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NSW On Demand Buses

Sydney / New South Wales Transport Discussion

Re: NSW On Demand Buses

Postby moa999 » Thu Aug 02, 2018 11:07 am

Would the RTBU like to quote the same figures for every other form of transport in Sydney...
Given farebox recovery
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Re: NSW On Demand Buses

Postby boronia » Thu Aug 02, 2018 12:17 pm

Guess the problem here is, as usual, the drivers won't be RTBU members?

Given their inability to understand how bus privatisation works, can we trust them to be accurate with their mathematics?
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Re: NSW On Demand Buses

Postby Swift » Thu Aug 02, 2018 1:20 pm

It's amazing how willing the Liberal "small government" ideologues willing to splurge taxpayer funds on their ideologically driven pet projects.
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Re: NSW On Demand Buses

Postby rogf24 » Thu Aug 02, 2018 2:25 pm

It'll take a while to bring down the cost of these services to normal bus levels, give it some time, this on-demand thing is still very new. It's worth remembering that services like Uber are still not profitable and it's basically heavily subsidised by VCs. We won't be seeing these new types of services like this if governments or VCs aren't willing to spend money to at least try these things out and build scale.
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Re: NSW On Demand Buses

Postby tonyp » Thu Aug 02, 2018 2:36 pm

rogf24 wrote:It'll take a while to bring down the cost of these services to normal bus levels, give it some time, this on-demand thing is still very new. It's worth remembering that services like Uber are still not profitable and it's basically heavily subsidised by VCs. We won't be seeing these new types of services like this if governments or VCs aren't willing to spend money to at least try these things out and build scale.

Such sensible considerations don't prevent the Tele running a story of course!
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Re: NSW On Demand Buses

Postby Swift » Thu Aug 02, 2018 2:56 pm

I have nothing against it as long as the cost recovery improves well beyond 3%. Beyond 100% should be the goal.
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Re: NSW On Demand Buses

Postby thunderbird » Fri Aug 03, 2018 4:47 pm

I still stand by my earlier claims, in relation to my experience with Transdev on demand, there is a severe limitation with the software stopping on demand buses from being profitable (or not as un-profitable).

Before I start saying what's wrong with it, I must start by saying that every time I have used the service, it has been on time, clean, and professionally operated.

Having said that:
- I am only successful in booking a service 50% of the time, usually for off peak weekday journeys. Despite the wording of the FAQ, the app does not suggest an available time if your requested time is booked, so you are left in vain trying other times, usually with no success.
- I have used the service 12 times now, each time I have been the only passenger on board.
- My visual observations, looking from the outside into the vehicle in the Sutherland/Gymea area, is that the mini bus is only being utilised by one passenger at a time.
- I am yet to experience, nor have any of the drivers I have spoken to experienced, a deviation to a pick up another passenger en route (similar to Uber Pool, which does this very well). It seems like their booking system is "pick this person up, take the to their destination"... and so forth.

Until the on demand bus, is operated like a public vehicle, and not a subsidised taxi, passenger numbers and hence revenue will be limited.
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Re: NSW On Demand Buses

Postby Frosty » Fri Aug 03, 2018 6:31 pm

UberPool is centred around the Sydney CBD and densely populated areas of the inner city & lower north shore. It be interesting if UberPool is making a profit in Sydney.
Big benefit for UberPool vs On Demand is simply costs UberPool costs are all down to the independent contractor. On Demand is operating as glorified dial-a-ride service.
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On-Demand buses

Postby Newcastle Flyer » Fri Aug 03, 2018 9:04 pm

Instead of being just run between 09:00 & 16:00 weekdays, 07:00 (09:00 Sundays) & 18:00 weekends (as just one example), the on-demand services should be mainly aimed at when normal timetabled bus routes aren't running, or where their are large gaps between bus routes.

The boundaries also need to be more nearer such stuff as shopping centres, instead of one boundary being about half way through.

But they need to be given more time to see if they will succeed - obviously one hasn't succeeded.

Question: If two On-Demand(OD) bus areas share a boundary with each other & you need to travel from one to the another - (obviously you'd need to change to another OD bus) do you have to pay two separate fares, or would it be some sort of joint fare, or would it depend?
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Re: NSW On Demand Buses

Postby rogf24 » Fri Aug 03, 2018 11:56 pm

Most people won't notice it but Uber Pool is not the same as Uber Pool overseas, what Uber has launched in Australia is Uber Express Pool.
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Re: NSW On Demand Buses

Postby Swift » Sat Aug 04, 2018 1:52 pm

What is the main difference and is it any better for drivers and passengers alike than the dreaded overseas one?
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Re: NSW On Demand Buses

Postby Passenger 57 » Mon Aug 06, 2018 12:38 am

rogf24 wrote:It'll take a while to bring down the cost of these services to normal bus levels, give it some time, this on-demand thing is still very new. It's worth remembering that services like Uber are still not profitable and it's basically heavily subsidised by VCs. We won't be seeing these new types of services like this if governments or VCs aren't willing to spend money to at least try these things out and build scale.

The on-demand trials could be run much more cheaply and presumably better resourced by using taxis or Uber. I've never understood why only bus companies are operating the trials here. Something is very wrong if each ride costs $180.
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Re: On-Demand buses

Postby Passenger 57 » Mon Aug 06, 2018 12:42 am

Newcastle Flyer wrote:Question: If two On-Demand(OD) bus areas share a boundary with each other & you need to travel from one to the another - (obviously you'd need to change to another OD bus) do you have to pay two separate fares, or would it be some sort of joint fare, or would it depend?

I'm not aware of any of the trials offering integrated fares but presumably fare integration will be considered as part of the earlier mentioned IPART review - and knowing IPART and the terms of the referral probably rejected.
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Eastern Suburbs Trial Changes

Postby Passenger 57 » Mon Aug 06, 2018 1:12 am

There is an announcement on the Ride-Plus site about massive changes to the Eastern Suburb trial. The current trial will end on Fri Aug 17 and a new trial will begin on Monday Aug 20. Pretty much everything about the current trial is changing: operator, service area, operating hours, hubs and fares. The most significant changes in my view are the dropping of the bus/rail interchanges leaving only Rose Bay wharf (which is near to New South Head road bus services) and the complete withdrawal of service between 9am and 3pm on weekdays. Hardly, seems like transport on demand but it seems a much more sustainable model. No mention of connecting services but presumably some commonsense will prevail.
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Re: NSW On Demand Buses

Postby moa999 » Mon Aug 06, 2018 1:29 am

Interesting given that ride numbers in the East/Manly appeared high (although unsure if numbers were combined)
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Re: NSW On Demand Buses

Postby Fleet Lists » Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:18 am

The change is now also on the Bridj website at https://www.bridj.com/sydney-east
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Re: NSW On Demand Buses

Postby moa999 » Mon Aug 06, 2018 12:42 pm

Map is very different to rideplus l.
Basically everything east of the golf courses.

Wonder if it will increase use of Rose Bay ferry for Bondi area residents, obviously with some additional cost
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Re: NSW On Demand Buses

Postby Newcastle Flyer » Mon Aug 06, 2018 1:01 pm

Okay, okay who used grey text on a white background? Although not as bad as white text on black background
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Re: NSW On Demand Buses

Postby mandonov » Mon Aug 06, 2018 1:52 pm

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Re: NSW On Demand Buses

Postby Frosty » Mon Aug 06, 2018 8:16 pm

Another 7news exclusive this in regards to On Demand buses in the Manly area
https://twitter.com/7NewsSydney/status/ ... 4881127426
Basically an expanded operated area out to Seaforth & Dee Why.

Now this answers the question it was the Manly area that had high patronage not the Eastern Suburbs. Also partially explains Bridj taking over from Transdev in the East buses being reallocated to Manly.

moa999 wrote:Map is very different to rideplus l.
Basically everything east of the golf courses.

Wonder if it will increase use of Rose Bay ferry for Bondi area residents, obviously with some additional cost


I doubt it would increase the use of Rose Bay ferry for Bondi area residents as it probably is more convenient still to use bus & rail.

I would be interested if they trial on demand closer to the inner-city for example within Newtown, Surry Hills and Green Square. It be very popular cheaper than UberPool or X.
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Re: NSW On Demand Buses

Postby Fleet Lists » Mon Aug 06, 2018 8:55 pm

It is not that exclusive as the information is also available at http://www.ride-plus.com.au/manly-service-changes
From 6am Monday 20 August Ride Plus On Demand services will expand to include Seaforth, North Balgowlah, Manly Vale, North Curl Curl and parts of Dee Why and Brookvale.

see the expanded map at http://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/d13d5c_b9 ... e360fb.pdf
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Re: NSW On Demand Buses

Postby OTR all day » Tue Aug 07, 2018 10:44 am

Frosty wrote:Another 7news exclusive this in regards to On Demand buses in the Manly area
https://twitter.com/7NewsSydney/status/ ... 4881127426
Basically an expanded operated area out to Seaforth & Dee Why.

Now this answers the question it was the Manly area that had high patronage not the Eastern Suburbs. Also partially explains Bridj taking over from Transdev in the East buses being reallocated to Manly.


I don't think the decision to put birdj in Bondi is demand related. Bridj in Western Syd didn't work and they want to know whether it is the model or just the area. So they plonk Bridj into a proven high demand area and see what happens.
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Re: NSW On Demand Buses

Postby OTR all day » Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:05 am

Passenger 57 wrote:The on-demand trials could be run much more cheaply and presumably better resourced by using taxis or Uber. I've never understood why only bus companies are operating the trials here. Something is very wrong if each ride costs $180.


Some taxi companies and uber did respond to the initial Request for Information (Tender). I guess they don't offer what the government is looking for. Bus companies can tightly control their personnel selection, training, procedure, vehicle quality, cleanliness, branding, service level, support infrastructure, pay and staff support, etc etc. Can't do any of that with taxis or uber. Government like to avoid bad press and you certainly hear more bad news from taxis and uber than buses.

The minister said on 7 news that average across the board is around $75 per trip. Still a lot higher than other form of public transport but cost will reduce over time. More so since they have terminated bridj in Western Syd.
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Re: NSW On Demand Buses

Postby OTR all day » Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:19 am

mubd wrote:The biggest problem I have with these on-demand buses is the 100 different systems they are using which vary from region to region. Some don't allow payment by anything other than credit card, some do (by cash or Opal Pay). Some allow bookings to be made by calling on the phone (perfect for the elderly), while others don't. Some services have concession fares, while others don't. I think the fares are extremely low for what the service is, but when they aren't integrated into Opal, they have to be low in order to be viable.

Because each region has its own monopoly on-demand transport provider, it is not an intuitive solution to have 100 different apps installed on the phone to cover all of Sydney. I think TfNSW must develop their own booking system, integrate Opal into the system and standardise fare rules for this to work properly.


There are 5 - 6 different systems operating. The trial evaluates systems as well as vehicle types, operating hours, service area, contact method and service models. I think they will pick the best 1 or 2 at the end of the trial.

How long did it take to get the unified transport payment system that we have today up and running again, around 15 years? So off the shelf is much quicker than build from scratch.
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Re: NSW On Demand Buses

Postby moa999 » Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:59 pm

OTR all day wrote:I don't think the decision to put birdj in Bondi is demand related. Bridj in Western Syd didn't work and they want to know whether it is the model or just the area. .


Yep. Looks like just a reallocation of resources to the popular areas.

East buses go to manly allowing expansion.
West buses go east with a slight refocus of area.
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