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Bondi Beach bus patronage

Sydney / New South Wales Transport Discussion

Re: Bondi Beach bus patronage

Postby burrumbus » Mon Jan 01, 2018 12:18 pm

tonyp wrote:Another issue would be the availability of funding for extra services.

What proportion of services on 380/333 are now run by artics?

The Thredbo report said there were 19 artics allocated to the 333 when commenced in 2006
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Re: Bondi Beach bus patronage

Postby Linto63 » Mon Jan 01, 2018 12:21 pm

boronia wrote:It is close to the beach, but I wonder how many people coming from the beach to catch a bus to BJI/city would think/know to walk up the hill to catch an alternative service?
Fair point, was thinking of it from the Bondi Junction end.
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Re: Bondi Beach bus patronage

Postby simonl » Mon Jan 01, 2018 12:24 pm

boronia wrote:It is close to the beach, but I wonder how many people coming from the beach to catch a bus to BJI/city would think/know to walk up the hill to catch an alternative service?

The 333 runs every 10 minutes much of the time. I don't think it is worthwhile to walk up the hill for a slower service. If there is a need for more service on the corridor, why wouldn't you just increase that. I don't know why we are suggesting a need for a artic 380 or some other change, which could only result in more artics where they are less useful.
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Re: Bondi Beach bus patronage

Postby simonl » Mon Jan 01, 2018 12:26 pm

Linto63 wrote:Bendys can't negotiate the tight North Bondi - South Head Cemetery section, so not possible on the 380. Another constraining factor is that there is a limit to the number of buses that can be stabled at Waverley depot.

Interesting. So does this prevent the 333 from being extended to Dover Heights?
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Re: Bondi Beach bus patronage

Postby tonyp » Mon Jan 01, 2018 12:43 pm

Linto63 wrote:We can endlessly play fantasy route planner, combine this route, split that route etc and come up with pros and cons for each. But in the grand scheme of what is wrong with Sydney's roads and transport, the Bondi Beach corridor is small beer and compared to a lot of other areas, is quite well served by public transport. From my observations there is not a chronic undersupply that needs addressing.

How do you know there is enough supply for demand? You don't know how many want to get on who can't.

Somebody who has been following this discussion from without has commented to me:

To suggest that there are oodles of buses and that supply matches demand is nonsense. Suggest he goes to any stop on Bondi Road, particularly at peak hours during the week, as well as at night and weekends and tries to catch a bus either to BJ or the beach before he makes these claims. He is overlooking the fact that there is a significant local passenger demand between BJI and along Bondi Road due to the local
population density which is continuing to grow as single dwellings continue to be demolished and replaced by multi story (8 level +) apartment towers. Perhaps he should read the studies done by Waverley Council regarding future traffic demands in the municipality.


I draw attention again to the population growth. This is a major corridor of railway/tram proportions, as important as any other transport issue anywhere in Sydney. I'd also make a general point that Sydney needs to increase its artic fleet closer to typically European levels, like over 25% rather than the 11% or so that it stands at now.
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Re: Bondi Beach bus patronage

Postby Fleet Lists » Mon Jan 01, 2018 12:46 pm

What is the 11% based on? Just State Transit or all Sydney operators?
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Re: Bondi Beach bus patronage

Postby burrumbus » Mon Jan 01, 2018 12:47 pm

I think this is a good debate to have.This corridor is a mighty busy one,and takes up a lot of STA's resources.STA is really struggling to provide enough capacity in other parts of its network,for a number of reasons.By coming up with ideas to improve the way this corridor operates ,you can redirect resources to other areas.I reckon this corridor uses up to 60 buses at busy times.
I would definately agree with Tony that artics are needed for the corridor from the Circ Quay to North Bondi.That would free up a lot of standard buses for other duties.I think the route structure could be simplified to 3 services.333 Limited stops Circ Quay-North Bondi.380 all stops Circ Quay-North Bondi and 381-Bondi Junction-North Bondi via Fletcher and Denham Streets.
The section beyond North Bondi could be served by a new route from BJI via Old South Head Road,,O'Brien Street,Hall Street,,Campbell Parade(interchange here)then the current route through Dover Heights.Does this route need to go to Watsons Bay?? From my evidence there is minimal patronage from Watsons Bay-although there would probably be political pressure to keep that section.With layover times that section probably sucks up 3 buses which could be used elsewhere.This route would probably be quicker than by Bondi Road so may stimulate some extra demand through Dover Heights.
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Re: Bondi Beach bus patronage

Postby In Transit » Mon Jan 01, 2018 12:48 pm

Someone mentioned artics can’t be used past North Bondi - not true, and in fact the 333 is extended in peak times to/from Dover Heights. I suspect artics are not allocated to the 380 and 382 as there are stops with insufficient length for the artics. This is also explains the handful of stops the M40 does not serve between the city and Bondi Junction (not that there is any indication to passengers of this.... naturally....).

I disagree the Bondi Road corridor is unimportant - not only because it is my local service (!), but more that it encapsulates so much of what is not successfully delivered in Sydney’s PT. Lets take just a few examples:
- a stunning lack of customer information and wayfinding, particularly given the high tourism market on this corridor
- overlapping routes, resulting in confusion, different stopping patterns, variously over capacity and under capacity at different times and in different locations, and sub-optimal combined headway’s. This betrays the lack of a network approach to service planning which is so common across Sydney.
- operations driven bus allocation, rather than efficiency/demand (eg artics exclusively on the 333, frequent use of short wheelbase Bustech’s on busy 380’s, artics wasted on the eastern portion of the M40, mix of rigids and artics on a corridor where greater artic allocation could significantly reduce PVR and opex)
- extremely poor timekeeping and headway management
- bus routes which still betray their tramway origins, where the original reason for that routing should have gone with the trams (eg 381)
- poor timetabling to match supply with demand (for as long as I’ve lived in Bondi, weekday afternoons throughout summer see huge queues for buses, but sadly the majority of passing buses are not in service returning from the North Bondi terminus.. the height of frustration for intending passengers).

Credit where credit is due - this summer the service seems to be running a lot better than previously, however there is still plenty of room for improvement. Fixing this corridor is not rocket science - most of the issues require just a fundamental application of good practice.
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Re: Bondi Beach bus patronage

Postby burrumbus » Mon Jan 01, 2018 12:50 pm

With regards to depot capacity at Waverley they might have to build up like Forest or the Hong Kong operators.The depot is just situated ideally for the vast majority of the services from the depot.Close to the most efficient depot in the STA system.
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Re: Bondi Beach bus patronage

Postby burrumbus » Mon Jan 01, 2018 12:52 pm

Fleet Lists wrote:What is the 11% based on? Just State Transit or all Sydney operators?

STA ,I think Lourie
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Re: Bondi Beach bus patronage

Postby burrumbus » Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:13 pm

In Transit wrote:Someone mentioned artics can’t be used past North Bondi - not true, and in fact the 333 is extended in peak times to/from Dover Heights. I suspect artics are not allocated to the 380 and 382 as there are stops with insufficient length for the artics. This is also explains the handful of stops the M40 does not serve between the city and Bondi Junction (not that there is any indication to passengers of this.... naturally....).

I disagree the Bondi Road corridor is unimportant - not only because it is my local service (!), but more that it encapsulates so much of what is not successfully delivered in Sydney’s PT. Lets take just a few examples:
- a stunning lack of customer information and wayfinding, particularly given the high tourism market on this corridor
- overlapping routes, resulting in confusion, different stopping patterns, variously over capacity and under capacity at different times and in different locations, and sub-optimal combined headway’s. This betrays the lack of a network approach to service planning which is so common across Sydney.
- operations driven bus allocation, rather than efficiency/demand (eg artics exclusively on the 333, frequent use of short wheelbase Bustech’s on busy 380’s, artics wasted on the eastern portion of the M40, mix of rigids and artics on a corridor where greater artic allocation could significantly reduce PVR and opex)
- extremely poor timekeeping and headway management
- bus routes which still betray their tramway origins, where the original reason for that routing should have gone with the trams (eg 381)
- poor timetabling to match supply with demand (for as long as I’ve lived in Bondi, weekday afternoons throughout summer see huge queues for buses, but sadly the majority of passing buses are not in service returning from the North Bondi terminus.. the height of frustration for intending passengers).

Credit where credit is due - this summer the service seems to be running a lot better than previously, however there is still plenty of room for improvement. Fixing this corridor is not rocket science - most of the issues require just a fundamental application of good practice.

Beautifully said.
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Re: Bondi Beach bus patronage

Postby simonl » Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:16 pm

With enough money and political will, Waverley depot could be expanded to allow more buses there, or another depot could be found nearby (although cue the NIBMYs if that happens). Wouldn't be cheap or easy but it is as sure as hell possible and from the sounds of it, may well be desirable to allow more service.

There is some potential to push more service-km out of the existing fleet of course. More limited stops, all door boarding and removing cash fares will all help with service-km/bus-hr. Not sure how much of an increase is possible through such measures though and the 333 already has 2 out of 3.

What is PVR?
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Re: Bondi Beach bus patronage

Postby Linto63 » Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:22 pm

tonyp wrote:How do you know there is enough supply for demand? You don't know how many want to get on who can't.
From my observations, albeit not at all times of the day, instances of large numbers of passengers being left behind seem to be confined to hot summer Sundays, which even with extra services rostered going to be hard to avoid.

tonyp wrote:I draw attention again to the population growth. This is a major corridor of railway/tram proportions, as important as any other transport issue anywhere in Sydney. I'd also make a general point that Sydney needs to increase its artic fleet closer to typically European levels, like over 25% rather than the 11% or so that it stands at now.
Sydney's population and population density is increasing, so its transport services need to reflect this. But Australian cities do have different demographics in terms of car ownership, population density etc, so what works in Europe doesn't necessarily translate here.

We are also coming from a very low base in terms of bendy numbers, up until the mid noughties we only had the 30 on the Northern Beaches. Don't think it is a case of getting to a benchmark of x% buses should be bendys, but a number reflecting what is needed. That said, don't think any have been delivered since the last of the Volvo B12Bs in 2011, so we are certainly due for some.

In Transit wrote:Someone mentioned artics can’t be used past North Bondi - not true, and in fact the 333 is extended in peak times to/from Dover Heights.
There are some 90 degree turns through local streets that a bendy would struggle to negotiate.

simonl wrote:What is PVR?
Peak vehicle requirement
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Re: Bondi Beach bus patronage

Postby burrumbus » Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:38 pm

simonl wrote:With enough money and political will, Waverley depot could be expanded to allow more buses there, or another depot could be found nearby (although cue the NIBMYs if that happens). Wouldn't be cheap or easy but it is as sure as hell possible and from the sounds of it, may well be desirable to allow more service.

There is some potential to push more service-km out of the existing fleet of course. More limited stops, all door boarding and removing cash fares will all help with service-km/bus-hr. Not sure how much of an increase is possible through such measures though and the 333 already has 2 out of 3.

What is PVR?

I would add improved driver and vehicle rostering and vastly less specialling to your list to improve the service km.,too Simon.
PVR is peak vehicle requirement.Improve the way the service operates,and you reduce your PVR.Save buses and redirect to other areas.Something STA is woeful at.
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Re: Bondi Beach bus patronage

Postby In Transit » Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:41 pm

Linto63 wrote:
tonyp wrote:How do you know there is enough supply for demand? You don't know how many want to get on who can't.
From my observations, albeit not at all times of the day, instances of large numbers of passengers being left behind seem to be confined to hot summer Sundays, which even with extra services rostered going to be hard to avoid.

tonyp wrote:I draw attention again to the population growth. This is a major corridor of railway/tram proportions, as important as any other transport issue anywhere in Sydney. I'd also make a general point that Sydney needs to increase its artic fleet closer to typically European levels, like over 25% rather than the 11% or so that it stands at now.
Sydney's population and population density is increasing, so its transport services need to reflect this. But Australian cities do have different demographics in terms of car ownership, population density etc, so what works in Europe doesn't necessarily translate here.

We are also coming from a very low base in terms of bendy numbers, up until the mid noughties we only had the 30 on the Northern Beaches. Don't think it is a case of getting to a benchmark of x% buses should be bendys, but a number reflecting what is needed. That said, don't think any have been delivered since the last of the Volvo B12Bs in 2011, so we are certainly due for some.


It is common for passengers to be left behind during commuter times - heading towards Bondi Jct in in the morning and at the interchange in the afternoon. In most cases this is due to inconsistent headway’s (due to both the combination of 380/381/382/333s running at different frequencies leading to peaks/troughs in capacity, and chronic late running causing bunching and long unscheduled gaps between services. Summer afternoons - for several months of the year, not just a few weeks - are a problem from the beach on any day when the sun shines.

I agree that setting targets for high capacity bus proportions in the fleet is effectively meaningless as an approach - although I suspect (and know) that some past acquisitions have not been particularly scientifically driven in their sizing either. The dead hand of Treasury pervades the specifications for many fleet acquisitions in Sydney’s PT - Treasury have their place, but TfNSW needs the capability to build robust business cases for suitable fleet acquisitions (this is not confined to buses). Even the Thredbo paper that Tony linked effectively says “government decided to give us a swag of artics, so we then started to look at where we could best use them”. Surely the tail wagging the dog? This goes both ways - I appreciate that Waverley have some routes which require the shorter wheelbase Bustechs, but they have far more than those routes alone require.
Last edited by In Transit on Mon Jan 01, 2018 2:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bondi Beach bus patronage

Postby In Transit » Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:45 pm

Linto63 wrote:
In Transit wrote:Someone mentioned artics can’t be used past North Bondi - not true, and in fact the 333 is extended in peak times to/from Dover Heights.
There are some 90 degree turns through local streets that a bendy would struggle to negotiate.



They do it every weekday with artics on those extended 333 trips. Those particular turns can get tight in a rigid - an artic isn’t actually that much more difficult to get through.
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Re: Bondi Beach bus patronage

Postby Linto63 » Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:50 pm

In Transit wrote:I appreciate that Waverley have some routes which require the shorter wheelbase Bustechs, but they have far more than those routes alone require.
Think it is only 4 routes, does seem a bit inefficient when they are used on busy 324 / 325 / 380 services.
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Re: Bondi Beach bus patronage

Postby simonl » Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:53 pm

burrumbus wrote:I would add improved driver and vehicle rostering and vastly less specialling to your list to improve the service km.,too Simon.
PVR is peak vehicle requirement.Improve the way the service operates,and you reduce your PVR.Save buses and redirect to other areas.Something STA is woeful at.

Ok. Wasn't meant to be an all inclusive list.
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Re: Bondi Beach bus patronage

Postby burrumbus » Mon Jan 01, 2018 2:08 pm

Linto63 wrote:
In Transit wrote:I appreciate that Waverley have some routes which require the shorter wheelbase Bustechs, but they have far more than those routes alone require.
Think it is only 4 routes, does seem a bit inefficient when they are used on busy 324 / 325 / 380 services.

G'day Linto.I'm pretty sure the 4 routes for the short wheel base Bustechs are 327/328/360/361.If those buses were permanently allocated to those routes there would not be an issue.The rostering system flicks drivers and buses constantly between different routes-which is why they constantly appear on routes which are too busy for their capacity.They really need permanent shifts just on those 4 routes.Not hard to do.
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Re: Bondi Beach bus patronage

Postby Aurora » Mon Jan 01, 2018 2:17 pm

tonyp wrote:
Linto63 wrote:We can endlessly play fantasy route planner, combine this route, split that route etc and come up with pros and cons for each. But in the grand scheme of what is wrong with Sydney's roads and transport, the Bondi Beach corridor is small beer and compared to a lot of other areas, is quite well served by public transport. From my observations there is not a chronic undersupply that needs addressing.

How do you know there is enough supply for demand? You don't know how many want to get on who can't.

Somebody who has been following this discussion from without has commented to me:

To suggest that there are oodles of buses and that supply matches demand is nonsense. Suggest he goes to any stop on Bondi Road, particularly at peak hours during the week, as well as at night and weekends and tries to catch a bus either to BJ or the beach before he makes these claims. He is overlooking the fact that there is a significant local passenger demand between BJI and along Bondi Road due to the local
population density which is continuing to grow as single dwellings continue to be demolished and replaced by multi story (8 level +) apartment towers. Perhaps he should read the studies done by Waverley Council regarding future traffic demands in the municipality.


I draw attention again to the population growth. This is a major corridor of railway/tram proportions, as important as any other transport issue anywhere in Sydney. I'd also make a general point that Sydney needs to increase its artic fleet closer to typically European levels, like over 25% rather than the 11% or so that it stands at now.

Well we could've had heavy rail to get these people across to Bondi Beach, relieving the pressure on buses and giving the locals that capacity along the route. Unfortunate that never happened. That would've been the better solution.
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Re: Bondi Beach bus patronage

Postby boronia » Mon Jan 01, 2018 2:52 pm

burrumbus wrote:G'day Linto.I'm pretty sure the 4 routes for the short wheel base Bustechs are 327/328/360/361.If those buses were permanently allocated to those routes there would not be an issue.The rostering system flicks drivers and buses constantly between different routes-which is why they constantly appear on routes which are too busy for their capacity.They really need permanent shifts just on those 4 routes.Not hard to do.

The 355 also requires short buses.
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Re: Bondi Beach bus patronage

Postby Linto63 » Mon Jan 01, 2018 3:05 pm

burrumbus wrote:If those buses were permanently allocated to those routes there would not be an issue.The rostering system flicks drivers and buses constantly between different routes-which is why they constantly appear on routes which are too busy for their capacity.They really need permanent shifts just on those 4 routes.Not hard to do.
May not be the most efficient way of allocating resources, but surely the downside would be offset by not sending midis out on full sized routes.

Aurora wrote:Well we could've had heavy rail to get these people across to Bondi Beach, relieving the pressure on buses and giving the locals that capacity along the route. Unfortunate that never happened. That would've been the better solution.
Undoubtedly rail is the most efficient of moving large numbers, but for whatever reason apparently the numbers to date haven't stacked up. Not continuing with the Eastern Suburbs line beyond Bondi Junction was a blunder.
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Re: Bondi Beach bus patronage

Postby boronia » Mon Jan 01, 2018 3:16 pm

burrumbus wrote:G'day Linto.I'm pretty sure the 4 routes for the short wheel base Bustechs are 327/328/360/361.If those buses were permanently allocated to those routes there would not be an issue.The rostering system flicks drivers and buses constantly between different routes-which is why they constantly appear on routes which are too busy for their capacity.They really need permanent shifts just on those 4 routes.Not hard to do.

I don't know how the rostering is arranged for these runs, but it would have to be fairly "self contained" to ensure larger buses don't sneak in.

I see the problem being that there may be too many of these short buses, but STA can't afford to keep them locked in "just in case". Once all the available standard buses are used up, they grab the unused short ones. Are these short buses appearing on the same long bus runs/shifts every day or is it random?
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Re: Bondi Beach bus patronage

Postby Frosty » Mon Jan 01, 2018 3:18 pm

I was thinking to increase capacity in terms of BJI maybe some of the quieter routes should be move out of the interchange onto Grafton St or start/terminate out the front at Westfield on Bronte Rd. One major flaw of the BJI is the eastbound exit on Grosvenor St with the conflict of high levels of pedestrian traffic.

Reckon short buses should be isolated to the routes that require them & quieter routes I.e 352 & 360. 360 though can accept standard buses see it all the time otherwise it wouldn’t be co-operated with R.The rostering is weird I’ve seen a 327 or 326 then form a 400.
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Re: Bondi Beach bus patronage

Postby hornetfig » Mon Jan 01, 2018 3:31 pm

burrumbus wrote:With regards to depot capacity at Waverley they might have to build up like Forest or the Hong Kong operators.The depot is just situated ideally for the vast majority of the services from the depot.Close to the most efficient depot in the STA system.


The STA was going to move its HQ there in the late 1990s. For reasons I can't understand, the resident reaction to any development on those blocks of Oxford St is hostile to the point of hysteria. Got to house the fleet in the interim though.

If you wanted space, Randwick depot was just 5 minutes away. Swimming in derelict tram land for decades, notwithstanding the TAFE and University. But sold it all off in the 1990s both side of politics did.

boronia wrote:The 389, (well 379, now) doesn't go to the beach, and its roundabout route probably takes it off the radar for most beach goers.


Public holiday timetables for the 379 sort of suggest otherwise, with the Bondi section built up to 10-minutely on Boxing Day, for example (the Bronte section 20-minutely). Normally outside of peak the two halves of the route are balanced.

tonyp wrote:During the last decade of the trams, Waverley LGA had a population of about 21,000 and pretty steady not far above that for a couple of decades afterwards - and it was already the most densely-settled area in Australia by then. Now the population is 72,000 with a bit of a levelling-off projected over the next couple of decades to about 80,000. It's not a question of buses not having to match the patronage levels of the trams. The question is that they need to perform a substantially greater task than the trams, in spite of being hamstrung by being buses, not trams.


That's not true at all. I'm not sure what your 21,000 figure is. It could be 1920 not 1960 or it could be the number of workers in 1960 (with a much larger percentage of the population being children and housewives) vs total population now.

--

The X81 (Curlewis St, Birriga/Old South Head Rd) corridor is no answer really: it can be just as big a carpark as Bondi Rd. Similarly the reason the X84 is nearly a dead service is because its patronage is whittled away as in peak you may as well catch the first 333/380/379/X79/386/387 that passes the adjacent stop because there's no time saving in the X84.
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