Cricket Buses in Hobart - Jan 2017

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Cricket Buses in Hobart - Jan 2017

Post by tasstockau »

Hi All

a complete overhaul of the major events bus service to Blundstone arena has occurred in conjunction with the 2016 Big Bash League matches.

I didnt see arrangements for the first game but games 2 and 3 are described below.

Changes seem to have been driven by a mixture of safety concerns and perhaps a change of commercial arrangements as RACT does not appear to be sponsoring the "Royal Coaches" to the match any more. Accordingly the service was run from the City only with suburban patrons making their own was to the city (including by paying fares on scheduled services) to join the charter operation to the ground which runs 2 hours before the game on no apparent fixed timetable. Anecdotally and not surprisingly this has seen a pretty dramatic reduction in patronage to (I would estimate) something well under a 1000 passengers or about half that previously carried.

The services from the city have been altered by running via Mornington and Howrah and then dropping patrons at permanant inward stop 9 on Clarence St rather than proceeding one block further to the ground itself. Whilst this is a slightly longer transit time it significantly reduces the interfacing of buses with pedestrians in the area and avoids buses competing with motorists proceeding direct to the ground so there is very small material impact to the arrival time of patrons.

The media reported a fleet of 15 buses to be used in the new arrangements but I have only counted 14 on each occassion. With a round trip taking about 40 minutes the fleet of 14 was able to maintain a credible service level for the patronage offering.

After leaving stop 9 empty, the buses either proceeded directly back to the city for another load or proceeded to Rosny to turnaround and then run back along Clarence St to Wentworth St to proceed to lay over in Alexandra Esplanade. This was only temporary though, as once the majority of the cricket patrons were in the ground the buses were called to come to Church Street and line up facing north for passenger boarding in the area that they had previously laid over facing south in church st (between derwent and scott streets) whilst the drivers attended the game. This again significantly reduced bus/pedestrian conflicting movements. Although the simplified service to the city only (and the smaller fleet) facilitated this change, the use of this area in this direction has been on obvious improvement in my mind for some time now.

Once in place a temporary fence was erected around the parked buses so that patrons could only join the front bus at any point on departure and to prevent other pedestrians from wandering amongst the buses at the conclusion of the match.

This then meant that as buses at the front of the queue filled they could be despatched under traffic controller and police priority into Clarence St which saw significant improvements in bus transit times from the area. The first 2 buses were able to return from the city for a 2nd trip 25 minutes after the first departure which again is a significant improvement on past performances.

When suburban patrons reached the city at 10.30 pm this was after the last Sunday services had departed so several of the charter buses formed services to Kingston and the northern suburbs. Whilst Kingston patrons would not have been too disadvantaged those returning to the northern suburbs would probably have had a significant increase in transit times compared to previous events which is not good for patronage levels.

Overall the changes are very much for the better, although it is to be hoped that some direct services to and from the Northern suburbs can be reintroduced (possibly by using stop 9 on clarence st? for some departures) now that a basic service pattern that is much safer and efficient has been established.

for the record:

buses used on the 2nd Jan - 733, 726, 305, 727, 720, 732, 723, 234, 344, 205, 654, 239, 734, 215.
buses used on 8th Jan - 725, 732, 727, 731, 228, 716, 721, 729, 718, 217, 315, 313, 314, 324

Phil Lange

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Re: Cricket Buses in Hobart - Jan 2017

Post by Tas Bus Nut »

Timetable from City - 5pm > 6pm 10min intervals. 6pm > 7pm 5min intervals

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