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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 tonyp » Thu Dec 14, 2017 5:32 am

rogf24 wrote:I don't think it will happen but I'm really hoping that CSELR will be free between Central and Circular Quay, the Parramatta Light Rail free west of Camellia and Newcastle Light Rail free for the entire initial length. In the latter 2 cases, I would scrap the free buses.

Add to that a fare-free zone in inner Wollongong, bounded by the 55's route with a southern extension down to Coniston/Springhill Rd. That would answer the "spreading the load across all services" objection.

Charging for the tram in Newcastle will presumably coincide with the termination of the fare-free zone there. The Parramatta tram dupicates part of the Shuttle's route and, again, will presumably mean the end of fare-free travel. What will central Sydney and Parramatta get for their Parking Space Levy in future I wonder?

The other reason TfNSW wants to get rid of fare-free services is of course capacity. They're terrified of services being overwhelmed with demand. The Victorians seem to have no such fear. Their free transit zone resulted in a boom of 20 million more passenger journeys per year on the trams. They became very crowded but everybody lived to see another day. NSW = reactive, regressive, minimalist.
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Re: Wollongong Rt. 55 Commenced Service & Split into 55A/C

Postby tonyp » Sat Dec 16, 2017 7:22 am

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

Postby Glen » Sun Dec 17, 2017 6:44 pm

10 minute frequency New Years Eve (Sunday night) until 11pm:

http://premierillawarra.com.au/news.html
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Re: Wollongong Rt. 55 Commenced Service & Split into 55A/C

Postby tonyp » Mon Dec 18, 2017 7:05 am

Glen wrote:10 minute frequency New Years Eve (Sunday night) until 11pm:

http://premierillawarra.com.au/news.html

It seems like the Elton John fiasco all over again. Most people celebrate new year at midnight, which means the transport needs to run past midnight. At least there's a token effort with the 55 - you get taken there to spend the night on the beach. The rest of Premiers and Dions services shut down at the usual early Sunday evening times. If new years eve is on a Friday or Saturday, at least with Dions they have the regular services running up to about 0300.

I don't know whether we missed this in earlier discussion, but back when Constance declared that the 55's patronage was 3.3 million p.p.a., he said that the combined patronage of all other Wollongong bus services was 3.2 million p.p.a. I think we estimated that the UOW services patronage was about 1 million p.p.a.
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Re: Wollongong Rt. 55 Commenced Service & Split into 55A/C

Postby tonyp » Tue Dec 26, 2017 4:41 pm

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

I recall that the Opal readers have been fitted to the current buses since their delivery in 2014. TfNSW's intention probably goes a very long way back - like back to when it developed "too much" demand in 2009!
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Re: Wollongong Rt. 55 Commenced Service & Split into 55A/C

Postby Linto63 » Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:10 pm

Or more likely they are specced with Opal readers to allow them to be used on other services should the need arise, or to avoid the need to retrofit if permanently transferred to other duties.
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Re: Wollongong Rt. 55 Commenced Service & Split into 55A/C

Postby tonyp » Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:27 pm

Linto63 wrote:Or more likely they are specced with Opal readers to allow them to be used on other services should the need arise, or to avoid the need to retrofit if permanently transferred to other duties.

The buses are permanently dedicated to that route, but yes no doubt they may be cascaded in the future if replaced with newer buses.
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Re: Wollongong Rt. 55 Commenced Service & Split into 55A/C

Postby Swift » Wed Dec 27, 2017 5:50 pm

Maybe they are there to skim some pocket money from visitors who forget our don't realise it's free and tap on and off out of reflex. :twisted:
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Re: Wollongong Rt. 55 Commenced Service & Split into 55A/C

Postby BroadGauge » Wed Dec 27, 2017 6:51 pm

tonyp wrote:It seems like the Elton John fiasco all over again. Most people celebrate new year at midnight, which means the transport needs to run past midnight. At least there's a token effort with the 55 - you get taken there to spend the night on the beach.

The public event being held by Wollongong City Council concludes after a fireworks display at 9pm (there are no midnight fireworks there), so if the intention is to service that event then running buses until 11pm is adequate.
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Re: Wollongong Rt. 55 Commenced Service & Split into 55A/C

Postby tonyp » Sun Dec 31, 2017 3:02 pm

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

Postby tonyp » Tue Jan 02, 2018 8:21 am

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

Postby Linto63 » Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:00 am

While 25% is the figured quoted as the amount of costs recovered through the farebox, for more heavily used routes like the 55 if fares were charged the recovery would be much higher.

Say the average fare is $2, then based on its present 3.3 million users per annum, it would be expected to bring in revenue of $6.6 million. If patronage dropped to 2 million, then it would bring in $4 million.

Playing devils advocate, when TfNSW cuts its budget for 2018/19 it might forecast the 55 to bring in revenues of $4 million, but if the combined council / funding package is only $700k and the free status is retained, then there will be a $3 million hole. So then the government may say 'thanks for the offer but it ain't enough'. One would assume the 'how much do you need?' question was asked of TfSW before the council / uni committed the $700k, but with communication lines seemingly strained, who knows?
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Re: Wollongong Rt. 55 Commenced Service & Split into 55A/C

Postby tonyp » Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:10 am

Co-funding of these services is quite common in other jurisdictions and I think the parties have to sit down, work out the proportional benefits they get from it and negotiate, which TfNSW has disgracefully failed to initiate thus far (they're the cause of the communication strain). From the viewpoint of the state (via TfNSW), there's solid ground for a funding obligation as part of the general role of government to help stimulate the economic betterment of the state. Again, the proportion of that is something that has to be negotiated.

There's also another party that hasn't been brought into it so far and that's business, and thus employment, but again the state has to determine to what extent that needs state support (particularly if business is a marginal venture in a particular area and might start collapsing - with a consequent increase in unemployment - without a measure of general state support). Can the PSL be applied to Wollongong and funding derived from that? Plenty of issues to consider beyond simple profit and loss measurments.

Unfortunately it's also heavily politicised. The imbalance between the improvements being thrown at Newcastle compared to the neglect of Wollongong is glaringly obvious when one considers the potential electoral benefits to be gained in the former compared with the futility of the government ever winning seats in the latter. Good planning and governance of the state should be apolitical. Having a failed city might be a nice cheap political shot at people for voting for the "wrong" party, but in fact it's something that would indirectly hurt the whole state. It's like shooting yourself in the foot.

Another recent item from the Mercury:

http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/stor ... r/?cs=5400
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Re: Wollongong Rt. 55 Commenced Service & Split into 55A/C

Postby Linto63 » Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:56 pm

With all 3 levels of government involved, what could possibly go wrong? :D
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Re: Wollongong Rt. 55 Commenced Service & Split into 55A/C

Postby Swift » Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:35 pm

Linto63 wrote:With all 3 levels of government involved, what could possibly go wrong? :D

There has been a calling for one level to be abolished for decades. Which one is the million dollar question? They are all shitty at any given time aren't they?
Especially in NSW the Camry State. :lol: :roll:
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Re: Wollongong Rt. 55 Commenced Service & Split into 55A/C

Postby tonyp » Mon Jan 29, 2018 4:34 pm

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

Postby tonyp » Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:31 am

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

Postby tonyp » Sat Apr 21, 2018 10:06 am

https://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/5354352/free-gong-shuttle-at-risk-again-as-new-higher-costs-revealed/

Free Gong Shuttle at risk again as new higher costs revealed

Kate McIlwainKate McIlwain
Local News
The NSW Government has raised the price tag on what it would take to keep Wollongong’s green shuttle free, creating a “very strong risk” that fares will be brought in on July 1.

Going backwards: Gordon Bradbery says the higher cost of keeping the Green Shuttle free, revealed by Transport NSW this week, could prove too much.

That’s the fear of Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery, who said negotiations over the free bus had “gone backwards not forwards” after a meeting with Transport NSW officials.

At the meeting, held on Wednesday, the University of Wollongong and the council were told it would cost both parties $394,000 – or $788,000 in total – to keep the shuttle fare free next financial year.

This would rise to more than $400,000 a year for each party by the third year of the funding agreement.

The fate of the popular free service, which provides more than three million trips a year in the CBD, has been under a cloud since last November when Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced her government planned to introduce fares.

After a public outcry and campaign highlighting its importance to the city, hospital and university, the council and UOW offered to chip in $350,000 each per year to keep the service free.

There is a very strong risk that Opal fares could be introduced from July 1.

But Cr Bradbery said the new extra costs may prove too much.

“In five years time, we could be looking at paying half a million dollars a year.”

​“The reason we’re involved in this is that we will have to find the cost to replace the shuttle anyway, so the impact of the increased demands for parking, traffic, wear and tear on our roads – but with the costs of the bus going up, is it worth it?,” Cr Bradbery said.

“In five years time, we could be looking at paying half a million dollars a year.”

He said the council was brainstorming what could be done to see if it would be possible to save the free service before the government’s June 30 deadline.

“Our options could mean anything, from saying to them ‘no, we can’t do it’ or looking at rejigging the service timetable to bring the cost down to something we can afford,” he said.

Cr Bradbery said negotiations would continue in the coming weeks, but that delays from Transport NSW in providing information and starting negotiations meant there was not much time left to reach an agreement.

“We made our decision late last year, but they have dragged it out for so long and left things to the eleventh hour – in some ways we’re wedged in and have to make a decision, but I think that’s really unfair at this late stage,” he said.

“There is a very strong risk that Opal fares could be introduced from July 1.”

A council spokesman said the city was “hopeful that future negotiations will lead to a satisfactory outcome”.

Asked to respond to the news that the government had asked for more money, the University of Wollongong said funding has been discussed but “no final resolutions or decisions have been reached”.

“The University expects there will be further consultations and discussions among the parties over the coming weeks and remains confident the matter can be resolved within the required timeframe,” a UOW spokesman said.

Transport for NSW said it had held “positive meeting with Wollongong City Council and the University of Wollongong on Wednesday”, saying all parties “have agreed to continue discussions and maintain open communication”.
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Re: Wollongong Rt. 55 Commenced Service & Split into 55A/C

Postby Tonymercury » Sat Apr 21, 2018 12:52 pm

The good citizens of the 'Gong haven't noticeded that TfNSW might, just might, have an agenda?
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Re: Wollongong Rt. 55 Commenced Service & Split into 55A/C

Postby tonyp » Sat Apr 21, 2018 3:22 pm

We'll see how the game plays out. Basically TfNSW (and Treasury) don't like success because the more there is of it, the more it costs (in a narrow sense, i.e. ignoring the wider benefits). UOW and council need to think about this.

Still no reason to sink it as it's now widely recognised as an important urban functionality tool, applied in nine cities in Australia and scores overseas. To single out neglected Wollongong, of all cities, to strike down a public transport success would be simply churlish and unprofessional.
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Re: Wollongong Rt. 55 Commenced Service & Split into 55A/C

Postby Swift » Sat Apr 21, 2018 4:19 pm

tonyp wrote:
To single out neglected Wollongong, of all cities, to strike down a public transport success would be simply churlish and unprofessional.

That wouldn't bother them. I doubt their faces would turn any shade of crimson without blusher being applied!!
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Re: Wollongong Rt. 55 Commenced Service & Split into 55A/C

Postby gld59 » Sat Apr 21, 2018 4:23 pm

tonyp wrote:would be simply churlish and unprofessional.

And therefore totally in character for TfNSW.

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

Postby Jurassic_Joke » Sat Apr 21, 2018 10:39 pm

Well, if people vote in Liberal governments (I am NOT saying NSW Labor is better; they have enough of their own flaws), then this one of the by-products you get.

I have a younger mate thats in the Young Liberals and he tells me one of the things they constantly discuss is 'how are you supposed to pay for this and that'.

In other words, they don't like you getting anything for free. They scrapped the 555 free shuttle. They significantly weakened MyMulti's use on Ferries because you got too much for free. They scrapped free Opal travel after 8 trips because lets admit, they never wanted you to have them. So if you voted Liberal and are upset by the idea of the Free 55 shuttle going; then you don't deserve any sympathy because you are asking for it.

I don't think they really have anything to lose politically by getting rid of the shuttle. If they do decide to introduce fares on the Gong Shuttle in July, itll be a bad move, its closer to the election where people are more likely to remember.

Or actually possibly - the two prominent Liberal MP's in the Illawarra; Shelley Hancock the Speaker, whose electorate isn't too far away from the Shuttle operating area, and Gareth Ward the Illawarra Secretary, if he doesn't intervene (just like Stuart Ayres in Penrith looks set to be kicked out for not stopping the M4 Toll!).

Old Gladys' parliamentary majority is just 7 seats. That is really not a lot to lose, especially if we consider the people might vent their frustration with the current Federal Lib Government at the State Poll, which at the moment looks like it will be before the next Federal election. I'd tread carefully and not take everyone for granted.
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Re: Wollongong Rt. 55 Commenced Service & Split into 55A/C

Postby Swift » Sat Apr 21, 2018 11:07 pm

Liberals are alright in small doses, but when you keep voting them in time and time again, they get more audacious in their damaging policies. They have to be reigned in by voting them out for a while, so they reset to "watching themselves" in how quick they slip in reforms. They have already gottem away with selling off assets thet don't belong to them on the sly for pathetic sums, simply because they believe in it. Labor was like a diseased rat that had to be exterminated, such was it's infection after 16 years of rule. They show no signs of being a particularly dynamic alternative, but now that the virus has been excised, they at least serve as a punishing device for these abhorrent user pays junkies we have now. labor, like them or loath the living death out of them, do have a modicum of social conscience, at least officially.
They know the importance of maintaining that image, and therefore have checks and balances, which ensure some sanity prevails when it comes to hated right wing policies.
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Re: Wollongong Rt. 55 Commenced Service & Split into 55A/C

Postby tonyp » Sun Apr 22, 2018 8:38 am

Jurassic_Joke wrote:
In other words, they don't like you getting anything for free. They scrapped the 555 free shuttle.

Actually the 555 was paid for by the city Parking Space Levy, which is incurred specifically for the purpose of funding public transport improvements in the area in which the levy is incurred. In Perth and Melbourne, their parking space levies fund the city CATs and free tram zone respectively. In NSW they have a habit of diverting the money to whatever other (often out-of-area, like the IWLR extension) public transport projects they fancy. It probably won't be too long before they quietly steal it into general revenue. Only the law stands in the way (so far).

Next time you run into your Young Liberal mate, remind him that the attack on the Gong Shuttle was fiercely opposed by the local business chamber and Liberal councillors on Wollongong Council, among all the other local interests in a united front. Of course, those Liberals are no longer "young" and have matured enough to understand the importance of such public transport initiatives to the success of business.

Edit: Another little detail for education of budding Young Liberals is that these free city centre services were first introduced in WA and Victoria by Liberal governments, led no less than by those arch-conservatives Court and Kennett. As we used to say: "put that in your pipe and smoke it" :lol:

https://www.nswbusinesschamber.com.au/Media-Centre/Latest-News/November-2017-(1)/Gong-Shuttle-should-remain-a-free-service

Also:

https://www.nswbusinesschamber.com.au/M ... onnections
https://www.nswbusinesschamber.com.au/M ... r-economic

My apologies for messing with your mate's head.

Swift wrote:Liberals are alright in small doses,

Both sides are alright in small doses, but, judging by the statements that come out of Foley's mouth, they haven't learnt much. There are two absolutely top Labor MPs in Wollongong. They need to become leader and deputy leader for the party to get somewhere again in NSW.
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