ago, only Parramatta shuttle remains but without green livery buses and only a front board displaying shuttle bus.
Newcastle does have a free fare zone within its CBD though. https://transportnsw.info/tickets-opal/ ... -free-zone
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Re: Wollongong Rt. 55 Commenced Service & Split into 55A/C

Postby Tonymercury » Thu Nov 02, 2017 5:23 am

Linto63 wrote:Newcastle does have a free fare zone within its CBD though. https://transportnsw.info/tickets-opal/ ... -free-zone


Only until the tram opens
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Re: Wollongong Rt. 55 Commenced Service & Split into 55A/C

Postby tonyp » Thu Nov 02, 2017 5:24 am

http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/stor ... ip/?cs=300

http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/stor ... ges/?cs=12

http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/stor ... le/?cs=300

http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/stor ... ay/?cs=304

The majority of users are most certainly not foreign students. When you look at the service during university holidays, it's packed with locals. UOW has its own shuttles (run by Dions) that cater to the majority of students and all students use the buses regardless of national origin. These services have not only resulted in a reduction in driving and parking around the CBD, they've also rescued the suburbs around UOW from having their streets parked out.

As for the service being free to people who have already made a PT trip, I would say that most users haven't, but have parked and ridden or walked up.

It's a decision made by people who see public transport as just another business, like a parcels delivery company, completely ignoring its fundamental role in urban planing and functionality, which has broader economic effects and benefits. This service is a city-building initiative that has resulted in Wollongong functioning better as a city, including reducing traffic congestion and pollution. To destroy it because of its success is either mind-bogglingly stupid or political nastiness taken to new depths, or a combination of both.
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Re: Wollongong Rt. 55 Commenced Service & Split into 55A/C

Postby Swift » Thu Nov 02, 2017 5:28 am

tonyp wrote:
It's a decision made by people who see public transport as just another business, like a parcels delivery company, completely ignoring its fundamental role in urban planing and functionality, which has broader economic effects and benefits. This service is a city-building initiative that has resulted in Wollongong functioning better as a city, including reducing traffic congestion and pollution. To destroy it because of its success is either mind-bogglingly stupid or political nastiness taken to new depths, or a combination of both.

Hallmarks of the Liberal party, especially when that hateful ogre Greiner came along.
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Re: Wollongong Rt. 55 Commenced Service & Split into 55A/C

Postby moa999 » Thu Nov 02, 2017 6:47 am

We all know about Liberal 'never ever' promises. A pollies promise has a shelf-life of about 2yrs.

That said I don't see why the Gong should be any different to Sydney. The only real difference is parking is $8 a day rather than $20-80.

If it's super popular when it's free, I don't see why having a minimal (just about all journeys should be within the 0-3km band) fare will reduce its popularity.

Will also put a bit of pressure on the UOW shuttle I suspect.
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Re: Wollongong Rt. 55 Commenced Service & Split into 55A/C

Postby tonyp » Thu Nov 02, 2017 7:22 am

moa999 wrote:If it's super popular when it's free, I don't see why having a minimal (just about all journeys should be within the 0-3km band) fare will reduce its popularity.

That will decimate the patronage and, in any case, undermines the whole principle of it. Perth demonstrates the funding solution, if that's what concerns them.

If the change does come in (perhaps the government will buckle in response to the firestorm, like with Shellharbour Hospital), it will be interesting to see what the CBD retailers, like the newly-opened David Jones, will have to say when their customers start drifting off to Shellharbour and Figtree where there is free parking. When money at the big end starts talking to the Liberal Party ....
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