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NSW On Demand Buses

Sydney / New South Wales Transport Discussion

Re: Sydney commuters get chance to trial on-demand buses

Postby Liamena » Tue Aug 22, 2017 9:56 am

So, if the train from Woy Woy runs once an hour ... and it does have a timetable... then when do you have to call the bus to get to the station, when you got no idea how long the bus is going to take ?
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Re: Sydney commuters get chance to trial on-demand buses

Postby boronia » Tue Aug 22, 2017 10:59 am

Depending on how far you are from the station, there would have to be a deadline for booking the bus to meet a particular train. You wouldn't be able to ring up 10 minutes before if you were 15+ minutes drive away.

Once all the bookings are in, the app should be able to work out the most efficient route and it would advise you of an expected arrival time.
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Re: Sydney commuters get chance to trial on-demand buses

Postby Stu » Wed Aug 23, 2017 12:21 pm

The rtbu claim that on demand buses have failed in so many countries. I read a different document yesterday which had a little more detail although I cannot find it or the link.
http://busexpress.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/RTBU-NSW-1708-Bus-Express-Aug-18.pdf

Transdev claim success in delivery on demand services in other countries.
https://www.transdev.com.au/media/13462/20170816-tod-pilot-combined-mr-final.pdf

It will be interesting to see if on demand buses in Sydney becomes successful or unsuccessful and the reasons and critical factors for the end result. I would presume that each country or even city would be treated uniquely and individually when researching and preparing to implement on demand bus services. Considerations such as various modes of transport, connectivity beteeen modes, transport hubs & interchanges, passenger usage of particular modes and passenger flow towards certain areas for connections as well as attitudes, incentives and disincentives towards using private vehicles to travel to and from work.

I am interested about how the scheduling software will determine the best efficiencies when prioritising pick ups, route directions and drop offs. Will it be first in best dressed? That is if the first customer to order a service has the bus driven to their location for pick up and are they also the first customer to be dropped off? It may be possible for more customers to be picked up and the bus may drive to the first customers location as the bus picks up more customers.

What happens when 10 x customers book a service in quick succession and all wish to travel to 10 x different locations? This is just an extreme hypothetical scenario however it would be interesting to see how the scheduling software would interpret this data prioritise. Would the software place priority in the reduction of dead running or would the software put the customer first - just like TfNSW do? Maybe a balance.
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Re: Sydney commuters get chance to trial on-demand buses

Postby Tonymercury » Thu Aug 24, 2017 6:03 am

Stu wrote:or would the software put the customer first - just like TfNSW do?


:roll:
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Re: Sydney commuters get chance to trial on-demand buses

Postby boronia » Thu Aug 24, 2017 11:22 am

The article talks about connections to transport hubs and shopping centres. Having a fixed destinations would be easier to organize than an "anywhere to anywhere" service (which is really the province of taxis and Uber).
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Re: Sydney commuters get chance to trial on-demand buses

Postby Fleet Lists » Thu Aug 24, 2017 4:17 pm

From https://transportnsw.info/news/2017/on- ... tral-coast

On demand transport services coming to Sydney, Central Coast
Thursday 24 August

From October, Sydneysiders will be able to book shuttle buses from or near their homes to a local transport hub as part of a state government trial of on demand public transport.

Eight trials of on demand transport services will run in Sydney’s north west, south west, west, eastern suburbs, northern beaches, Sutherland Shire and the Central Coast.

Each trial is unique and will have its own pricing scheme. Pricing for a standard trip will range from $2.60 to $5.60. Customers will be able to book online, by phone or via an app.

The trials will be in the following areas:

Bankstown: From October, an on demand service will start running to Bankstown hospital with a standard fare of $4.
Central Coast: A service to take customers to Woy Woy station from locations along the Woy Woy peninsula will start in early 2018, with fares starting from $3.10.
Edmondson Park: From early 2018, a local area service to the train station for $3.10.
Macquarie Park: A service starting early next year to transport commuters living within 15 kilometres of the precinct from $2.60.
Manly and Eastern Suburbs: From November, local bus services will run to Edgecliff and Bondi Junction stations or ferry wharves at Manly, Double Bay and Rose Bay for $3.10.
Northern Beaches: A service to begin late this year will connect customers from Palm Beach to North Narrabeen to bus stops on the upcoming Northern Beaches B-Line at a cost of $3.10.
Sutherland Shire: A service starting in November to pick customers up in Jannali West, Sylvania, Caringbah and Gymea and take them to transport hubs or local shops at a cost of $2.60.
Wetherill Park and Greystanes: A service starting late 2017 to connect employment precincts to T-Way interchanges for $3.10.

Transport for NSW will use data from the trials to plan future public transport improvements across all areas of Sydney.

Each trial will provide a standalone service that will not affect any existing local bus services.
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Re: Sydney commuters get chance to trial on-demand buses

Postby Liamena » Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:13 pm

boronia wrote:Depending on how far you are from the station, there would have to be a deadline for booking the bus to meet a particular train. You wouldn't be able to ring up 10 minutes before if you were 15+ minutes drive away.

Once all the bookings are in, the app should be able to work out the most efficient route and it would advise you of an expected arrival time.


Well that doesn't really answer my question.

If I want to go from Umina Beach to Central, then I can find out when the bus runs, and I will know it takes 19 minutes to get to Woy Woy station, and should arrive 8 minutes before the train ( including 2 minutes to walk from the bus stop to the train ). And actually, there is a bus roughly every half hour, and they all arrive at the station between 6 and 10 minutes before the train arrives.

The period, how far in advance you need to book, isn't the key problem. The problem to me would seem to be the uncertainty of travel time with all of the random deviations.

Unless the system is smart enough to somehow almost guarantee that you can be onto a specific train. And I doubt that they can make it that smart. In order to make it onto the `4:44 train, the bus driver would have to know an hour in advance how many people wanted to go, and would have to figure out whether the route will take 35 minutes or 16 minutes from Umina depending on how many people had booked to get onto the bus. For that to work, you would have to build a lot of slack time into the process, before the run. and meanwhile, other people lose the ability to just catch the bus on the side of the road without mucking around with the internet, which I for one find almost impossible on a phone.
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Re: Sydney commuters get chance to trial on-demand buses

Postby boronia » Thu Aug 24, 2017 9:40 pm

Liamena wrote:
boronia wrote:Depending on how far you are from the station, there would have to be a deadline for booking the bus to meet a particular train. You wouldn't be able to ring up 10 minutes before if you were 15+ minutes drive away.

Once all the bookings are in, the app should be able to work out the most efficient route and it would advise you of an expected arrival time.


Well that doesn't really answer my question.

If I want to go from Umina Beach to Central, then I can find out when the bus runs, and I will know it takes 19 minutes to get to Woy Woy station, and should arrive 8 minutes before the train ( including 2 minutes to walk from the bus stop to the train ). And actually, there is a bus roughly every half hour, and they all arrive at the station between 6 and 10 minutes before the train arrives.

The period, how far in advance you need to book, isn't the key problem. The problem to me would seem to be the uncertainty of travel time with all of the random deviations.

Unless the system is smart enough to somehow almost guarantee that you can be onto a specific train. And I doubt that they can make it that smart. In order to make it onto the `4:44 train, the bus driver would have to know an hour in advance how many people wanted to go, and would have to figure out whether the route will take 35 minutes or 16 minutes from Umina depending on how many people had booked to get onto the bus. For that to work, you would have to build a lot of slack time into the process, before the run. and meanwhile, other people lose the ability to just catch the bus on the side of the road without mucking around with the internet, which I for one find almost impossible on a phone.

The "expected arrival time" in my original post here should be clarified as "expected pick up time" at your location.

Using a fixed termination time at the station, the program should be able to work backwards to the first pick up point, by calculating the distance/time between each stop. Presumably, anyone using the app could see the bus approaching (by time or map). A phone booking might be given a "worst case scenario" pick up time with the proviso it might be a bit later.

It will be interesting to see the actual details, but I suspect the services would operate within defined corridors, with limited deviations from a central spine.

THis used to be done manually when scheduling airport shuttle bus pick ups.
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Re: Sydney commuters get chance to trial on-demand buses

Postby aussieboy » Mon Aug 28, 2017 10:59 pm

Stu wrote:I am interested about how the scheduling software will determine the best efficiencies when prioritising pick ups, route directions and drop offs. Will it be first in best dressed? That is if the first customer to order a service has the bus driven to their location for pick up and are they also the first customer to be dropped off? It may be possible for more customers to be picked up and the bus may drive to the first customers location as the bus picks up more customers.


Surely it will be very similar to Uber Pool.

When you request a ride, it looks at current rides in progress to see if can join those with a <5min deviation.
If not, it gives you your own vehicle. Once in the vehicle, it continually checks to see if there are other people requesting who are going to the same spot.

Extremely efficient, and if you have 2 people, it's cheaper than public transit.
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Re: Sydney commuters get chance to trial on-demand buses

Postby Swift » Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:56 pm

aussieboy wrote:
Stu wrote:

Extremely efficient, and if you have 2 people, it's cheaper than public transit.

It shouldn't be. Drivers deserve better. I have read that drivers despise Uber pool because passengers invariably moan when another passenger has to join them and they give the driver a bad rating, because they secretly expect not to have to share it and reap the benfit of the cheaper fare than UberX.
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Re: Sydney commuters get chance to trial on-demand buses

Postby Bjwh86 » Tue Aug 29, 2017 3:39 pm

This sounds like the flexilink service in Brisbane where it is operated by Maxi Taxis and they operate in "roam zones".


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Re: Sydney commuters get chance to trial on-demand buses

Postby petepot » Tue Aug 29, 2017 8:28 pm

Swift wrote:It shouldn't be. Drivers deserve better. I have read that drivers despise Uber pool because passengers invariably moan when another passenger has to join them and they give the driver a bad rating, because they secretly expect not to have to share it and reap the benfit of the cheaper fare than UberX.


why people do it?? if they expect to be the only passenger in the car they should hire a taxi and not blame the driver for their whims
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Re: Sydney commuters get chance to trial on-demand buses

Postby Liamena » Tue Aug 29, 2017 11:53 pm

aussieboy wrote:Extremely efficient, and if you have 2 people, it's cheaper than public transit.


It is extremely efficient if you are going out to a bar or a club, and getting there 5 minutes late doesn't really matter.

It is not extremely efficient if the probability of missing the train and waiting a long time for the next one is increased.

It might make more sense to provide the service for people arriving on the train and wanting to go home from the station, particularly if one minibus can service the catchment of several normal routes, for example late in the evening or the weekend.
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Re: Sydney commuters get chance to trial on-demand buses

Postby Swift » Wed Aug 30, 2017 8:32 am

What about an on demand heavy duty bus like the Volvo B12BLEA. you can (dis)please people en masse that way. Very efficient. :twisted:
Mini buses are worthless for commuter work.
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Re: Sydney commuters get chance to trial on-demand buses

Postby Stu » Wed Aug 30, 2017 4:11 pm

^ That may be a possibility. This press release was from November 2016 with a trial expected to begin in December 2017.

https://www.nsw.gov.au/news-and-events/news/on-demand-transport-trial/
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Re: Sydney commuters get chance to trial on-demand buses

Postby Frosty » Wed Aug 30, 2017 6:38 pm

Maybe it could work like on some early morning services where services are infrequent and a few passengers are left behind due to overcrowding or they're running late. Maybe this on-demand bus would work well as a hybrid school bus where the demand wouldn't warrant a traditional school bus but would cause overcrowding on standard routes.
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Re: Sydney commuters get chance to trial on-demand buses

Postby aussieboy » Wed Aug 30, 2017 6:52 pm

Liamena wrote:It is not extremely efficient if the probability of missing the train and waiting a long time for the next one is increased.


The problem here is train frequency, not the on-demand bus system. The real test of how good the service is will be in areas with frequent trunk public transport routes (e.g. Eastern Suburbs).
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Re: Sydney commuters get chance to trial on-demand buses

Postby aussieboy » Wed Aug 30, 2017 7:00 pm

Frosty wrote:Maybe it could work like on some early morning services where services are infrequent


I think it should replace any route when frequencies drop below 30mins. For example, during the day, there are no frequent buses between Coogee and Bronte (339 and 374 drop back to 30mins).

At night it's even worse - the last 2 trains to Bondi Junction after 1am have no connections to anywhere except Bondi.
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Re: Sydney commuters get chance to trial on-demand buses

Postby Frosty » Wed Aug 30, 2017 11:58 pm

Any route dropping below 30 mins that would be nearly most routes in Western Sydney.

I can see this on demand bus working in the Eastern Suburbs joining the dots since most Eastern Suburbs services are either Bondi Jn or CBD services. Like connect Edgecliff to UNSW, Or Bondi Beach to Rose Bay.
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Re: Sydney commuters get chance to trial on-demand buses

Postby kypros1992 » Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:18 am

"Trials of Transdev Link will be run in Sydney later this year, utilising ten Mercedes-Benz Sprinter buses to ferry passengers to transport hubs, business precincts and shopping centres."


https://behindthewheel.com.au/mercedes- ... sport-nsw/
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Re: Sydney commuters get chance to trial on-demand buses

Postby moa999 » Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:39 pm

kypros1992 wrote:
"Trials of Transdev Link will be run in Sydney later this year, utilising ten Mercedes-Benz Sprinter buses to ferry passengers to transport hubs, business precincts and shopping centres."


https://behindthewheel.com.au/mercedes- ... sport-nsw/
Pricing at $2.60 and $3.10 is interesting - so it's at a premium to a 0-3km bus.
And is it Opal enabled and are transfer benefits available?
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Re: Sydney commuters get chance to trial on-demand buses

Postby Fleet Lists » Thu Sep 14, 2017 2:23 pm

moa999 wrote:And is it Opal enabled and are transfer benefits available?

I would suspect not - if it was so I think it would have got a mention by now.
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Re: Sydney commuters get chance to trial on-demand buses

Postby Fleet Lists » Tue Oct 03, 2017 5:03 pm

http://www.punchbowlbus.com.au/news
On Demand Services

Punchbowl Bus Co deliver on-demand transport pilots in the local community

Sydney commuters are set for even more choice, with the launch of the first ever series of On Demand public transport trials that bring the bus to you.

Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance said the trials were a first for NSW, and would transform the daily commute for people across Sydney.

“We have on demand movies, on demand food, and finally – NSW will have on demand transport,” Mr Constance said.

Punchbowl Bus Co will partner with the Government to deliver one of the eight trials, providing on-demand services to customers in the Bankstown – Lidcombe Hospital area from October this year.

Customers will be able to simplify their commute, by booking a shuttle ride to and from their local transport hub, connecting seamlessly with trains. Alternatively an innovative Park and Ride solution has been created at the Bankstown Paceway to alleviate congestion in an around the hospital. .

Read Transport for New South Wales’ media release here: https://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/newsro ... sport-here
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Re: Sydney commuters get chance to trial on-demand buses

Postby burrumbus » Tue Oct 03, 2017 5:26 pm

This will be an interesting series of trials to see whether there will be pax uptake of these personalised services and whether new pax will be attracted or simple leakage of pax off standard route services in the areas where those services operate.
Also interesting is the selection of operators in areas not contracted to them.
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Re: Sydney commuters get chance to trial on-demand buses

Postby moa999 » Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:58 pm

Still waiting for details on what app will be used to 'hail' the service and what payment methods.

I don't want yet another app, and I want to be able to pay using Opal
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