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STA Observations - January to June 2018

Sydney / New South Wales Transport Discussion

Re: STA Observations - January to June 2018

Postby Fleet Lists » Thu Mar 08, 2018 5:03 pm

Very true and because of that I suspect that anything that might be suggested would be rejected.

And one important point you make is that it is NOT just a NSW problem as some people would like to make out.
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Re: STA Observations - January to June 2018

Postby tonyp » Thu Mar 08, 2018 5:27 pm

Fleet Lists wrote:Very true and because of that I suspect that anything that might be suggested would be rejected.

And one important point you make is that it is NOT just a NSW problem as some people would like to make out.

It would have its origins in the battle to control the runaway costs of public transport in years past and doubtless it works well in that respect. But the customer may suffer because of the loss of flexibility, though that would be down to how well the agency itself performs. There's a big difference between the jurisdictions in that regard, for example NSW and WA being polar opposites.

I would suggest in general that there is a need for a much larger proportion of artics in Australian bus fleets. This would help soak up some of the inherent deficiencies. Artics can also save on staff costs which I understand is the largest operating cost.
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Re: STA Observations - January to June 2018

Postby Swift » Thu Mar 08, 2018 8:14 pm

These models all forget the ones that should be most important, the customers.
On one hand they want to watch costs, but are unwilling to adjust to meet higher demand and grab the revenue that comes with it, then letting people down who want the service.
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Re: STA Observations - January to June 2018

Postby Fleet Lists » Thu Mar 08, 2018 8:38 pm

But what is your solution?
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Re: STA Observations - January to June 2018

Postby Jurassic_Joke » Thu Mar 08, 2018 11:42 pm

Happy first birthday to the first of the 2nd Gen Volvo B7 CB80 buses, namely, 2826 (entered service roughly a year ago now) which restored a bit of my faith in State Transit! Great product, equally happy with its Scania counterpart at Port Botany (however scarce they are)
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Re: STA Observations - January to June 2018

Postby Swift » Fri Mar 09, 2018 12:29 am

Poor orphan that it is. FL, reimbursement based on tap on figures for any extra buses put on.
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Re: STA Observations - January to June 2018

Postby Stu » Fri Mar 09, 2018 12:59 am

2886 will eventually be transferred to L-Depot.
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Re: STA Observations - January to June 2018

Postby In Transit » Fri Mar 09, 2018 4:48 am

Swift wrote:Poor orphan that it is. FL, reimbursement based on tap on figures for any extra buses put on.


This wouldn't be as straight forward as it sounds.

For example, I have trip which is carrying 60 passengers and regularly leaves around 20 passengers behind. I then add an additional trip to carry those passengers - this trip now carries 40 passengers. However, many of these were abstracted from my original trip, which now also carries 40 passengers.

From government's point of view, patronage has only increased by 20, not the 40 who are tapping on for the new trip, so they would only want to pay for the 20. Let's assume the contract does provide for payments for extra services based on patronage.
- Actual fare revenue from the 20 passengers is unlikely to cover the cost to government of operating the extra trip. Lets assume costs have doubled with the extra trip, but we know patronage has only grown by 33%.
- Overall patronage may not grow by 20, as some of the passengers left behind may have previously waited for the next service. The service improvement may induce extra demand, but this is difficult to forecast.
- The private operator will have to weigh up the extra payments from government for the 20 passengers against their operating costs; this may not work out profitably for them in which case they won't do it and depends on the agreed price for those extra passengers (if this is directly related to fares revenue then the entire concept is dead in the water).
- Very few bus contracting models put this level of risk of patronage on the operator, as patronage is massively influenced by factors they don't control - the economy (see Perth's PT patronage over the last couple of years), government fares decisions, government timetable instructions etc.
- Over the term of the contract, managing variations will get very messy as you track which services were changed for patronage, which were changed by government instruction etc etc.

One fundamental issue that anyone who has planned services is critically aware of is the need for certainty for government in budgeting costs. There are no blank cheques - so open ended arrangements for additional services or increases in operating costs don't wash. Sure, you can have a budget for those - but what happens when the money runs out?

None of this is to say that tying operator's revenue to patronage is impossible - its not. However, it does get complicated very quickly, and do not underestimate the cost to government of shifting that risk to the operator - this will be reflected in increased contract prices and profit margins to the operators (current margins are low, reflecting the level of risk and capital expenditure operators are faced with).
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Re: STA Observations - January to June 2018

Postby Frosty » Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:12 am

In the scenario highlighted above maybe the solution would be have some 12.5m buses configured for high density standing. Reduce seating and in turn increase standing room. It reminds me often of early Saturday morning 309 services. Or a 14.5m bus providing route allows it.

Stu wrote:2886 will eventually be transferred to L-Depot.

Is be P losing it’s CB80s ? Maybe the CB80s were to foreign foreign at P :lol:
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Re: STA Observations - January to June 2018

Postby tonyp » Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:58 am

In Transit wrote:None of this is to say that tying operator's revenue to patronage is impossible - its not. However, it does get complicated very quickly, and do not underestimate the cost to government of shifting that risk to the operator - this will be reflected in increased contract prices and profit margins to the operators (current margins are low, reflecting the level of risk and capital expenditure operators are faced with).

I'm pleased you're revisiting this thread because all eyes are on you (as one obviously deeply in-the-know and experienced in two states) for some answers! :wink:

Are there any overseas models (e.g. in Europe) that might help? I've heard that the Perth model is admired and in some cases adopted overseas, so that probably indicates that there's not much better elsewhere. Incidentally, I'm previously aware of the skewed deployment of artics in Perth, which indicates that this model isn't working as it should. Artics should obviously be on the services on which they're most needed. Apart from that, I find that Perth's bus system is generally a dream to use.

As the original issue raised here is capacity shortfall under unexpected demand, I can only bring attention yet again to the issue I always raise of the lack of capacity of existing bus fleets, with the result that potential passengers get left behind - which I've seen quite often over the years and most lately on the Gong Shuttle. And it's not that the buses lack theoretical capacity, but they're just not loaded properly because their designs and passenger-processing ability are so poor.

A 12 metre bus in Europe is typically classed to carry up to 100 people. In Perth it's 82; on the east coast they struggle to get more than 60-70 on them (that is, if they're not throttled at 58 by the RTBU). It seems to me obvious that some of these situations where extra buses are needed to be fed in at short notice (but can't be because of the system) wouldn't arise if more people could get on the existing buses. The productivity of 12 metre rigid buses in Australia is pretty dreadful and I've outlined the reasons many times previously - steps in the aisle, lack of doors, front door-only loading.

So, either the agencies are going to have to address that issue or, if they can't/won't, then as I said before, there is a need to greatly enlarge the artic fleet in Australia because they are the buses that can definitely do the job properly, provided they are properly specified with the full complement of doors and a fully or mostly low floor. (Deckers won't cut it because of their dwells and slowness.) The trick then is to ensure that they are deployed most effectively. Surely that's possible even in the most restrictive contract regime?

The alternative is that we will lose the battle to grow public transport patronage.
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Re: STA Observations - January to June 2018

Postby gld59 » Fri Mar 09, 2018 1:12 pm

tonyp wrote:It seems to me obvious that some of these situations where extra buses are needed to be fed in at short notice (but can't be because of the system) wouldn't arise if more people could get on the existing buses.

But that (of itself) is just delaying the problem until patronage grows in proportion to the extra capacity. It would only be useful in the long term if any existing loading level targets (if those do actually exist) were maintained, thereby using the capacity increase as a buffer.

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Re: STA Observations - January to June 2018

Postby stajourneyman » Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:28 am

...was just perusing the STA fleet list, and noticed that there is a gap in recent fleet numbers.

After the Brooky B7 Bustechs (ending in 2724, there appears to be no allocation of fleet numbers frpm 2725 to 2748 inclusive.

In the immortal words of the late great Professor Julius Sumner Miller (in an annoying American accent!) ..why is this so??
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Re: STA Observations - January to June 2018

Postby Ikarbus » Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:35 pm

stajourneyman wrote:...was just perusing the STA fleet list, and noticed that there is a gap in recent fleet numbers.

After the Brooky B7 Bustechs (ending in 2724, there appears to be no allocation of fleet numbers frpm 2725 to 2748 inclusive.

In the immortal words of the late great Professor Julius Sumner Miller (in an annoying American accent!) ..why is this so??


These were allocated to Volvo B7 VSTs that ended up getting transferred to Newcastle Transport. Check the Newcastle fleetlists, they're there.
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Re: STA Observations - January to June 2018

Postby stajourneyman » Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:44 pm

Yes, of course !!

Excuse my public brain fade!
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Re: STA Observations - January to June 2018

Postby Richard290 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:33 pm

Here’s some outdated route information still on show at Lane Cove Interchange Stand C (stop 2066 228).

140 has been discontinued
252 now extends to Gladesville
289 no longer runs, having been replaced by a rerouted 292
292 now runs via Mowbray Rd
Info for route 530 is missing. 530 runs to Burwood via Drummoyne and Five Dock.
I sent some feedback to TfNSW, hopefully they’ll update the route information soon.
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Re: STA Observations - January to June 2018

Postby Swift » Wed Mar 14, 2018 12:05 am

Richard290 wrote:292 now runs via Mowbray Rd

Instead of Epping Rd? Where does it go after Mowbray Rd inbound?
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Re: STA Observations - January to June 2018

Postby swtt » Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:49 am

Swift wrote:
Richard290 wrote:292 now runs via Mowbray Rd

Instead of Epping Rd? Where does it go after Mowbray Rd inbound?
Back to Epping Road just before the interchange :)

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Re: STA Observations - January to June 2018

Postby OKO » Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:58 am

Swift wrote:
Richard290 wrote:292 now runs via Mowbray Rd

Instead of Epping Rd? Where does it go after Mowbray Rd inbound?

Right into Centennial, then left Epping rd.
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Re: STA Observations - January to June 2018

Postby Swift » Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:43 am

But Y? (get it?).
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Re: STA Observations - January to June 2018

Postby OKO » Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:52 am

Swift wrote:But Y? (get it?).

M, I do not know. It certainly P'ed off a lot of the people who live on Epping Rd west of Centennial.
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STA Observations - January to June 2018

Postby Richard290 » Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:44 am

Other news from yesterday, I caught 1721 (an artic) from M running the 11:25am 292 Marsfield service. I’m not quite sure why M would run an artic at that time since there were only two passengers on board the 292 between Lane Cove Interchange and Macquarie Centre the whole way.
Might be a bit of an overestimate in patronage, perhaps?
Another news was when the M54 was pulling into Stand D on Beecroft Road at Epping Station. The bus was 1701, another artic which had been blocked by two other STA buses in Stands E and F which were in the way of the bus pulling into Stand D in the middle of afternoon traffic which caused at conflict with the two other buses. Even worse was the fact the M54 bus was full with many Epping Boys students blocking access to the small rear door.
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Re: STA Observations - January to June 2018

Postby J_Busworth » Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:32 am

Richard290 wrote:Here’s some outdated route information still on show at Lane Cove Interchange Stand C (stop 2066 228).

140 has been discontinued
252 now extends to Gladesville
289 no longer runs, having been replaced by a rerouted 292
292 now runs via Mowbray Rd
Info for route 530 is missing. 530 runs to Burwood via Drummoyne and Five Dock.
I sent some feedback to TfNSW, hopefully they’ll update the route information soon.
Image


There are dozens of stops with incorrect information. I know of a couple stop where the information is just plain wrong, not even out of date. TfNSW doesn't generally do anything about it unless it is in one of the the Contract cross over zones like in the CBD.
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Re: STA Observations - January to June 2018

Postby burrumbus » Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:21 pm

Richard290 wrote:Other news from yesterday, I caught 1721 (an artic) from M running the 11:25am 292 Marsfield service. I’m not quite sure why M would run an artic at that time since there were only two passengers on board the 292 between Lane Cove Interchange and Macquarie Centre the whole way.
Might be a bit of an overestimate in patronage, perhaps?
Another news was when the M54 was pulling into Stand D on Beecroft Road at Epping Station. The bus was 1701, another artic which had been blocked by two other STA buses in Stands E and F which were in the way of the bus pulling into Stand D in the middle of afternoon traffic which caused at conflict with the two other buses. Even worse was the fact the M54 bus was full with many Epping Boys students blocking access to the small rear door.

Just the normal bizarre,ill thought out STA rostering practices !!
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Re: STA Observations - January to June 2018

Postby Ray » Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:46 pm

I’m not quite sure why M would run an artic at that time since there were only two passengers on board the 292 between Lane Cove Interchange and Macquarie Centre the whole way.


No doubt the bus left the depot, did that particular 292 trip and then immediately went straight back to the depot. Silly bus!
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Re: STA Observations - January to June 2018

Postby Stu » Wed Mar 14, 2018 3:17 pm

TfNSW are probably waiting to apply the HOP to certain areas when the time nears for a particular double deck train line to be converted to a metro line.
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