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Is the 400 Sydney's least reliable bus service ?

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Is the 400 Sydney's least reliable bus service ?

Postby Liamena » Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:10 pm

Is the 400 Sydney's least reliable bus service ?

Since January 2016 I have taken the 400 bus to Sydney Airport, from either Banksia or Coward Street, Mascot, a total of 14 times. 5 times from Banksia and 9 times from Mascot. On a staggering 8 of those trips, I have been waiting between 40 and 50 minutes for a bus, when they are timetabled to run every 20 minutes. A lot of them don't seem to be running late because of congestion, they appear to be not running at all !

And why does the bus stop in Coward Street, Mascot, near the corner of Bourke Road, have a big sign on it "Bourke Street" ??
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Re: Is the 400 Sydney's least reliable bus service ?

Postby Stu » Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:30 pm

Some routes that are always inconsistent in regards to timetable are 370, 444 & 492. The route 400 has been enduring increased delays in recent times due to the increased traffic in and around the airport as well as the associated road works.
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Re: Is the 400 Sydney's least reliable bus service ?

Postby sunnyyan » Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:26 am

^ 444 and 492 seem to be quite reliable, especially the 444.
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Re: Is the 400 Sydney's least reliable bus service ?

Postby gld59 » Sat Sep 23, 2017 10:41 am

Liamena wrote:And why does the bus stop in Coward Street, Mascot, near the corner of Bourke Road, have a big sign on it "Bourke Street" ??

Perhaps to distinguish between the stops in Coward St at Bourke St / Bourke Rd and the stops in Coward St at Oliver St / Elphick Av?

gld
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Re: Is the 400 Sydney's least reliable bus service ?

Postby boronia » Sat Sep 23, 2017 10:53 am

gld59 wrote:
Liamena wrote:And why does the bus stop in Coward Street, Mascot, near the corner of Bourke Road, have a big sign on it "Bourke Street" ??

Perhaps to distinguish between the stops in Coward St at Bourke St / Bourke Rd and the stops in Coward St at Oliver St / Elphick Av?

gld

Bourke STREET is north of Botany Rd, Bourke ROAD is south of it.
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Re: Is the 400 Sydney's least reliable bus service ?

Postby gld59 » Sat Sep 23, 2017 11:06 am

boronia wrote:Bourke STREET is north of Botany Rd, Bourke ROAD is south of it.

Bourke Street from Cowper Wharf Roadway to Botany Road.
Bourke Road from Botany Road to Gardeners Road.
Bourke Street from Gardeners Road to Coward Street.
Bourke Road from Coward Street to O'Riordan Street.

gld
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Re: Is the 400 Sydney's least reliable bus service ?

Postby boronia » Sat Sep 23, 2017 11:16 am

Weird :?:
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Re: Is the 400 Sydney's least reliable bus service ?

Postby gld59 » Sat Sep 23, 2017 11:21 am

And annoying if you like things to be neat and/or logical. :lol:

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Re: Is the 400 Sydney's least reliable bus service ?

Postby Liamena » Sat Sep 23, 2017 11:41 am

I travel on buses all over the place, and I don't experience the level of apparently "missing" services that I get on the 400.

I also catch the 400 to other places at various times, and tend to get the same sort of nonsense on those trips too. I don't seem to hit missing services on other buses that I catch, anywhere else around the place.

I am not convinced that traffic congestion is the culprit. It seems a pretty unconvincing excuse for having to wait 50 minutes for a bus around 11:30 on a Sunday morning which wasn't the city-to-surf day.

Catching a bus away from the airport is a fairly stupid experience, too. Some idiot has moved the timetable sign so that you practically have to climb into a noisome garbage bin in order to read it.

There is no other information, and no explanation of the confusing situation by which buses to Burwood and Bondi both depart in the same direction from the same stop, resulting in people catching the wrong buses or getting involved in lengthy conversations with the bus driver, which holds up all of the other people already on the bus or trying to get onto the bus.
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Re: Is the 400 Sydney's least reliable bus service ?

Postby lunchbox » Sat Sep 23, 2017 2:36 pm

^^^^^Hear, hear, Liamena. I suggested, years ago, when the bus terminal upgrade was imminent, that the east- and west-bound stops should be separated. It fell on deaf ears.
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Re: Is the 400 Sydney's least reliable bus service ?

Postby boronia » Sat Sep 23, 2017 2:53 pm

The bus stops at the airport would come under the control of the Airport Corp, which really doesn't want buses there at all.

Wait till the new domestic "transport terminal" is finished to see how bad things will become.
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Re: Is the 400 Sydney's least reliable bus service ?

Postby hornetfig » Sat Sep 23, 2017 5:13 pm

There was a news story on this like a year ago: 389 is the least reliable bus service.

It's also the best bus service because it has a twitter: https://twitter.com/389bus
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Re: Is the 400 Sydney's least reliable bus service ?

Postby Frosty » Sat Sep 23, 2017 6:22 pm

Top spot surely has to go to the 370 with its constant late running for years. Only gotten worse thanks to LR. Always late 7 days a week it’s worse than the 400 as most delays are around the Airport. The 370 being delayed from Glebe all the way to Coogee.

There is even a FB group https://m.facebook.com/groups/226202839 ... view=group

Though the 400 trips between Eastgardens & Bondi Jn are pretty reliable.
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Re: Is the 400 Sydney's least reliable bus service ?

Postby Stu » Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:01 pm

sunnyyan wrote:^ 444 and 492 seem to be quite reliable, especially the 444.


This depends on the time of the day. Weekday peak hours are the times of concern as well as all day Saturday. The original 444/445 timetable from March 2010 was last updated in 2011 and the original 490/492 timetable from March 2010 has not had the running updated, the only update is a trial of additional services to and from Scalibrini aged care facility.

The areas most likely to cause delays for route 492 are Drummoyne, Five Dock, Burwood, Croydon, Campsie and Kingsgrove.

The delays for the 444/445 began as soon as this service was extended from Canterbury to Campsie. It is a common sight to see bunching on route 444. I believe that during the PM peak, both inbound services from Campsie and outbound services from Balmain need to be converted to short workings. The route also needs to be re-routed around Campsie:
Outbound to Campsie.
Canterbury Rd.
- (right) Duke St. (modify 'no right turn' to allow buses excepted)
- (left) Evaline St.
- (right) Beamish St.
- (right) South Pde.
South Pde: set down / lay over / pick up. This bus stop already has room for two buses and laying over is permitted.
Inbound to Balmain.
South Pde.
- (right) Duke St.
- (left) Canterbury Rd.

The 415 is another shocker, this service should be re-routed via Canada Bay just like the ex 409 used to do so although the experts thought that a more 'direct' route between Burwood & Five Dock to replace that portion of the ex 409. Currently there are three services operating between Railway Pde, Burwood and Harris Rd, Five Dock (415, 461 & 530). It is sheer madeness that the 415 & 530 operate between Railway Pde, Burwood and Great Nth Rd/Lyons Rd, Five Dock.
Last edited by Stu on Sun Sep 24, 2017 11:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is the 400 Sydney's least reliable bus service ?

Postby Frosty » Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:28 pm

Would Stu have any ideas for the 370 or the 400. I must wonder did they update the Eastern Region timetables once LR work hit Anzac Pde & Randwick.

Did notice the 492 &423 was stuck in heavy traffic along Kingsgrove Rd today.
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Re: Is the 400 Sydney's least reliable bus service ?

Postby Stu » Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:38 pm

Qantas Drive can be quite often reduced down to an extremely slow crawl between the Qantas Jet Base and the T1 terminal / Marsh St due to the fact that either the TfNSW, RMS and or Sydney Airport Corp refuse to open up the shoulder lanes to create a three lane roadway between two above mentioned locations. The route 410 can operate on time from BJI to Robby St (Westeen side), Mascot and then due to Qantas Dr and also Wickham St, Arncliffe will arrive at Rockdale between 10-20 minutes late. You can imagine that this situation would impact the route 400 on a bigger scale due to the service already arriving late to and departing late from Domestic terminal.

There needs to be some short working services beginning from Mascot shops to Burwood. Quite often there passengers who are transferring from another service (301, 303, X03, 309, L09, X09, 310, X10 & m20) to a 400 service heading to the airport. There are other passengers who work in the commercial/industrial precincts of Matraville, Botany and Port Botany who travel via bus service to Mascot to board a 400 (or 410 during operating times) and primarily travel to Rockdale station.
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Re: Is the 400 Sydney's least reliable bus service ?

Postby Frosty » Sat Sep 23, 2017 10:00 pm

I can think during peak hour extending some of those 301 & 303 Mascot terminators westwards. Also extend the m20 westwards or towards Eastgardens during peak hour.
I’ve seen people use the Airport Dr shoulder and then fined maybe a bus lane on Airport Dr.

I’ve found one long dwell time for the 400/410 it’s Eastgardens & the Bronte Rd stops outside Westfield BJ.

Though with some routes they loose time all the way from start to end then there are some that just loose time in certain sections.

I had thought with the 370 by splitting it and abolishing parts of it. The 370 would keep its current route between Coogee & St Peters & then terminate. To be replaced along King St with more 422 services. Between Broadway the Leichhardt the m10 would take over the former 370 route via Glebe.
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Re: Is the 400 Sydney's least reliable bus service ?

Postby Stu » Sat Sep 23, 2017 10:29 pm

Frosty wrote:Would Stu have any ideas for the 370 or the 400. I must wonder did they update the Eastern Region timetables once LR work hit Anzac Pde & Randwick.

Did notice the 492 &423 was stuck in heavy traffic along Kingsgrove Rd today.


Kingsgrove Rd has become extremely congested during the peak hour periods between William St and Kingsgrove Ave/Commercial Rd. Between these two locations exists Moorefields Rd, Homer St, Omnibus Rd & M5 East. During the AM peak there are so many vehicles trying to enter the M5 East: heading South, lane 1 Kingsgrove Rd is stationary and lane 2 is not much better due to the traffic lights allowing vehicles in the opposite direction on Kingsgrove Rd priority to enter the M5 East. Heading North on Kingsgrove Rd before the M5 East is also congested with traffic trailing around the corner into Commercial Rd. Ultimately there is so much traffic on the M5 East entry ramp that sometimes no vehicles waiting to enter either from the left or the right from Kingsgrove Rd can even move up one position.

There have been two major timetable improvements to route 370 in recent years which is great to a certain extent although not enough thought has been applied. The experts simply pile on more full length services operating from end-to-end which just creates more late running services thus creating more complaints. Inbound PM peak services should have head offs from Glebe and/or Sydney University. AM outbound short working from Coogee to Green Sq. and PM outbound head offs from St. Peter's Stn (Kings St). Either create new short workings, convert existing full length services or a combination of both.
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Re: Is the 400 Sydney's least reliable bus service ?

Postby In Transit » Sat Sep 23, 2017 11:56 pm

Services with significant variability in running times, leading to late running, are not always well served by short workings to fix unreliability - as the short workings often start on time, but the full length trips run late at this point - this means that the headway on the combined section of routes tends to diverge significantly from the timetable, leading to bunching and more customer perceptions of unreliability.

This was a significant problem with what we called "through services" in Perth years ago, when they ran through the CBD, effectively joining what were originally separate routes on either side. In the afternoon peak, generally every second (or even 2 out of every 3) trips started from the city, woven between the full length trips coming in from the outer suburbs. Whilst this matched the demand on each section of the route, the short workings usually started on time from the city but the full length through trips ran late by the time they got to the city - destroying the service frequency. In that instance we addressed the problem by splitting the through routes in two in the CBD (there were other reasons for this, not just reliability, but it was a factor).
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Re: Is the 400 Sydney's least reliable bus service ?

Postby Swift » Sun Sep 24, 2017 6:59 am

gld59 wrote:
boronia wrote:Bourke STREET is north of Botany Rd, Bourke ROAD is south of it.

Bourke Street from Cowper Wharf Roadway to Botany Road.
Bourke Road from Botany Road to Gardeners Road.
Bourke Street from Gardeners Road to Coward Street.
Bourke Road from Coward Street to O'Riordan Street.

gld

When was the last time you could drive it all the way from O'Riordan St to CWR? I take it the alternating naming from road to street was done lately?
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Re: Is the 400 Sydney's least reliable bus service ?

Postby tonyp » Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:54 am

In Transit wrote:Services with significant variability in running times, leading to late running, are not always well served by short workings to fix unreliability - as the short workings often start on time, but the full length trips run late at this point - this means that the headway on the combined section of routes tends to diverge significantly from the timetable, leading to bunching and more customer perceptions of unreliability.

This was a significant problem with what we called "through services" in Perth years ago, when they ran through the CBD, effectively joining what were originally separate routes on either side. In the afternoon peak, generally every second (or even 2 out of every 3) trips started from the city, woven between the full length trips coming in from the outer suburbs. Whilst this matched the demand on each section of the route, the short workings usually started on time from the city but the full length through trips ran late by the time they got to the city - destroying the service frequency. In that instance we addressed the problem by splitting the through routes in two in the CBD (there were other reasons for this, not just reliability, but it was a factor).

It strikes me from what I've experienced so far that Perth timetables are quite finely attuned to traffic conditions and demand so that you can expect a bus pretty much on or close to timetable at any time of day. The journey time varies widely throughout the day of course, according to demand and traffic conditions but at least you can expect the bus when it says so in the timetable.

It's like they've gone out and studied all the runs in detail and worked out the averages pretty accurately. They also don't slow a bus down when there's nobody using it and traffic is light. Still amazes me that I can get between Perth airport and Fremantle in the evening (including a 5 minute change of buses at Victoria Park) in only about 10 minutes longer than it takes by taxi - and about $60 cheaper!
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Re: Is the 400 Sydney's least reliable bus service ?

Postby tonyp » Sun Sep 24, 2017 9:01 am

Liamena wrote:There is no other information, and no explanation of the confusing situation by which buses to Burwood and Bondi both depart in the same direction from the same stop, resulting in people catching the wrong buses or getting involved in lengthy conversations with the bus driver, which holds up all of the other people already on the bus or trying to get onto the bus.

Ideally there should be a separate stop for each direction or even a suffix after the route number display on the bus like they do on the Gong Shuttle. I suspect, however, at the airport there isn't enough kerb space for the luxury of subdividing the stops for individual services.

boronia wrote:The bus stops at the airport would come under the control of the Airport Corp, which really doesn't want buses there at all.

Wait till the new domestic "transport terminal" is finished to see how bad things will become.

I don't think they're anti-bus considering the invested interest they have in the various shuttle bus services and in making those services as convenient and as close to destinations as possible.
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Re: Is the 400 Sydney's least reliable bus service ?

Postby boronia » Sun Sep 24, 2017 9:08 am

I think the continuity ended when they started building the Taylor Square bypass tunnels in the late 80s. I could drive from CWR to Botany Rd ( a lot of it was one way south though).

I think that section between Gardeners and Coward only came into existence after the opening of the railway, so probably some slack public servant got their streets and roads mixed up.
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Re: Is the 400 Sydney's least reliable bus service ?

Postby Liamena » Mon Oct 16, 2017 2:26 pm

Two trips on route 400 last week, both only about 5 minutes late, which is quite acceptable.
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Re: Is the 400 Sydney's least reliable bus service ?

Postby Jurassic_Joke » Mon Oct 16, 2017 2:29 pm

Liamena wrote:Two trips on route 400 last week, both only about 5 minutes late, which is quite acceptable.


I think it really depends on what time of the day/week you use it. Taking the 400 at night is seemingly more reliable than trying it during the daytime as traffic is a bit quieter. The only thing you need to watch out for at night is the Satan Spawn of a bus Bustech VSTM (which they love putting on during that time), you'll pretty much always have a bad time if you come across that bus on this route
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