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Plenty Valley Bus Network

Melbourne / Victoria Transport Discussion

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Re: New northern bus routes (Melbourne, Vic.)

Postby Richard1207 » Sat Apr 23, 2016 1:56 pm

crakening wrote:Unfortunately the 567 still runs at stupid 22-minute frequencies.

The frequency of the new timetable is even more stupid as it's not the same all day. There are also frequencies of 19, 20, 21 & 23 minutes between some services, timetables should be easy to remember.
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Re: New northern bus routes (Melbourne, Vic.)

Postby krustyklo » Fri May 06, 2016 7:27 pm

Dysons have been actively promoting the 381 on Twitter, including asking for feedback in the past 24 hours (ironically I read it whilst waiting for a bus this morning). It attracted several repsonses criticising the connection with trains and existing routes, including this one which seems to be unavailable on Dysons account but available here: https://twitter.com/VictoriaPTVideo/with_replies.

Whilst I haven't completed it, a preliminary analysis of the route and connections can be found here: https://sites.google.com/site/krustyrandomstuff/route-381-analysis (some of us have a day job :wink: )

Summarising, from Doreen to Diamond Creek, there is no real connection until the 7.48am arrival, then arrivals connect with Flinders St trains until the 9.49am arrival, then Hurstbridge trains until the 2.13pm arrival. There are further connections to several Hurstbridge trains and one Flinders St train in the evening peak, with many bus arrivals narrowly missing trains in both directions.

In the other direction, there are a couple of random connections and misses until the 10.36 am departure until the 11.56 am departure. The next set of connections are in the evening peak between the 3.52pm and 7.49pm departures with trains from Flinders St, but none from Hurstbridge. After that, there are no further connections between train and bus.

On the other hand, the complaint of buses arriving and just missing trains seems to have some validity. The PTV needs to work out what the purpose of the route is. It is all very well having frequencies to match train frequencies, but if there is no effort to arrive in such a time to connect with the train, it is a futile empty exercise in timetabling. To make things worse, the 381 for some reason has a timetabled 5 minute wait in Doreen North (ie, nowhere potentially useful like Doreen shops) which means it misses several train services at Diamond Creek by less than 5 minutes, which it would otherwise meet if it didn't wait in Doreen... :evil:

Equally, there is no rhyme nor reason to whether the route is supposed to connect with Hurstbridge or Flinders St trains. Logically, Eltham users wanting to go around Doreen with a choice between Diamond Creek/381 and Greensborough/520 will find more options between Eltham and Doreen going via Greensborough than Diamond Creek. Hence it would make more sense for the route to provide connections with trains to and from Hurstbridge to create new journey opportunities, yet many buses connect with trains from Eltham instead. Anyone from Montmorency west towards the city are better off with existing options via the 520.

As for the 520, Dysons Twitter comments about it being early days of the new network are probably fair in terms of buses leaving together on the 520/381., or the 562/381. Yet again, inexplicably, the 520 often overtakes the 381 whilst the 381 waits in Doreen North... Clearly the two routes are being treated as seperate entities and sometimes they follow each other, and sometimes they offset each other to provide better service...

And you and I are paying for this inefficiency...
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Re: New northern bus routes (Melbourne, Vic.)

Postby burrumbus » Tue May 10, 2016 9:35 pm

Thanks for the very interesting analysis krustyklo.
Seems like 381 will be joining the rather extensive list of routes that really are a waste of time and ,as you say,taxpayers money.
It is a reasonable idea in terms of being the quickest way from Doreen to the rail,but fails from poor connections.
Seems to me to make it work,it needs real attention to detail to connections to all city trains in the am (especially peak) and from city trains in the pm (especially peak).
Perhaps also separating it to be a Doreen-Diamond Creek shuttle if you will.That would take out more of the risk of unreliablilty from the proposed western side of the route.
As it stands the 381 will attract just kids from Doreen to Diamond Valley Secondary Colege,Diamond Creek and very little else.
Do we really need another fresh air route ??
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Re: New northern bus routes (Melbourne, Vic.)

Postby crakening » Tue May 10, 2016 11:55 pm

The route really puzzles me. It is completely pointless on the Plenty Road side because of how it is timetabled - now providing 3 buses every 40 minutes...within about 5 mins of each other, since it has no use on Plenty Road, it could run non-stop and save a good 5-10 mins? There's no real reason for the two sections together anyway as it runs now, especially since the frequency isn't consistent on either side during peak. I'm a bit confused by the Diamond Creek connection. I understand it is useful for schools students and so on, but why was a school bus not sufficient? It is probably more useful running down to Greensborough, which is a major hub in the area, providing a 20-min frequency and connecting most trains in conjunction with 520. Unless there has been a big boom in DIamond Creek lately, I just don't see where the feasibility of the route is coming from. Even if it did connect with trains, the circuitous route from Diamond Creek and low frequencies mean Greensborough would be better for connections anyway. Dyson said it is a small piece of the larger network being rolled out, but even in the context of that, it is a mess. Honestly...
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Re: New northern bus routes (Melbourne, Vic.)

Postby krustyklo » Wed May 11, 2016 3:48 pm

Seems to me to make it work,it needs real attention to detail to connections to all city trains in the am (especially peak) and from city trains in the pm (especially peak).

I'd argue the opposite.

The 520 currently takes not much longer and connects to city trains at Greensborough. As an example, I could catch the 7.01am to Diamond Creek, arriving at 7.48pm (47 minute journey time). Or I could catch the 7.09am to Greensborough, arriving 7.59am (50 minute journey time). The two observations I get from that are that I find it hard to believe it takes 20 minutes to get from Montsalvat St (in the south east corner of Doreen) to Diamond Creek, and that people going to the city are better off connecting at Greensborough as the bus trip takes the same time and there are a lot more trains to and from Greensborough in the peak, and twice as many off peak. However, a further thing to bear in mind is that the 381 has been introduced in advance of the new network, but is designed as part of that network (https://getinvolved.ptv.vic.gov.au/South-Morang-Doreen-Diamond-Creek). What is now the 520 will be the new route 317 on the map in the link. It will be interesting to see what the frequencies on the 317 are given it replaces the northern end of the 562 and takes a different route through Doreen. As a result, many existing 520 passengers will have a longer walk to the Greensborough bus, or effectively have the 381 as their only nearest option thus being downgraded in service from every 30 or 20/40 minutes to every 40 minutes..

Equally if I were wanting to travel between Doreen and Eltham, Greensborough is a similar distance to Diamond Creek (both 7 minutes by train). However, between Greensborough and Eltham I have the choice of the train (irregular in peak hour in the counter peak direction with the biggest gap being 30 minutes, every 20 mins off peak), the 513 (every 30 minutes in peak hour, 40 min outside) and the 902 (every 15 minutes). Between Diamond Creek and Eltham I can get the train (26-28 min frequency between 7am and 8.25am, then every 40 minutes until the evening peak when it varies, similar arrangement in evening peak with more trains Eltham to Diamond Creek and fewer in the counter peak direction) or the 580 (every 30 minutes). Even allowing for there being more trains in the peak direction for Diamond Creek to Eltham, Greensborough to Eltham still has a similar level of rail service and a lot more bus options that don't take much longer than the train (the 902 is timetabled for 13-14 minutes but is usually quicker). The 580 only takes 15 minutes (so still comparable), but there is half as many of those as the 902.

Hence, it could be argued that as destinations between Eltham and the city vary from no worse than going via Diamond Creek (Eltham) to quicker by using Greensborough as the interchange point, then the 381 is better off connecting to and from trains serving destinations between Hurstbridge and Wattle Glen, as their journeys would genuinely be quicker. Of course, the next most obvious point is that there probably aren't many people likely to want to travel between Hurstbridge and Doreen, but that's another story...

I'm a bit confused by the Diamond Creek connection. I understand it is useful for schools students and so on, but why was a school bus not sufficient? It is probably more useful running down to Greensborough, which is a major hub in the area, providing a 20-min frequency and connecting most trains in conjunction with 520. Unless there has been a big boom in DIamond Creek lately, I just don't see where the feasibility of the route is coming from. Even if it did connect with trains, the circuitous route from Diamond Creek and low frequencies mean Greensborough would be better for connections anyway.


It was interesting that it was mentioned specifically in the Labour bus plan election pitch that people had asked for a Doreen to Diamond Creek bus. Frankly I wonder who. I'm guessing the concern expressed was probably a campaign for a school bus, but as often happens, someone extended the scope of the campaign thinking it would be a "nice to have" (possibly thinking it would be a quicker journey than the timetable currently provides), Eltham and Yan Yean were marginal state government seats, and here we are. As for why the 381 didn't run to Greensborough instead, that would be because the 520 already exists and goes to Greensborough. As for the boom in Diamond Creek, there has been a residential boom over the last 30 years, but not a commercial one. There is nothing in Diamond Creek that isn't already now existing in Doreen, and Greensborough has a much better range of shops for the ones not in Doreen. Hence although there is a boom, it will produce more rail users going out, not more people coming in.

Now the genie is out of the bottle, the service is here to stay. It is a pity, because I can't help thinking about what could have been done with the 2 extra buses travelling between Diamond Creek and Doreen most of the day. Examples from the top of my head in the general area are:
  • Making the current 20/40 timetable on the 564/569 every 20 minutes (ie, 2 buses would fill the gap).
  • Filling in the gaps on the 520 so it runs every 20 minutes instead of 20/40. (uses 2 buses)
  • Fill in the gaps on the 572 between Doreen and South Morang. (uses 2 buses, but only just as each bus would wait 47 minutes at Doreen to fill the next gap which is a bit wasteful).
  • Upgrade the 573 to every 20 minutes form the current 40 (needs 2 more buses)
  • Upgrading the 580 from every 30 minutes (currently 2 buses) to every 20 minutes (would use 3 buses, ie, only needs one extra bus) thus connecting with every train at Eltham.
I'm sure others could think of more options in the local area.
I suspect a better approach would be to implement it as a 2 year trial on a "use it or lose it" basis. If there is genuine use, then keep it. If it runs empty most of the time, reallocate the resources elsewhere and make a big deal of the new services provided instead of empty buses noone was using. The PTV needs to get much better about publicising data so people can genuinely decide how bus services are provided. I suspect that if people are treated as informed users, they will be open to decisions where resources are reallocated, as long as they don't feel that it is a pea and thimble trick where resources are actually being removed - transparency would help show that this is not the case and would build trust in these sorts of decisions. People are taxpayers too, and dislike paying for empty buses just as much as wanting services. Or maybe I'm just the eternal optimist...

The route really puzzles me. It is completely pointless on the Plenty Road side because of how it is timetabled - now providing 3 buses every 40 minutes...within about 5 mins of each other, since it has no use on Plenty Road, it could run non-stop and save a good 5-10 mins? There's no real reason for the two sections together anyway as it runs now, especially since the frequency isn't consistent on either side during peak.

The big picture is that the 381 will become the route serving that part of Plenty Rd (along with the 323 for the southern part) - the 562 will cease to exist along there, instead winding through Doreen, then replacing the 520 to Greensborough, allegedly because "people from Whittlesea want a bus to Greensborough". However, if you read the consultation summary, it was noted that Whittlesea people expressed a concern about the bus no longer connecting to the train at South Morang (highlighted on the second page of the consultation summary). I suspect what has happened is that when the 562 was diverted from Greensborough to Northland with the South Morang station opening, people were concerned about the change as they were used to connecting to the rail line at Greensborough and were possibly concerned that going via South Morang would take longer, or some wanted destinations along the Hurstbridge line (eg, Heidelberg). I suspect once South Morang opened and the sky didn't fall in, and there were frequent rail services that took no longer to get to the city compared to Greensborough, I suspect people got used to it and were mostly satisfied, especially given they no longer had to sit in buses in traffic along Plenty Rd. However, the complaints are recent enough that the local Labour strategists felt that it might be an election winner to run the Whittlesea bus back to Greensborough. I suspect that initial focus groups may well have been positive as they would have thought that they would get the best of both worlds having the 562 going to both South Morang and Greensborough. However, once the proposed network was publicisied, I suspect many would be unhappy at losing the much closer rail connection at South Morang in favour of a bureaucratic tick box route that meanders through Doreen and Greensborough so the politicians can claim they implemented a promise. Worse still, once the railway line is extended to Mernda, a trip from Whittlesea to the CBD would have been quicker still with the existing 562, under the new route structure the 317 (the 562 northern section replacement) misses the new station by nearly 2km.

The reality is that if you stop trying to look at the new route as a logical network for passengers who want to go somewhere, and look at it as a logical network for politicians to claim they kept promises, then the whole thing makes a lot more sense. In this case, I suspect more than a few people would be happy for the Whittlesea to Greensborough promise not to be kept if this is how it is to be kept, whilst I suspect the Diamond Creek end is a kept promise for petitions for a school bus but with serious scope creep.
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Re: New northern bus routes (Melbourne, Vic.)

Postby Craig » Thu May 19, 2016 11:56 am

PTV wrote:A new bus network for Plenty Valley

From 24 July a new bus network for Plenty Valley will be introduced. The new bus network will provide more frequent, coordinated and direct services for the local community.

Download the new bus network map for Plenty Valley (PDF) 1.2MB - http://ptv.vic.gov.au/assets/PDFs/proje ... y-2016.pdf

For customers with accessibility requirements, information on the PDF can be found below.

Key features of the new bus network:
  • Extended coverage into growth areas
  • A new bus route connecting Doreen to Diamond Creek
  • Reinstatement of a bus service between Whittlesea and Greensborough
  • Better connections to Laurimar town centre
  • Additional service to Kinglake
  • Additional services along Civic Drive improving the link between Mill Park Secondary College (Senior Campus) and South Morang Station
  • More frequent, direct services between the Route 86 tram terminus to South Morang Station via Plenty Road and Bush Boulevard then continuing along The Lakes Boulevard to Mernda
  • Improved access to Hazel Glen College with the introduction of new Route 311
  • Improved access to Marymede Catholic College and Arilla Retirement Village
  • Selected trips on Route 311 will run to/from Diamond Valley College and St Helena Secondary College at school time.

Bus route summaries for new Plenty Valley network

Route 382: Whittlesea to Northland via South Morang Station (New route)
Route 383: Palisades to University Hill (New route)
Route 384: Kinglake to Whittlesea via Humevale (New route)
Route 385: Whittlesea/Mernda North to Greensborough (New route)
Route 386: Mernda West to Bundoora RMIT (New route)
Route 387: Mernda North to Bundoora RMIT via Hawkstowe Parade (New route)
Route 570: Thomastown to RMIT Bundoora via Betula Avenue Plenty Road

New bus timetbale will be available from 24 July 2016.


Not sure why the blurb still refers to the 311 (rather than 381) and why it states the "timetbale" won't be available until the commencement date...

Key changes from the proposal:

311 - now known as 382 - instead of the Northland end continuing to Diamond Creek via Doreen over what is now the 381, it sensibly continues up Plenty Rd to Whittlesea, effectively the current 562 is retained. The 381 (which covers the eastern section of 311) presumably will be off-set along Plenty Rd between South Morang & Bridge Inn Rd. I also note the St Helena College trip on 381 will now run via Diamond Creek first.

317 - now known as 385 - trips between Mernda North and Whittlesea are now just an occasional extension (with the 382 from Northland & South Morang being the main Whittlesea route). Only the 382 will serve northern Whittlesea, the 385 terminates in the centre of town.

322 & 323 - now known as 386 & 387. 387 now starts at RMIT rather than just South Morang Station and operates as a sister route to 386 along Plenty Rd, The Lakes Bvd & into the cluster of side streets west of Plenty Rd before heading into the Hawkstowe Estate.

327 - now known as 384

346 - now known as 383

570 - new loop around University Hill Shopping Centre (but not University Hill estate).

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Re: New northern bus routes (Melbourne, Vic.)

Postby crakening » Thu May 19, 2016 2:54 pm

From a quick glance, that looks a lot better than the original proposal. It looks like solid 20 min services through Mill Park Lakes and along Plenty Road. Hopefully it will be every 20 mins on weekends as well. The return to a direct Plenty Rd service looks good - and the extension is there to fulfil the election promise I guess. It looks like when the railway station opens, they can keep the same network except extend the termini of 385-7 down to Mernda Station or something similar. If they build Hawkstowe Station, the network will be good for that - given the amount of connections there.
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Re: New northern bus routes (Melbourne, Vic.)

Postby krustyklo » Fri May 20, 2016 7:15 pm

Definite improvement over the original changes. The retention of the 562 is a big win as it continues to connect to the quickest way to the city at South Morang (and eventually Mernda once the rail extension is completed), as well as traffic generators further south such as RMIT Bundoora and LaTrobe Uni.

Excellent win for those living along Lakes Blvd. How much will depend on final timetables and funding. The best option is that the noises made in the media recently about 20 minute frequencies in outer suburbs is implemented with this new network first and that the two routes combine to provide a 10 minute service. A worser option is that the two routes run every 40 minutes and combine to provide a 20 minute service. Worst still is that they both run a 20/40 min frequency and follow each other along Lakes Blvd... :evil: (cynical, moi...?)

Will be interesting to see the details of the 385 extension. Am guessing it will be an irregular and/or peak hour extension. Still don't see the point, but I could well be wrong and it may well be popular for people wanting to travel along the Hurstbridge line and to Greensborough. I still believe the main issues causing agitation for a Whittlesea to Greensborough bus were people concerned about the need to change travel patterns that have since bedded down, as well as expectations about reinstating the original 562 route via the Ring Rd to Greensborough, but we shall see.

The other main issues haven't been addressed in relation to the 386 and 387 avoiding the new railway terminus and the new town centre development. If Hawkestowe station is built then it will remove the former as an issue, but you'd think that people in nearby housing estates might want to travel to the nearby town centre rather than be carried around it to one further away at South Morang (where the bus doesn't even stop at the shopping centre any more).

Additionally, people living along the current 520 in Doreen North now have no other option than to use the worse frequency route 381 (30 min or 20/40 currently to 40) and go to Diamond Creek or change to the 385. Hopefully some thought is given to such people in the detailed planning and timetabling. Former 572 passengers along Overland Dve are probably better off as the route 381 is more direct, but the frequency is worse (30 min or 20/40 currently down to 40), plus if they want to travel further south to RMIT or the tram, they need to interchange at South Morang.

Overall an improvement over both the previous proposals and the current network, but it has the potential to produce losers.
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Re: New northern bus routes (Melbourne, Vic.)

Postby Craig » Wed May 25, 2016 5:48 pm

A detailed summary and FAQ has now appeared on the Dysons website - http://dysongroup.com.au/plenty-valley-bus-network

Other than a new loop around University Hill Shopping Centre, East-West 570 will be upgraded to run every 20 mins on weekdays (currently 30 mins) and will also gain weekend services for the first time. This will improve the connections for students arriving off the train at Thomastown. No word if 566 remains a lame duck for students coming off trains at Greensborough, which currently runs every 24 mins on weekdays.

Regarding the Whittesea extension on 385 ex Greensborough, every second bus will travel to Whittlesea on weekdays, which would appear to be every 40 mins in the peaks and every 80 mins interpeak.

Kinglake will also regain Sunday services (the Bushfire recovery shuttle ran on Sundays).

Frequency information for the other routes is not provided.

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Re: New northern bus routes (Melbourne, Vic.)

Postby crakening » Wed Jun 01, 2016 2:43 pm

The FAQ seems to have disappeared off the Dysons website... is it really that hard to provide concise and timely information for service changes?
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Re: New northern bus routes (Melbourne, Vic.)

Postby Matty G » Fri Jun 24, 2016 4:51 pm

Hello,

Detailed route descriptions and maps for the new Whittlesea / Mernda bus network (which commence July 24th) have started to appear on the PTV website.

To view these, click on TIMETABLES from the PTV homepage.... select METROPOLITAN BUSES and then the route you wish to view.
Unfortunately, timetables have not been published at this time- so keep those peepers looking!

Noted that there will also be combined timetables for Routes 381 / 382 and Routes 386 /387... with the latter demonstrating "The Turn Up and Go" service of a ten minute frequency in peak hours.

Cheers.
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Re: New northern bus routes (Melbourne, Vic.)

Postby Craig » Fri Jun 24, 2016 5:34 pm

The 381/382 timetable also states a turn up & go service in peak times (between Bridge inn Rd & South Morang Station).

The 382 will still have Mernda shorts in peaks.

I am pleased to see the 383 will still have a school deviation to serve Mill Park Secondary College Junior Campus for those who live along Blossom Park Dr (who currently catch the 572).

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Re: New northern bus routes (Melbourne, Vic.)

Postby Matty G » Sat Jun 25, 2016 4:34 pm

Hello,

Bus timetables for the new Whittlesea / Mernda route (381-387 and 570) are now available to view on the PTV website.

Passengers on the Route 570 now have buses running at 20 minute intervals till 9pm weekdays and a 40 minute weekend frequency also till 9pm.

Route 384 on the other hand is a little disappointing, with what I would call a 'token' service being provided to residents out towards Kinglake. Generally a 4 hour gap between services on weekdays, rendering it useless for those who only want to go into the Whittlesea township for a short period, likewise for those wanting to take the bus home from work.
Weekends only provides 3 return services on a Saturday and 2 on a Sunday.
Route 384 provides a number of short workings to Yea Street in Whittlesea, which make me wonder whether that should have continued to be part of the 382.

Happy reading everyone!
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Re: New northern bus routes (Melbourne, Vic.)

Postby Craig » Sat Jun 25, 2016 5:13 pm

Summary:

381 South Morang - Doreen North - Diamond Creek - http://ptv.vic.gov.au/route/view/11123
Peak: 20 mins South Morang - Doreen North, 40 mins Doreen North - Diamond Creek (with a few extra trips into Diamond Creek during the AM peak than now)
Interpeak, evening & weekends: 40 mins
School time deviations/extensions to Hazel Glen College, Diamond Creek College & St Helena College.

382 Whittlesea North - Whittlesea - Mernda North - South Morang - Bundoora RMIT - Northland
- http://ptv.vic.gov.au/route/view/11115
Peak: 20 mins Mernda North - Bundoora RMIT, 40 mins Whittlesea North - Mernda North & Bundoora RMIT - Norhtland
Interpeak, evening & weekends: 40 mins all route

383 Palisades - South Morang - University Hill/Bundoora RMIT - http://ptv.vic.gov.au/route/view/11112
Peak: 30 mins
Interrpeak, evening & weekends: 40 mins
School time deviations to Mill Park Secondary College Junior & Senior Campuses

384 Whittlesea - Whittlesea East - Humevale - Kinglake - http://ptv.vic.gov.au/route/view/11109
Kinglake gets 5 trips a day on weekdays, 3 on Saturdays and 2 on Sundays (up from 2 on weekdays & 1 on Saturdays)
Humevale gets 8 trips a day on weekdays, 3 on Saturdays and 2 on Sundays (up from 6 on weekdays but down on 4 on Saturdays)
Presumably residents in East Whittlesea kicked up a fuss, there will be shortworkings every 40 mins most of the day to/from the current 562 Whittlesea terminus east of the showgrounds. (The 382 continues onto Whittlesea North now)

385 Greensborough - Apollo Parkways - Doreen South - Mernda North - Whittlesea - https://ptv.vic.gov.au/route/view/11106
Peak: 20 mins Greensborough - Mernda North, 40 mins Mernda North - Whittlesea
Interpeak & weeknight evening: 40 mins Greensborough - Mernda North, 80 mins Mernda North - Whittlesea
Weekends: 40 mins Greensborough - Menrda North, connections of about 10 mins at Mernda North to 382 for Whittlesea connection (in both directions)

386 Mernda North - Mill Park Lakes - South Morang - Bundoora RMIT - http://ptv.vic.gov.au/route/view/11102
Peak: 20 mins
Interpeak & weekends: 40 mins
Evening: Hourly

387 Mernda North - Hawkstowe Estate - Mill Park Lakes - South Morang - Bundoora RMIT
- http://ptv.vic.gov.au/route/view/11099
Peak: 20 mins
Interpeak & weekends: 40 mins
Evening: Hourly

570 Thomastown - Bundoora RMIT - http://ptv.vic.gov.au/route/view/11118
Weekday daytime: 20 min
Weeknight Evening: 30 mins
Weekend Daytime: 40 mins
Weekend Evening: 40-45 mins

381 & 382 combined Bridge Inn Rd Mernda - South Morang Station via Plenty Rd - http://ptv.vic.gov.au/route/view/11143
Peak: 10 mins
Interpeak & weekends: 20 mins (with double-ups Sunday morning owing to 40 mins train)
Evening: 30 mins

386 & 387 combined McAruthrs Rd South Morang - Mill Park Lakes - South Morang - Bundoora RMIT - http://ptv.vic.gov.au/route/view/11205
Peak: 10 mins
Interpeak & weekends: 20 mins (with double-ups Sunday morning owing to 40 mins train)
Evening: 30 min
Appears 386 & 387 through-route into each other at Mernda North (similar to 494/495 at Point Cook South) so people in Mernda North can effectively board any trip up to Mernda North.

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Re: New northern bus routes (Melbourne, Vic.)

Postby Craig » Mon Jun 27, 2016 3:07 pm

This information has now appeared on the PTV & Dysons websites...I have put some text in blue where I've had to reword it to make sense.

PTV wrote:Image
A new bus network for Plenty Valley

From 24 July a new bus network for Plenty Valley will provide more frequent, coordinated and direct services to more places in Mernda, Doreen and South Morang.

Bus frequency will improve to every 10 or 20 minutes across much of the network during peak hours, helping you turn up and go. Connections to trains will also be easier at South Morang and Greensborough stations.

There are six new buses being introduced: routes 382, 383, 384, 385, 386 and 387 that will replace routes 520, 562, 565, 572 and 573, and help you get to:
Kinglake and Whittlesea townships
Northland Shopping Centre
Laurimar town centre
Plenty Valley Shopping Centre
Greensborough Shopping Centre
University Hill Factory Outlets
RMIT Bundoora Campus
La Trobe University Bundoora Campus.

Other key features include:
a new bus route connecting Doreen and Diamond Creek
the reinstatement of a bus service between Whittlesea and Greensborough
additional services to Kinglake
additional services along Civic Drive improving the link between Mill Park Secondary College (Senior Campus) and South Morang Station
better connections between the Route 86 tram terminus at Bundoora RMIT and South Morang Station via Plenty Road and Bush Boulevard, then continuing along The Lakes Boulevard to Mernda
better services for students at Hazel Glen College, Diamond Valley College, St Helena Secondary College and Marymede Catholic College
improved access to Arilla Retirement Village.

Route summaries
Route 382 Whittlesea to Northland
Route 383 Palisade to University Hill
Route 384 Kinglake to Whittlesea
Route 385 Whittlesea / Mernda to Greensborough
Route 386 Mernda West to Bundoora RMIT
Route 387 Mernda North to Bundoora RMIT
Route 570 Thomastown to RMIT Bundoora via Betula Avenue and Plenty Road

Route 382 Whittlesea to Northland
Route 382 Whittlesea to Northland is a new route operating between Whittlesea Township and Northland via South Morang Station.

Catch this service to get to:
Whittlesea
South Morang Station
Mill Park Secondary College (Junior Campus)
Parade College
RMIT University, Bundoora
La Trobe University
Northland Shopping Centre.

Route 382 replaces Route 562 Whittlesea to Northland.

Route 383 Palisade to University Hill
Route 383 Palisades to University Hill is a new route operating between the Palisades Estate (South Morang) and University Hill via South Morang Station.

Catch this service to get to:
South Morang Station for train and bus services including Smart Bus 901
University Hill retail outlets
Bundoora RMIT for tram Route 86 services.

Route 383 replaces Route 573, north of South Morang Station and Route 572, south of South Morang Station.

Route 384 Kinglake to Whittlesea
Route 384 Kinglake to Whittlesea is a new route operating between Kinglake and Whittlesea Township via Humevale.

It replaces Route 565 but provides Kinglake residents with approximately three times the number of trips they had previously.

Route 383 operates seven days a week whereas Route 565 did not operate on Sundays.

It also replaces Route 562 in the eastern section of Whittlesea and the special trips to Humevale currently served by Route 562. Since the new route will carry out both functions, you might notice some gaps in the timetable in the eastern section of Whittlesea as a result of the select trips to Kinglake.

To get to South Morang Station you can interchange at Church Street, Whittlesea for Route 382 Whittlesea to Northland.

Route 385 Whittlesea / Mernda North to Greensborough
Route 385 Whittlesea/Mernda North to Greensborough is a new bus route operating between Whittlesea Township and Greensborough Plaza via Laurimar Town Centre.

You can interchange at:
Greensborough Station for trains and other bus services, including SmartBus 901 and 902
Laurimar Town Centre for connections to bus route 381 for South Morang
Mernda North for new bus routes 382, 386 and 387 for South Morang, Bundoora RMIT, La Trobe University and Northland Shopping Centre

Route 385 will operate every 20 minutes during peak between Mernda North and Greensborough and every 40 minutes during off-peak between the same locations. On weekdays, every second trip will be extended to and from Whittlesea.

Services will operate seven days a week. On Saturdays and Sundays, all trips operate between Mernda North and Greensborough. If you’re heading to Whittlesea, you can transfer to Route 382 any day of the week at Mernda North.

Route 386 Mernda West to Bundoora RMIT
Route 386 is a new bus route operating between Mernda West and Bundoora RMIT via South Morang Station.

Catch this service to get to:
Mernda Village
South Morang Station
Westfield – Plenty Valley
University Hill
Bundoora RMIT.

It runs further west than the existing Route 572 to provide new coverage in the growing areas of Mernda.

From South Morang, it follows the existing alignment of Route 573 to University Hill, however terminates in Plenty Road, outside of the RMIT Bundoora West Campus.

Route 386 operates seven days a week.

Route 387 Mernda North to Bundoora RMIT
Route 387 is a new bus route operating between Mernda North and Bundoora RMIT via Hawkstowe Parade.

It provides a connection to South Morang Station and links to the northern stop of tram Route 86.

This route will provide new services in the Hawkstowe area east of Plenty Road where there was previously no public transport.

Route 570 Thomastown to RMIT Bundoora via Betula Ave (remove: Plenty Rd)
Route 570 is an existing service from Thomastown to RMIT Bundoora that will now run through University Hill via Ormond Boulevard, Chancellor Avenue and Janefield Drive.

It will run every 20 minutes on weekdays when previously it ran every 30 minutes. This increased frequency will allow you to have better connections with trains at Thomastown Station.

Route 570 now travels on weekends and public holidays.

For more information
Download the Plenty Valley brochure (PDF) 1923kB - http://ptv.vic.gov.au/assets/Uploads/PT ... ochure.PDF

For customers with accessibility requirements, download the Plenty Valley information brochure - accessible version (DOC) 438kB. - https://cms.ptv.vic.gov.au/assets/Uploa ... ochure.doc

Click here to view your new timetable and plan your journey. - http://ptv.vic.gov.au/timetables/


Great diagrammatic map of the two Turn Up & Go corridors - hope they use this for bus shelter advertising.
Image

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Re: New northern bus routes (Melbourne, Vic.)

Postby Richard1207 » Fri Jul 08, 2016 3:51 pm

The online timetables for the 564 & 569 routes also show a date starting from July 24, but something is wrong. Every service is shown twice and there is no difference to the current timetables. The start of the Plenty Valley network would be a perfect time to get rid of the ridiculous 20/40 frequencies on these routes as well.
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Re: New northern bus routes (Melbourne, Vic.)

Postby RailwayBus » Mon Jul 11, 2016 12:17 am

Richard1207 wrote:The online timetables for the 564 & 569 routes also show a date starting from July 24, but something is wrong. Every service is shown twice and there is no difference to the current timetables. The start of the Plenty Valley network would be a perfect time to get rid of the ridiculous 20/40 frequencies on these routes as well.


What would you suggest replacing the 20/40 frequency with? Unless funding is provided for a bus every 20 minutes or better, 20/40 will be fine.
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Re: New northern bus routes (Melbourne, Vic.)

Postby Richard1207 » Mon Jul 11, 2016 10:09 am

RailwayBus wrote:
Richard1207 wrote:The online timetables for the 564 & 569 routes also show a date starting from July 24, but something is wrong. Every service is shown twice and there is no difference to the current timetables. The start of the Plenty Valley network would be a perfect time to get rid of the ridiculous 20/40 frequencies on these routes as well.


What would you suggest replacing the 20/40 frequency with? Unless funding is provided for a bus every 20 minutes or better, 20/40 will be fine.

What's wrong with every 30 minutes? If buses have to run at either 20 or 40 minute frequencies just to connect with train times, why don't other routes in the northern suburbs do the same? I'll use routes 552 to 558 as an example, as well as the 566 & 567. None of these have a frequency of 20 or 40 minutes.
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Re: New northern bus routes (Melbourne, Vic.)

Postby crakening » Mon Jul 11, 2016 1:52 pm

They're only like that because the timetables really been changed. I reckon when 552 is updated, it will fall to a 20 minute frequency, and 553 to a 40 minute frequency. 555/556/566/567 etc. don't have enough buses to get a nice 20-minute frequency. So when they're changed I wouldn't be surprised if some go to 20-40 so others can go to every 20 minutes. It's just sloppiness.
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Re: New northern bus routes (Melbourne, Vic.)

Postby MAN 16.242 » Mon Jul 11, 2016 2:04 pm

crakening wrote:They're only like that because the timetables really been changed. I reckon when 552 is updated, it will fall to a 20 minute frequency, and 553 to a 40 minute frequency. 555/556/566/567 etc. don't have enough buses to get a nice 20-minute frequency. So when they're changed I wouldn't be surprised if some go to 20-40 so others can go to every 20 minutes. It's just sloppiness.

If you got rid of the Derby Dr loop on 556, you could increase 555/556 to 20 minutes for no extra buses. Much of people have 577 or 901 nearby so they are not left without a bus service. The idea to scrapped the loop was recommend in bus reviews back in 2007/2008.

As for downgrading 553 to 40 minutes. It may mean it'd connect better with 20 minute trains in off peak, but other than would provide little benefit and would result in buses just laying over longer.
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Re: New northern bus routes (Melbourne, Vic.)

Postby MAN 16.242 » Sun Oct 29, 2017 1:15 pm

Changes are propsed for the Plenty Valley Bus Network for when train line extentsion to Mernda opems.
https://getinvolved.ptv.vic.gov.au/plentyvalley
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Re: Plenty Valley Bus Network

Postby crakening » Sun Oct 29, 2017 4:21 pm

It's a big downgrade for Plenty Rd (10 mins at peak to 40 mins), given the long distances between stations, maintaining even a 20 min frequency would be far better. 388/389 operating as a one-way loop on weekends is not amazing either. It means a long and circuitous ride especially as there is no other service for the southern end of Doreen.
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Re: Plenty Valley Bus Network

Postby krustyklo » Mon Oct 30, 2017 7:00 pm

Strengths:
381 - Existing 20 minute peak hour service from Doreen North to Mernda maintained.
385 - The route south of Bridge Inn Rd is being altered to further serve new housing estates. The route also provides quick, easy access from south of Bridge Inn Rd to the new Mernda station. It is interesting the PTV have retained the Whittlesea extension instead of simplifying the network by providing more 382 buses instead. Do many people travel from north of Mernda on the 385 to Greensborough given the indirect nature of the current route and less than frequent service? Would extending the existing 382 peak hour services to Whittlesea be more productive thus providing a 20 minute service instead of two 40 minute services irregularly spaced?
386 / 387 - changing them to run directly to Mernda station seems reasonably effective.
388/389 - probably a good idea as the route itself is reasonably direct in linking to Mernda station and Doreen shops, and enables other routes to be direct such as the 385/6/7, as well as linking sections of route served by other routes directly to Mernda station, notably the northern sections of the 386 and 387.

Areas for consideration:
381 - A potential lost opportunity to make the route more direct by having it go directly along Hazel Glen Dve and Brookwood Ave or Flaxen Hills Rd / Overland Dve instead of meandering around Doreen North instead of the 388/9 doing this instead. Potentially worth keeping the southern half every 40 minutes alternating with the 382 to provide a 20 minute frequency as noted by crakening above. However, to be fair this section of route mainly passes through open space or low density housing, with the higher density parts served by other routes or the future Marymede station.
382 - The alternative option for 20 minute services would be to keep running the existing services to Mernda instead of terminating them all at South Morang station. It seems like a small cost cut for the sake of providing direct services at a decent frequency along Plenty Rd to Bundoora RMIT which will not be served by the rail extension yet is a significant traffic generator, along with other places further south along the tram line such as LaTrobe Uni. Still, as noted above, the section of route north of South Morang along Plenty Rd has largely parkland along the east side of Plenty Rd and other expanses of not much. It would be interesting to get actual data on how many people currently board in this section - if the PTV were serious about having a discussion they would provide boarding data along each part of the current routes (and even the previous routes to show growth) to justify cuts.
385 - It seems a shame that it isn't possible to provide access from the estates south of Bridge Inn Rd to the nearest shopping district of Doreen as well as the new station. This probably won't really matter once the new Mernda Town Centre is developed next to the station I guess.
388/9 - The less frequent peak service than the current 20 minutes seems a retrograde step. Every 25-30 minutes in peak hour when every other route in the area has a 20 minute frequency means there will be little opportunity for interchange, and is a step backwards for those served by current routes who will be served by this new route. Worse still, only running the anti-clockwise service on weekends is really poor compared to the current route set up and seems to be geared to an expectation of social service only than attempting to attract all potential users. To be fair, in some of the catchment there will be other options (ie, 381/5/6/7 where they are close enough to the area served by the 388/9) but a not insignificant number of people will be poorly served, especially the north west of Mernda.

Overall the network seems a fair compromise to serve Mernda station with my only real hesitation being the inability of the 385 to serve bother Mernda station efficiently as well as Doreen shops, albeit at the benefit of mostly straightening out the existing network. On the other hand, there seems to be a small number of let downs with frequency in cutting the 10 minute peak hour Plenty Rd service to 40 minutes (which seems a bit drastic even allowing for some of the catchment being served by Hawkestowe and Marymede stations), as well as not running both directions of the 388/9 loop on weekends.
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Re: Plenty Valley Bus Network

Postby burrumbus » Tue Oct 31, 2017 2:28 pm

That looks to be a well designed network with good peak hour frequencies and reasonable off peak frequencies.The network in general offers more direct routes which will hopefully attract more punters.
My two critiscms are the frequency on the 388/389 which at 25-30 minutes means a lack of connectivity with the trains.Surely a 20 or 40 minute service would be better.I agree with krustyklo it seems to be a social services routes.
The other one is Whittlesea.Unfortunately the patronage out of Whittlesea is quite low which just does not justify the operation of two routes north to Whittlesea,nor an upgrade in frequency.The 385 should be truncated to Mernda with timetabling to ensure good connections to the 382 .I think the resources used on the 385 should be redirected to a better peak frequency on 388/389.
The cut on the Plenty Road peak hour frequency must be guided by the 2 new stations and the patronage patterns of the current services.10 minutes to 40 minutes is a fair cut,but some observations on that section of route don't show a lot of loadings.
The network does show it is designed to attract passengers,especially in the peak.Far better than the social services networks in other areas of Melbourne.
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Re: Plenty Valley Bus Network

Postby krustyklo » Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:46 pm

The other one is Whittlesea.Unfortunately the patronage out of Whittlesea is quite low which just does not justify the operation of two routes north to Whittlesea,nor an upgrade in frequency.The 385 should be truncated to Mernda with timetabling to ensure good connections to the 382 .I think the resources used on the 385 should be redirected to a better peak frequency on 388/389.


To be honest, it's what I would expect. The Whittlesea extension is a political exercise from the last election where Labor promised to restore a Whittlesea - Greensborough link. One of two things has possibly happened:
  • The understandable concerns about needing to change to the rail line at South Morang instead of Greensborough, especially for journeys to places like Heidelberg. In reality, I suspect most people found their journeys were quicker (eg to the CBD / inner northern suburbs) or similar by travelling along the South Morang line and heading east by bus (eg, Heidelberg / Fairfield). In reality I suspect most people using the bus from Whittlesea are heading to the city anyway and changing at South Morang would be quicker.
  • The real people who disbenefited were those travelling from RMIT Bundoora to Greensborough via the Ring Road / Greensborough Bypass who now have a longer journey via the 566. It's possible the message got lost on the way up to wanting to keep the entire route, ie, Whittlesea to Greensborough, instead of hearing the real message. A more frequent 566 would probably be a better option for these journeys anyway as well as improving service generally in the area.
I greatly doubt anyone wants to travel from Whittlesea to Greensborough in significant numbers. Especially given the old 562 was direct and the 385 is indirect meandering around Doreen and Apollo Parkways on the way to Greensborough. The main potential activity generators are Watermarc, Greensborough Plaza and the station. Watermarc hadn't been completed whilst the 562 was in existence so wouldn't have been a source of complaints for people no longer being able to access a facility not yet open. Whilst there may have been some use of the bus to access this from around Mernda or further north, it would be seasonal and in trivial quantities in the context of a bus route. There is nothing at Greensborough Plaza you can't get at Plenty Valley Shopping Centre or other local centres around Mernda and South Morang. Whilst some individual journeys may have been slightly adversely affected, I doubt there are many people using the bus to connect to a train to travel to places not equally easily served from the South Morang line. Heidelberg would be the most likely destination people are likely to want to use that would be disadvantaged by not having a "north of Mernda" to Greensborough link to get access to the hospital complex, and I suspect the reality is that if people really need to get from Whittlesea to the Austin, they would be far better off driving or being driven compared to 385 and train, or even the old 562 and train.

This review would have been a great opportunity for the PTV to provide actual boarding data on how many people use the 385 north of Mernda to places south of Mernda North (especially Greensborough) and spitball removing this part of the 385 as described by burrumbus above. Looking at the timetable, the off peak frequency of every 80 minutes isn't likely to be attractive as a reliable bus service, so would be unused, especially given the low density housing and farmland this part of the route travels through. In peak hour, the 40 minute frequency north of Mernda effectively uses a single bus, with services crossing at the Mernda North terminus. I would imagine an extra single bus would fix the 388/9 problem or would be put to much more productive revenue earning use elsewhere such as filling the weird 20/40 minute gap on the 564 or 569, or moving towards making the 566 or 517 a 20 minute frequency instead of the odd 24 minute one it has at present. If large numbers of people rise up in anger, sure, consider keeping it or look to meet their needs in a mutually acceptable way. But I suspect it won't happen.

This is where being honest with people and providing genuine, transparent data about current use and possible alternatives for the resources provided is something the PTV should seriously consider. It is in noone's interest for empty buses to be roaming the countryside either from a good service point of view, or from a public perception buses are a waste of money as they are subsidised to carry fresh air. There is another viable alternative between Whittlesea and Mernda that runs reasonably frequently for the likely use, and having a 385 travelling within 6 minutes of a 382 as happens now in the morning and afternoon peak is a waste of resources.
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