Use of Back Door on Buses

Sydney / New South Wales Transport Discussion
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Swift
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Post by Swift »

Bus divers are there to drive and throw the switches to all doors, not be police men. That's what ticket inspectors do.
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BroadGauge
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Post by BroadGauge »

When I previously lived in Melbourne, the route that I used to have to travel on had around a 70-80% fare evasion rate and nobody seemed too ashamed to not touch on when boarding at the front. Still plenty pushing their way on at the back though, often giving the driver a mouthful of abuse if they closed the back door before they could board through there :twisted:

Occasionally I travel by bus in Canberra, and have noticed that passengers boarding through the rear door (which is actually allowed!) don't seem any more likely to be fare evading than anybody else. The bigger issue there is with some drivers who like to ignore their new policies about rear doors, and continue to stricly enforce the previous "REAR DOOR IS FOR ALIGHTING ONLY AT INTERCHANGES" rule.

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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Post by Merc1107 »

neilrex wrote:Nearly all of the back-door boarders I observe in Melbourne are feral teen fare-evaders.
At the end of the day, if they're not caught fare-evading, they still stand to loose out (particularly with night services) - bus services need good patronage to continue operating; if people consistently flaunt the system, on paper the numbers won't be adequate and services will be cut.

I don't have a problem with drivers calling out passengers attempting to rear-door board without paying. Most are quite sympathetic if you enter via the front and politely ask for a free ride. On the other hand, being rude about isn't likely to do you any favours!

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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Post by tonyp »

In the end we have to break loose from the perception that a bus driver has to also be responsible for revenue protection when tram, train and ferry drivers don't. As with the other modes, the revenue protection task should fall to RPOs, access-point gatekeeping etc, but not the vehicle driver. Really, what's different about buses? Nothing, except a preserved archaic practice from an earlier era of a different method of ticketing. That old method has basically contracted to rural areas only.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Post by David10 »

tonyp wrote:Not many out of total numbers would be required as tram drivers.
Given that there are only going to be 60 trams, that will mainly operate in pairs, so in effect 30, obviously far less drivers will be needed compared to the number required for the 1,500 State Transit fleet.
Swift wrote:David10 why do you jump to the worst conclusions based on the slightest criticism on your sacred cow bus worker mates? Fact of the matter is they are not and never ever will get immunity from well deserved criticism.
Not suggesting that bus drivers are perfect or should be immune from criticism. Like in any organisation, there are those that go over and beyond the call of duty and those that are below par. Despite protestations and frantic back peddling when it is called out, is is obvious Tony has a loathing of STA bus drivers and their union and seems to relish in the prospect at drivers potentially losing their jobs. Sad really.

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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Post by Fleet Lists »

David10 wrote:
tonyp wrote:Not many out of total numbers would be required as tram drivers.
Given that there are only going to be 60 trams, that will mainly operate in pairs, so in effect 30, obviously far less drivers will be needed compared to the number required for the 1,500 State Transit fleet.
That is an unreal comparison as only a small percentage of the 1500 STA drivers are involved - not the whole 1500.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Post by Swift »

David10 wrote:
Despite protestations and frantic back peddling when it is called out, is is obvious Tony has a loathing of STA bus drivers and their union and seems to relish in the prospect at drivers potentially losing their jobs. Sad really.
Based on a couple of specific occasions he called out driver behaviour, he has a general loathing of STA drivers in general? I don't agree there.
His misgivings are clearly with the culture from top down. Not with most employees exclusively.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Post by tonyp »

David10 wrote:Not suggesting that bus drivers are perfect or should be immune from criticism. Like in any organisation, there are those that go over and beyond the call of duty and those that are below par. Despite protestations and frantic back peddling when it is called out, is is obvious Tony has a loathing of STA bus drivers and their union and seems to relish in the prospect at drivers potentially losing their jobs. Sad really.
Looking back over many decades of riding guv'mint buses, I have come across many pleasant drivers in that time but I have to say overall and in general that "customer focus" has never been one of government operations' strong points since the 1950s through to today and the distinct feeling you get as a passenger/customer is that you're "the enemy" or at best tolerated at arms length, both out on the road and by the "back office". In saying that, I appreciate that government drivers work in a very stressful traffic environment (which is one very good reason that they shouldn't have to have the additional responsibility of revenue-protection) and, being public servants, have to work in a corporate environment in which they're not always appreciated by their employer and are readily told when they do something wrong but never thanked when they do something right or well (been there, done that) - which is not exactly motivational.

The public service and its employees shouldn't be doing direct face-to-face business with customers. Despite their description, ironically, nowadays it's not in their nature to be genuine servants of the public (though it was once, back in a day when it was considered an honour) and this is a role best left to the private sector which is strongly motivated to perform it properly.

I feel that few, if any, jobs will be lost with privatisation (even with trams) because the same task is still there, but with a different employer. I've had my say in the past about the RTBU and its somewhat destructive role in undermining effective bus operation, but nowadays it seems to me that TfNSW is more the culprit.

What I've said is quite mild compared to what my dad used to say about both DGT management and some of the drivers when he used to work there! He considered the organisation moribund and he couldn't wait to get the hell out into the private sector, which he did. Personally I lived and worked on the overlap between government and private bus services much of my life and riding private was always a much, much better experience.

Edit: And thanks Swift. Yes it is a top-down problem.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Post by burrumbus »

Agreed with all that Tony,but the issues have become larger since TFNSW's advent and their more ranging remit over the industry.

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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Post by Fleet Lists »

Post which had absolutely nothing to do with back doors on buses and was leading into a totally different discussion, has been deleted from this thread.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Post by tonyp »

burrumbus wrote:Agreed with all that Tony,but the issues have become larger since TFNSW's advent and their more ranging remit over the industry.
Visible in public by petty restrictions imposed by TfNSW on private operations that private operators, if left to themselves, would be more pragmatic and sensible about. Oh for a good transport agency in NSW.

Going back to the trigger for this discussion, the STA driver who drew a limit at 15 standees in an artic, the immediate target for blame might superficially be the driver, but the background is the huge failure of management (and its lack of clarity and consistency) all the way up to the top at TfNSW that systemically enables such situations to arise at all.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Post by burrumbus »

Agreed.Pax restrictions like that just really annoy the pax,who really can not see the sense of such policies.It puts doubts,like many other things about the reliability of the services.People do vote with their feet.That's why patronage( in real terms )has declined over 5 decades.The bus side of the industry needs to be freed from the over regulation that infests it.
Could I point to the absolute success of many of the contract and free shuttle services that have been introduced over the past 10 years or so to see the way forward.E.g.Baylink,Artarmon Loop.

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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Post by Swift »

IN noticed the driver was letting people exit through the centre door on Busways route 53 today Woy Woy to Booker Bay loop.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Post by Frosty »

burrumbus wrote:Agreed.Pax restrictions like that just really annoy the pax,who really can not see the sense of such policies.It puts doubts,like many other things about the reliability of the services.People do vote with their feet.That's why patronage( in real terms )has declined over 5 decades.The bus side of the industry needs to be freed from the over regulation that infests it.
Could I point to the absolute success of many of the contract and free shuttle services that have been introduced over the past 10 years or so to see the way forward.E.g.Baylink,Artarmon Loop.

But does bus industry prefer to keep itself in the over regulated sphere to increase barriers of entry reducing competition making the incumbents life easier. There needs to be significant deregulation basically we need the same disruption Uber brought to the archaic tax industry to buses.

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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Post by rogf24 »

I don't think it needs to be deregulated on the business and competition side as with Uber and companies like that. But it does need to be deregulated on the operations side for government and government-contracted services, like unsupervised all-door boarding and getting rid of standee limits below actual legal capacity.

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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Post by Swift »

We don't want to go down the 1980s path Britain went down where it became a virtual free for all and they ended up having to reign it in again with some rules introduced.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Post by rogf24 »

Yeah, London managed to resist the deregulation unlike other parts of Britain and they have a bus service that's much better than the rest of the country. They have private bus operators in London but they're all kept on a leash with TfL unlike other parts of Britain. They were quite lucky there but their service isn't up to continental standards though.

Having said that though. I could imagine, with Robo-vehicles coming along, that private companies (not government-contracted) will launch their own cheap, fixed route services similar to the dollar vans in NYC but without a driver. It could soon be feasible since the high cost of drivers won't be there and they won't need state government approval for it (I mean just look at Baylink). It will operate alongside government services just like in NYC.

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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Post by rogf24 »

I just had to swap buses for some reason. The driver of the connecting bus left both doors open and people transferred to the other bus by entering the centre door. Oh no, so dangerous. It's night and it's raining heavily, something would have been bound to go wrong in these terrible conditions. Nope, everyone transferred to the connecting with a number of people using the centre door quite safely, in the dark and in the rain. Thank you driver.

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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Post by tonyp »

Here from Scania Japan are some photos of new Volgren-bodied Scania N series, celebrated by the Japanese for their fully low floor. The fractured google translation of the Japanese write-up:
The full flat bus of Scania was officially announced at the Tokyo Governorate in Tokyo Metropolitan Government today. Since there is no step to the floor behind and flat, it eliminates the flow of people who tend to stay ahead, and it is expected to play a role as a new route bus that anyone can ride comfortably. The first Japanese bus is scheduled to operate between Otsuka and Kinshicho stations on 25th December.
Which is to say that the stepless gangway unblocks the tendency of people to stay at the front of the bus and makes the bus more comfortable for anybody. PTV wrote similar words recently when announcing the Volgren/Volvo low floors for Latrobe Valley and CDC. Great work Volgren, our best manufacturer.

Image

Image

Image

I guess "full flat bus" is an example of what they mean when they say something is "lost in the translation"!

I'm intrigued as to how those seats in the wheelchair area can be folded away, if they are?
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Post by boronia »

Possibly the back folds down, and the base in hinged off the side wall? This would be more fiddly to use, esp for some people in wheelchairs. I see there are securing straps on the handrails.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Post by tonyp »

boronia wrote:Possibly the back folds down, and the base in hinged off the side wall? This would be more fiddly to use, esp for some people in wheelchairs. I see there are securing straps on the handrails.
We have one of those stored away from the time of the littlies. It's called a Barbie Bus! ;)
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Post by rogf24 »

All door boarding (I guess unauthorised but bus driver was willing to let passengers board) in Melbourne at Chadstone with Boxing Day sales crowds. Video from PTUA.
https://twitter.com/ptua/status/1077756399277432832

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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Post by BroadGauge »

rogf24 wrote:All door boarding (I guess unauthorised but bus driver was willing to let passengers board)
In Melbourne it's quite common for passengers to barge on at the back door, even though it's not actually permitted.

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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Post by Swift »

BroadGauge wrote:
rogf24 wrote:All door boarding (I guess unauthorised but bus driver was willing to let passengers board)
In Melbourne it's quite common for passengers to barge on at the back door, even though it's not actually permitted.
It would be great if it would spread to Sydney. It was slow enough in the footage with the all door boarding going on. It would have been glacial without.
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Re: Use of Back Door on Buses

Post by tonyp »

It seems to be a rule casually and pragmatically honoured in the breach in Victoria, not enforced with fanatical rigidity like in NSW. Good on them.

From what I could tell from the image, the slow loading is because it's a single-leaf door.
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