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Metrobus a few years on: a success?

Sydney / New South Wales Transport Discussion

Metrobus a few years on: a success?

Postby facm337 » Thu Apr 28, 2011 3:06 pm

There have been a lot of discussion on the shortcomings of the metrobus, such as insufficient frequency for true timetable-less service, rigid hours of operation (6am-8pm for all across the board), pointlessness given some of them pretty much exactly replicate present routes already, as well as the on board announcements which seemed to be present at first but now none of them really have them.

However, I think in general they have been a good addition to Sydney's public transport network, and I'd like to focus on some of the specific routes and whether they have been a success or not. The following is just based on my own observations, so feel free to correct me or add anything you may have seen also.

M10,M20,M30 - These first few metrobus routes I think have been hugely successful. Very large patronage inbound and outbound in both morning and peak hour. They've probably not only relieved previous crowded routes, but drawn EXTRA people onto the buses as well. Although I wish they would extend the M20 to Lane Cove which seems such an obvious thing to do.

M40 - I haven't really seen much of this route, I think a lot of people thought it would be better if the Eastern leg got extended to Bondi Beach as well. The northern leg perhaps is also a bit oversaturated with the 273 and 272 which already had good frequency.

M50 - The Eastern leg has got fairly well loaded, with the hospital and Uni being the main patronage generators. The Western part from what I've seen is fairly empty in the peak, but that's because the Rozelle/Drummoyne area is so frequentyly served by every single other 5xx route going out of the CBD also. Perhaps there are more people on the M50 during the off peak when the other routes aren't so frequent?

M52 - This has been well loaded, but this is no surprise, given the patronage on the previous L20. The frequencies on the L20 were also horrendous (2 per hour most of the day) and was well overdue for a boost anyway.

M54 - I think this one has been the most successful metrobus outside of the CBD ones. The Eastern part is very well loaded in both directions, even east of Epping. In the evening peak from what I've seen sometimes the Westbound buses are almost full when they leave Macq Uni, definitely standing room only by the time it gets to Epping. The Parramatta section I haven't seen as much but from reports it's very full as well.

M61 - this one I think is completely useless. It's got good patronage, but that's because it's just an exact replica of the 610x, which still exists and had full loads even before. They should have just boosted the 610x

M41 - when this started in the first few weeks this one pretty much just carried refrigerated air. But over the last month or two I think there's been a good improvement. All the buses I've seen have got quite a few people in them in all the legs from Hurstville, Campsie, Burwood, Ryde. From Hurstville to Burwood I think people travel in both directions, but from Concord upwards I think it's pretty much one way traffic (ie. in morning peak people travel towards Macquarie and in evening peak away from Macq), has anyone seen different? I also think in the Concord area, a better route would be Majors Bay Rd -> Norman St. -> Nullawarra Rd -> Hospital Rd. That way it still serves the hospital but takes a shorter route, bypassing Concord Rd which is served by 458/459 anyway.

M60 - I think the Castle Hill/Parra section would have fairly decent numbers, although I haven't seen it. From Pennant Hills to Hornsby I thought it would be refrigerated air at all times but I was actually pleasantly surprised when on a weekend I was at Thornleigh and each bus had about 2-4 people on it :P

M90 - I know the previous 900 from the Strathfield end was pretty well loaded and I assume it'd be the same now. No idea about the Bankstown/Liverpool ends.

M91 - From what I've heard it's been pretty empty, which is slightly surprising because I thought the 910/948 had fairly decent loads. Has anyone seen how it compares with the previous routes?
M92 - No idea, but I'd imagine similar to M91. Anyone know how it compares with the previous 962?

Anyway, sorry about the long post, I thought it'd be an interesting discussion. Feel free to correct me or share any observations of your own.
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Re: Metrobus a few years on: a success?

Postby kypros1992 » Thu Apr 28, 2011 4:41 pm

For M92, decent loads between Padstow and Lidcombe, Usually gets good patronage around Lidcombe TAFE and Bankstown Station. Starts to empty after Padstow - Sutherland (due to missing Illawong) and Parramatta - Lidcombe (not a strategic bus corridor)
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Re: Metrobus a few years on: a success?

Postby Xplorer » Thu Apr 28, 2011 4:47 pm

Don't think M20's that successful, especially when no access to Lane Cove is permitted
M40? Well, 333 is quicker
M50? More like a Drummoyne local at the western end
M41? Metrobus carpark on Concord Road
M10? Didn't the government want a tram from Leichhardt to City, as well as City to Maroubra?
M30? What's the loading like from Sydenham to Enmore?
M92? Nobody really needs it from Rosehill to Lidcombe
M52 and M54 are good
Not sure M61's that good now, given the bus priority lane on M2 is scrapped
So overall, not that successful
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Re: Metrobus a few years on: a success?

Postby bus909 » Thu Apr 28, 2011 5:07 pm

M91 is already popular, most people use m91 to arrive Parramatta interchange it loaded good enough. For m92 havnt become loads yet....But maybe few month people notied m92 is in use between Parramatta to Lidcombe via Rosehill, Parramatta Road, I seen the m92 is go on Parramatta road which is better and smooth thans 909's. I'm used to take 909 on Parramatta road, But now m92 is much easy for me to use go to Parramatta or Bankstown or ever Sutherland. But I understand that people still dont notied the m92 is actually in use. Give them few more month or ever a year.
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Re: Metrobus a few years on: a success?

Postby bus909 » Thu Apr 28, 2011 5:18 pm

Xplorer wrote:Don't think M20's that successful, especially when no access to Lane Cove is permitted
M40? Well, 333 is quicker
M50? More like a Drummoyne local at the western end
M41? Metrobus carpark on Concord Road
M10? Didn't the government want a tram from Leichhardt to City, as well as City to Maroubra?
M30? What's the loading like from Sydenham to Enmore?
M92? Nobody really needs it from Rosehill to Lidcombe
M52 and M54 are good
Not sure M61's that good now, given the bus priority lane on M2 is scrapped
So overall, not that successful



For m92- I need it because it run on Parramatta road, and some people actually take m92 from Parramatta to rose hill, or some people from Parramatta road take m92 to Lidcombe or Bankstown or Parramatta. So people still need it... :lol:
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Re: Metrobus a few years on: a success?

Postby swtt » Thu Apr 28, 2011 6:43 pm

M10 - Highly successful as it is. Provides relief for the 39x/L94 services. Now that Prepay is implemented along Anzac Parade and Parramatta Road, it doesn't have as great an advantage as before -- it used to rival L94 travel times in the weekday off peak due to L94 not being Prepay! However, on weekends it maintains its advantage of prepay only.

M20 - Highly successful at the southern end of the route as it provides a direct link from Bourke Road to Central instead of Museum as per routes 301/2/3. Even Mascot pax use this to cross the harbour, despite it being slightly slower than the X09/X10 in the peaks. The northern end is well patronised on weekdays but carries fresh air on weekends as North Sydney becomes deserted.

M30 - Highly successful at the northern end. Unfortunately suffers from bunching as it uses George St. Can't comment about the southern end as I haven't used it sufficiently frequently but should be a very welcome addition for Newtown/Sydney Uni passengers, as well as being Prepay.

M40 - Not sure about its off peak loadings at the northern end, as 272 off peak (30 min frequency) was axed in 2006 due to lack of patronage. However the fact that it takes pax from somewhere further south of Wynyard to Northbridge in very little time is quite attractive. Hopefully patronage builds up even further. Eastern end is a no brainer -- no matter how many buses you throw at the Oxford St corridor, it will be used!

M41 - mixed reactions. The route I love the most as it almost goes past my place! Not having replaced any routes has certainly made this route a very welcome addition to basically everywhere it serves, but at the same time is a costly exercise in duplicated services, especially between Ryde and North Strathfield (Routes 458/9). Having said that, people are embracing this route. On weekends when 459 doesn't run, there are often people waiting at 459 only stops on Concord Road. The Hospital is a little over serviced, but hey it's good for pax! The Limited Stops part of M41 (Burwood - Bexley Nth) was quite confusing at first, but I think people are used to it. Very prone to late running however :(

M50 - A very welcome addition to the Eastern end. Weekend loadings can be quite spectacular if weather is fine as the crowds are drawn to Coogee Beach. Pretty sure the western end also welcomes more buses with seats rather than having to cram on to the already crowded 500 series services.

M52 - already mentioned. A well overdue frequency upgrade.

M54 - don't use it frequently enough.

M60 - presumably carries fresh air everywhere?

M61 - well loaded. Welcome frequency upgrade in the off peak + weekends. Shame it doesn't entirely replace 610X -- so now you have 610/610X/M61 to pick and choose between! :p Should be made Prepay Only to force pax into better habits :p

M90 - well loaded, esp peaks ex Burwood. Welcome frequency upgrade.

M91 - never been on it. However, with 910 having its frequency upgraded in 2009, it's certainly welcome to see more buses on the route.

M92 - shame that it doesn't carry more people, as it carves out a new corridor (similar to M20 south) between Parramatta and Lidcombe. Can be prone to early running at this stage due to lack of patronage between the abovementioned locations, but hopefully it improves.
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Re: Metrobus a few years on: a success?

Postby swtt » Thu Apr 28, 2011 6:44 pm

Xplorer wrote:Don't think M20's that successful, especially when no access to Lane Cove is permitted
M40? Well, 333 is quicker
M50? More like a Drummoyne local at the western end
M41? Metrobus carpark on Concord Road
M10? Didn't the government want a tram from Leichhardt to City, as well as City to Maroubra?
M30? What's the loading like from Sydenham to Enmore?
M92? Nobody really needs it from Rosehill to Lidcombe
M52 and M54 are good
Not sure M61's that good now, given the bus priority lane on M2 is scrapped
So overall, not that successful


That's rather pessimistic! :p
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Re: Metrobus a few years on: a success?

Postby B10MFella » Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:00 pm

M60: Refrigerated air outside peak, took the strain off 600 which served its purpose. Good loading Parra to Pennant Hills during peak. Air carrier from penno up to Hornsby.

M61: Is simply not frequent enough to satisfy demand for service (another 200 hundred buses deployed this year en route to city from the hills would dent loading as interim). M61;all full in and out any time, any day. Add M2 issue and it's lost effectiveness altogether as turn around and timetabling is shot.

In all honesty Metrobus is a poor man's rail network. Most of the metrobus routes are either substituting light rail or trams, or heavy rail. M10/20. M61 especially. M54 another case in example.

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Re: Metrobus a few years on: a success?

Postby Xplorer » Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:49 pm

Why is a high frequency bus necessary between Pennant Hills and Hornsby? The trains are hardly full during off peaks, even though it is at 15 minutes frequencies, so why add the bus? Should this become the first metrobus with peak hour extensions? Shouldn't that mean they should turn 422 into a metrobus, because the trains are running at 10 minutes frequencies on the Illawarra Line? Look at Canberra, Route 300 operates at 15 minute frequencies till approximately 11:30 pm, why isn't there any bus operating at that frequency in Sydney at that time of the day? Get the buses off the street where it is not needed, and put more on route such as M54 and M52
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Re: Metrobus a few years on: a success?

Postby swtt » Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:57 pm

Xplorer wrote:Why is a high frequency bus necessary between Pennant Hills and Hornsby? The trains are hardly full during off peaks, even though it is at 15 minutes frequencies, so why add the bus? Should this become the first metrobus with peak hour extensions? Shouldn't that mean they should turn 422 into a metrobus, because the trains are running at 10 minutes frequencies on the Illawarra Line? Look at Canberra, Route 300 operates at 15 minute frequencies till approximately 11:30 pm, why isn't there any bus operating at that frequency in Sydney at that time of the day? Get the buses off the street where it is not needed, and put more on route such as M54 and M52


Where do you terminate 6 buses an hour at Pennant Hills without clogging up the dead end street?
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Re: Metrobus a few years on: a success?

Postby bus909 » Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:13 pm

swtt wrote:
Xplorer wrote:Why is a high frequency bus necessary between Pennant Hills and Hornsby? The trains are hardly full during off peaks, even though it is at 15 minutes frequencies, so why add the bus? Should this become the first metrobus with peak hour extensions? Shouldn't that mean they should turn 422 into a metrobus, because the trains are running at 10 minutes frequencies on the Illawarra Line? Look at Canberra, Route 300 operates at 15 minute frequencies till approximately 11:30 pm, why isn't there any bus operating at that frequency in Sydney at that time of the day? Get the buses off the street where it is not needed, and put more on route such as M54 and M52


Where do you terminate 6 buses an hour at Pennant Hills without clogging up the dead end street?



Agreed! Pennant Hills dont have enough room for m60 to lay-over.
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Re: Metrobus a few years on: a success?

Postby B10MFella » Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:48 pm

4pm to 7pm there isn't enough room to swing a cat.. Literally Railway street is gridlocked. Problem is pennant hills road more so... Late running compounds things.

M60, and 632 run to hornsby, 632 is total waste. That's without getting started on how much wastage there is on M60...
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Re: Metrobus a few years on: a success?

Postby Tonymercury » Fri Apr 29, 2011 5:31 am

M41 seems to have established a market from Marsfield to Mac Uni station.
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Re: Metrobus a few years on: a success?

Postby swtt » Fri Apr 29, 2011 7:23 am

Tonymercury wrote:M41 seems to have established a market from Marsfield to Mac Uni station.


Primarily because no route has run there in the direction it does, and is far more frequent than the bloody 292! :p

I think the STA/MoT has made a great decision to send the M41 into Marsfield rather than terminate it at Lyon Park or Eden Park Road as originally intended.
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Re: Metrobus a few years on: a success?

Postby shovelyjoe » Fri Apr 29, 2011 7:38 am

Just an observation, a friend and I were on a M60 service from Hornsby to Pennant Hills on a Saturday late afternoon and there were consistently about 10 or so passengers on board including ourselves. This isn't bad in my opinion for a late afternoon trip on a Saturday especially considering the frequency of the service.
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Re: Metrobus a few years on: a success?

Postby swtt » Fri Apr 29, 2011 7:58 am

shovelyjoe wrote:Just an observation, a friend and I were on a M60 service from Hornsby to Pennant Hills on a Saturday late afternoon and there were consistently about 10 or so passengers on board including ourselves. This isn't bad in my opinion for a late afternoon trip on a Saturday especially considering the frequency of the service.


I hope it has lured people out of their polluting private motor vehicles and on to the buses. I'm sure the M41 has -- weekday patronage has built up steadily, especially the off peak. During the peaks patronage between Concord and Ryde isn't terrific due to the Concord Road car park as Xplorer has mentioned, but also as the frequency is bumped up to 10 min with trains running quite frequently between Epping/Strathfield, it attract less people on to the service than during the off peaks.
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Re: Metrobus a few years on: a success?

Postby Mike M » Fri Apr 29, 2011 8:48 am

The question has to be asked is whether the Metrobus routes have achieved anything that couldn't have been done by putting extra resources on existing routes where demand justified it?
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Re: Metrobus a few years on: a success?

Postby Glen » Fri Apr 29, 2011 1:12 pm

Xplorer wrote:Why is a high frequency bus necessary between Pennant Hills and Hornsby? The trains are hardly full during off peaks, even though it is at 15 minutes frequencies, so why add the bus?
M60 is all about cross-regional travel not local travel.

M60 offers new links between Castle Hill, Cherrybrook and Hornsby. The alternative of changing to trains is not as appealing to the motorists we are trying to encourage.

I see M60's in the AM peak around Baulkham Hills and my only question is why did they keep those old 600's from Cherrybrook, they seem to unnecessarily add to capacity on the corridor.

(Oh, my other question is why do they run yellow 600's at night instead of the whole corridor being red, using short-workers).

As everyone has said, M61 created a dog’s breakfast of routes. We now have the silly situation (off-peak and weekends) of longer distance pax from the Kellyville area taking the slow boat (610) through Lane Cove whilst the short-running services from Castle Hill (M61) go express.

To me it would make more sense to extend M61 to Rouse Hill, obviously with some trips terminating at Castle Hill, and figure out another way to serve Lane Cove in the off-peak.

I used to think we did not need any off-peak M2 service to Lane Cove but small numbers do board/alight many of the off-peak and even night trips I have seen more recently, not always of course.
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Re: Metrobus a few years on: a success?

Postby VivalaBuses » Fri Apr 29, 2011 4:22 pm

Glen wrote:I see M60's in the AM peak around Baulkham Hills and my only question is why did they keep those old 600's from Cherrybrook, they seem to unnecessarily add to capacity on the corridor.

The M60 doesn't do the full loop of Cherrybrook (i.e. misses out on David Rd and Purchase Rd)

I'm not sure if it's just me, but I have seen M61s carrying very few pax sometimes!
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Re: Metrobus a few years on: a success?

Postby Glen » Fri Apr 29, 2011 5:07 pm

soulblade wrote:
Glen wrote:I see M60's in the AM peak around Baulkham Hills and my only question is why did they keep those old 600's from Cherrybrook, they seem to unnecessarily add to capacity on the corridor.

The M60 doesn't do the full loop of Cherrybrook (i.e. misses out on David Rd and Purchase Rd)

Yes that's true but one wonders if some sort of transfer could not have been arranged at Castle Hill. As it is those trips cost 3 extra buses in the AM peak.

Sometimes when I see the 600's north of Baulkham Hills TAFE there are so few pax on them I wonder at the likelihood that any of those pax came from the loop that only 600 serves or were they just pax picked up along the common road. I'd be guessing mostly the latter.

soulblade wrote:I'm not sure if it's just me, but I have seen M61s carrying very few pax sometimes!

Depends on time of day and direction. If it is school term, I think they are pretty well used to the City until midday and return afterwards. Weekends popular too especially Saturday nights.
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Re: Metrobus a few years on: a success?

Postby bus909 » Fri Apr 29, 2011 8:37 pm

Today I ride M92 from Bankstown at 2:05pm, Decide to go Parramatta, timetable say will get there at 3:03pm, So some people take M92 to near Lidcombe area and None of them student board on m92 then one student waiting at TAFE then drop them off at Lidcombe station then just me to go through Parramatta road then Rose Hill then arrive parramatta at 2:40pm. So...23 minutes early!?
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Re: Metrobus a few years on: a success?

Postby Glen » Fri Apr 29, 2011 8:40 pm

bus909 wrote:Today I ride M92 from Bankstown at 2:05pm, Decide to go Parramatta, timetable say will get there at 3:03pm, So some people take M92 to near Lidcombe area and None of them student board on m92 then one student waiting at TAFE then drop them off at Lidcombe station then just me to go through Parramatta road then Rose Hill then arrive parramatta at 2:40pm. So...23 minutes early!?

These M92 observations are very helpful, so keep them coming. Thanks!
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Re: Metrobus a few years on: a success?

Postby bus909 » Fri Apr 29, 2011 9:06 pm

Glen wrote:
bus909 wrote:Today I ride M92 from Bankstown at 2:05pm, Decide to go Parramatta, timetable say will get there at 3:03pm, So some people take M92 to near Lidcombe area and None of them student board on m92 then one student waiting at TAFE then drop them off at Lidcombe station then just me to go through Parramatta road then Rose Hill then arrive parramatta at 2:40pm. So...23 minutes early!?

These M92 observations are very helpful, so keep them coming. Thanks!



I have been ride m92 many time, I notied m92 now start arrive Parramatta Interchange for start trips. them come 5 minutes late when timetable is correct and them extra wait until about 3 minutes then leave and arrive Lidcombe station 5 minutes early, But most of them EARLY between Padstow and Sutherland in area like Menai, Bangors driver always waiting extra time to wait for timetable to correct. I think them should changed timetable and reduce wait time, and let driver conti to go. also them should replaced 962 and extands to Croulla beach. So it will become popular for sure.
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Re: Metrobus a few years on: a success?

Postby kitkat271 » Fri Apr 29, 2011 10:12 pm

I think the M60 does a lot better than we give it credit for. Even between Penno and Hornsby. The few times I have caught it from Hornsby on a weekend I have always got on with 5 or so PET pax and they have almost always gotten off between Hornsby and Thornleigh - an area not previously served by high frequency buses (if at all) and not within walking distance of railway stations. That alone means the service could be a really worthwhile one.

I also caught the M60 from Penno - Castle Hill and back the other Saturday and it carried 10-15 pax both directions (and not all PET pax) - some pax already on the bus when boarding at Penno and at Castle Hill.
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Re: Metrobus a few years on: a success?

Postby swtt » Fri Apr 29, 2011 10:18 pm

kitkat271 wrote:I think the M60 does a lot better than we give it credit for.


...plus I think we ought to give it time to build up its patronage base. M60/91/92 have only been introduced for 2-3 months at most.

But with the recent observations, I think it goes to show that "send the buses in" and people will eventually desert their evil polluting private motor vehicles! :p
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