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

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

Post by Daniel »

tonyp wrote:
Glen wrote: Do the On Demand trials use Coasters?
I don't know what sort of vehicle is proposed for Wollongong. I'm just going by examples of vehicles being introduced for the Sydney services. I'm raising it more a as broad issue, that is, for a professional public transport service they should be using something more accessible than your typical club shuttle bus!
I believe Hiaces are proposed for Wollongong. But I do agree. After sampling the Poncho, it would be absolutely perfect. Unfortunately there is the issue of cost...

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

Post by tonyp »

Daniel wrote: I believe Hiaces are proposed for Wollongong. But I do agree. After sampling the Poncho, it would be absolutely perfect. Unfortunately there is the issue of cost...
Yes, well if they want to implement the on-demand concept properly and professionally, they need low-floors like Poncho or equivalent. Using Hiaces shows they aren't serious, especially somewhere like Wollongong where a good proportion of their clientele wouldn't actually be able to board the bus. So after they withdraw normal route buses after declaring the trial "successful" (this is TfNSW and the current state government we're talking about), where does it leave those users? At home permanently?
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Re: Wollongong Rt. 55 Commenced Service & Split into 55A/C

Post by Glen »

I would think that the federal DDA legislation will look after them.

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

Post by Tonymercury »

Glen wrote:I would think that the federal DDA legislation will look after them.
Glen - there are already so many exemptions its not funny.

Its really as much of a joke as 'access to premises'.

I launched a formal request to TfNSW regarding the 'on demand' services and they haven[t hpnoited there promise to get back to me.

More and more of the information services are app dependent which deprives a good number of people from using them.

At the moment TfNSW is getting further and further from its legal obligations, The main tool for doing this is often to apply for an exemption for a number of years, now they are just ignoring complaints.

Added later -
As soon as I saw no use of the A word in the press release regarding the 'on demand' services I became suspicious and could not get anyone at TfNSW to actually say that they weren't all compliant.

At a conference several years ago I met a woman from TfNSW who was actually in charge of access issues; she was very good and very keen, but it became obvious after a while that she was bashing her head, fruitlessly, against the TfNSW brick wall. I suspect that she has noe disappeared from that position.

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

Post by tonyp »

The current policy direction is to drive as many people away from public transport as possible in order to avoid the need to provide more capacity. This fits with that policy.
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Re: Wollongong Rt. 55 Commenced Service & Split into 55A/C

Post by mandonov »

Tonymercury wrote:
I launched a formal request to TfNSW regarding the 'on demand' services and they haven[t hpnoited there promise to get back to me.

More and more of the information services are app dependent which deprives a good number of people from using them.
Just going off the public info of the Newcastle on demand service, I think it's clear that TfNSW had almost no hand in its implementation.

The buses are accessible, they have app and phone booking, and there's no mention of it on any TfNSW portal.

Tonyp, perhaps you should start lobbying to get transport planning away from Sydney all together.

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

Post by Fleet Lists »

mandonov wrote: Tonyp, perhaps you should start lobbying to get transport planning away from Sydney all together.
And who should it go to instead?
Living in the Shire.

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

Post by mandonov »

A new locally based operator who actually talks to and consults the community?

The experience so far with Newcastle Transport has been good.

It's becoming clearer that Transport for NSW is more Transport for Sydney than anything else.

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

Post by Fleet Lists »

But Newcastle still lacks overall planning such as services from Toronto to the CBD.
Living in the Shire.

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

Post by BroadGauge »

Fleet Lists wrote:But Newcastle still lacks overall planning such as services from Toronto to the CBD.
Isn't that what the train (from Fassifern) is for?

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

Post by burrumbus »

I don't know what sort of vehicle is proposed for Wollongong. I'm just going by examples of vehicles being introduced for the Sydney services. I'm raising it more a as broad issue, that is, for a professional public transport service they should be using something more accessible than your typical club shuttle bus!
I believe Hiaces are proposed for Wollongong. But I do agree. After sampling the Poncho, it would be absolutely perfect. Unfortunately there is the issue of cost...[/quote]
Very much so Dan.At around $55,000 for a new Hiace,$$130,000 for a Rosa or Coaster,compared to around the $200,000 mark for a Poncho is a massive difference.Thats why the community transport sector spec Coasters,Rosas and Hiaces.
Two other things to consider are that the on demand services are relatively short term term trials from 6 months to one year in duration.This does not give the time necessary to pay off a Poncho size bus.Also for most operators,if the trial is not successful,what do you do with the Poncho size bus??.Given that nearly all the winners thus far of the on demand trials are conventional public transport operators the alternative uses for that size bus are very limited.Also I thoroughly doubt whether the pax numbers on the on demand services will justify even an 18 seater Poncho.I think we are talking taxi numbers of 1-5 pax per trip here.Low floor would be nice but the operating factors certaintly don not justify low floor investment.

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

Post by tonyp »

burrumbus wrote:if the trial is not successful,what do you do with the Poncho size bus??
I'm sure one of them will be just the right fit for the Gong Shuttle after 28 January. :lol:

Working through towards the end of my thumbnail survey of the busiest bus routes in Australia (which would be improved if TfNSW actually published figures instead of hiding them), it seems that the 55 is right up at the top, not just compared with other fare-free services, but with normal route services. It comes in just below Brisbane's 66 and Perth's 950 in pax per km per year and up among the top half dozen of any bus route in Australia in total patronage. All this for an operating cost of about 91 cents per passenger. No wonder the visionless TfNSW looks at it and just sees $$$$$$ to be made. The catch is that all of those 3.3 million riders won't be there any longer, nor will the anticipated 100% to 200% profits.

Undermine the economic development of the state and its cities in a grab for a tiny but high cost-benefit sum of money (in the overall picture) that will turn out to vaporise in any case. How completely stupid are they?
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Re: Wollongong Rt. 55 Commenced Service & Split into 55A/C

Post by tonyp »

I stumbled across this post in an old thread about the Sydney 555 from 2010 regarding the counting of passengers through the front door on these fare-free services:

http://www.busaustralia.com/forum/viewt ... 33#p617033

PI first told me about this, following which a PR type from TfNSW vehemently denied in a phone conversation with me that they did such a thing - following which PI went strangely silent (gagged). It was another step on that road to confirming that TfNSW will happily lie through their teeth on any subject without batting an eyelash. There are of course other methods of counting passenger boardings, just that TfNSW probably hasn't heard of them or they weren't invented in NSW.

It's interesting, verging on quaint, reading the concerns back in 2010 in that thread, Unfortunately attitudes in NSW haven't changed since then. Meanwhile the rest of Australia cruises on past. The funniest thing is discovering that apparently the RTBU's imposition of the 15 standee rule came about after they commissioned a consultant (an 'elf and safety one no doubt) who came up with that magic figure. I think that consultant was slack. Quite self-evidently, it's unsafe for anybody to stand on a bus, indeed even travel on a bus. The figure should be zero.
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Re: Wollongong Rt. 55 Commenced Service & Split into 55A/C

Post by tonyp »

Some pre-Christmas action in the lead-up to Wollongong Council's last meeting next Monday before the government's proposed changeover date on 29 January:

https://paulscullymp.com.au/news/media- ... e-attempt/

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

http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/stor ... ne/?cs=300
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Re: Wollongong Rt. 55 Commenced Service & Split into 55A/C

Post by burrumbus »

If the true subsidy figure by Wollongong Council and UOW ($700k)is accurate that really is just plain cheap to maintain the benefits that the Gong Shuttle brings.
The complainants in the third piece really can't see past their self interested noses !!!

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

Post by tonyp »

burrumbus wrote:If the true subsidy figure by Wollongong Council and UOW ($700k)is accurate that really is just plain cheap to maintain the benefits that the Gong Shuttle brings.
The complainants in the third piece really can't see past their self interested noses !!!
The inane public comments percolating through this whole discussion are from the typical 90%+ of a regional city's population who get everywhere in their own car and wouldn't know anything about public transport if they fell over it. They've no idea what this is all about and probably think that the palpable uplift in the quality and functionality of central Wollongong in the last decade just fell out of the sky. They probably wonder why it's so much easier to park in central Wollongong nowadays and are puzzled why so many others don't want to compete for parking spaces with them as well.

The only point of perverse satisfaction that I'd get out of the Shuttle's patronage collapsing is seeing all these drongos suddenly not being able to find parking spots anywhere within cooee and having to walk kms to get to the centre of town, or the waterfront, or the hospital or the university. Well, of course, they wouldn't. Most of them would go elsewhere (like Shellharbour) and all that investment in reviving the centre would unravel. There is a hell of a lot tied up in this bus, it's more than just a bus service, it's an integral part of a city-building project and a lot of other initiatives hang off it.

On your first point, I've always believed that alternative financial solutions need to be explored and the best outcome for all parties reached. The one thing that must be non-negotiable is that it must continue to be a fare-free service. If anything I'd like to see it become an FTZ and cover other buses coming into the zone too - including an expansion into the area south of the CBD.

But yes, it is a very cheap investment considering the benefits.
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Re: Wollongong Rt. 55 Commenced Service & Split into 55A/C

Post by tonyp »

And here's part of one of those alternative financial solutions come winging in right now:

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

Additional interesting facts:

UOW's own bus operation costs them $1 million a year. They already make a big contribution of their own, so this is on top of that. So that'll now be $1,350,000 per year for them.

UOW students and staff account for only 20% of 55's patronage - so much for it being just a students' bus. Anybody who rides it, particularly in university holidays would have long ago realised that. The ignorant comments come from out of town or the local car-driving population who take it upon themselves to judge something they never use themselves.
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Re: Wollongong Rt. 55 Commenced Service & Split into 55A/C

Post by burrumbus »

The above article also gives a figure to the patronage on the UOW own free bus services operated by Dions under contract.
20 percent of the 3.5 million Gong Shuttle pax are UOW students.That is 700,000 pax.This makes up just under half the UOW public transport arrivals.So including the Dions own route 1 patronage ,we are looking at around 700,000 or just above that on the UOW own services.So public transport patronage to UOW is around 1.5 million per year.Very nice figures.That would also make the UOW route to North Gong Station one of the best per km per head patronage performers in Australia,with each of the 5 Dions buses used carrying around 700 pax per day.

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

Post by tonyp »

Thanks, I overlooked that key paragraph. According to the UOW brochure posted earlier, there are two colleges in North Wollongong served by the Shuttle rather than the UOW routes. I guess UOW sees a subsidy of the Shuttle as an alternative to laying on another bus itself. Keeping student transportation services free is a key component of its policies, both in regard to totally eliminating the need for any car-use in accessing the university, but also in regard to attracting enrolments, whch is something very important to universities - as we see in Sydney University's concern with transport access and UNSW's action as a major proponent of the decision to build CSELR.
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Re: Wollongong Rt. 55 Commenced Service & Split into 55A/C

Post by Swift »

Macquarie uni needs a free shuttle then as it is teeming with parked student's cars of a daytime.
(Warning: don't let my post cause a tangent. I just thought of it because of these points.)
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Re: Wollongong Rt. 55 Commenced Service & Split into 55A/C

Post by burrumbus »

Swift wrote:Macquarie uni needs a free shuttle then as it is teeming with parked student's cars of a daytime.
(Warning: don't let my post cause a tangent. I just thought of it because of these points.)
Agreed Swift.Lets hope MAcquarie Uni get with the shuttle bus concept.The rail replacement on Epping-Chatswood may just force their hand, if because of the replacement, there is leakage of patronage to cars.

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

Post by tonyp »

Macquarie needs to build buildings on its carparks which are a relic from an earlier time when it was built out amongst Granny Smith's orchards. The railway station and buses are close enough to walk through the campus. Carparks simply attract driving.
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Re: Wollongong Rt. 55 Commenced Service & Split into 55A/C

Post by mandonov »

tonyp wrote:Macquarie needs to build buildings on its carparks which are a relic from an earlier time when it was built out amongst Granny Smith's orchards. The railway station and buses are close enough to walk through the campus. Carparks simply attract driving.
That is actually in their masterplan. They have no plans to build anymore parking capacity in the future.

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

Post by Swift »

I remember Talavera Rd was lined with student's cars on each side for nearly a kilometre from Culloden Rd to the Research Hospital near Herring Rd, in 2014. Has the situation changed? I doubt it.
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Re: Wollongong Rt. 55 Commenced Service & Split into 55A/C

Post by mandonov »

Well no it hasn't changed, but it's also not being encouraged.

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