• Advertisement

Plenty Valley Bus Network

Melbourne / Victoria Transport Discussion

Moderator: MAN 16.242

Re: Plenty Valley Bus Network

Postby burrumbus » Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:34 pm

As allways krustyklo,well said.
I spent some time in Whittlesea about 6 weeks ago.My observations are of very empty buses.I observed three buses leaving Whittlesea around the 1pm mark.One each to Northland,Greensborough and Kinglake.Combined patronage -one passenger.
I've also ridden the old 562 a few times off peak and peak from Whittlesea to Greensborough.Loadings varied from 6 to 11 pax.Most ,as you said connected to the train at Greensborough.The loadings at Whittlesea are predominately school students and peak hour commuters.The off peak is very quiet.As you said an 80 minute frequency is not a passenger attractor and frankly a waste of resources
I think to access Heidelberg from Whittlesea and areas south would be easily covered by the train to either Preston or Bell and the frequent Smartbus or 513.That would almost be as quick as driving at peak.
I hope the PTV use passenger boarding data to work out route changes.I know that data was NOT used in the lousy decision to delete the old 509.Short term political decisions to create bus routes like the 385 and new 509 lead to poorly used services,that are a waste of resources and create ,like you said perceptions(mostly real)of empty buses subsidised by the taxpayer.
burrumbus
 
Posts: 1781
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2011 10:12 pm
Has thanked: 963 times
Been thanked: 394 times

Re: Plenty Valley Bus Network

Postby krustyklo » Wed Nov 01, 2017 7:36 pm

Thanks burrumbus, useful to get some direct experience.

I think to access Heidelberg from Whittlesea and areas south would be easily covered by the train to either Preston or Bell and the frequent Smartbus or 513.That would almost be as quick as driving at peak.

Google Maps quotes 40 to 80 minutes by car to arrive in Heidelberg from Whittlesea at 9am tomorrow. The 385 and Hurstbridge line would take 1 hour 36, 382 / 901 / Hurstbridge line is 1 hour 33 (ie, leaves Whittlesea 3 minutes after the 385 and gets to Greensborough station to connect to the same train), 382 / South Morang train to Clifton Hill, Hurstbridge line back out is 1 hour 37.

The timetable allows 20 minutes to get from Bell station to Heidelberg for the 513, running every 15 minutes. Having tried using the 903 / 513 to get from Heidelberg to Coburg in the am peak, the 513 in particular is pretty unreliable as well. I suspect that the interchange time and wait makes the difference between using the 513 / 903 and going in to Clifton Hill and out marginal. On the other hand, I find Google maps suggestions can be a bit unreliable too. Moovit suggests 382 to Northland and 903 from there is the best option with similar times as those above or 382 to LaTrobe and 551 to Heidelberg (although this takes nearly 2 hours).

Either way, the 385 doesn't offer an improvement over various interchanges with the 382, and indeed the 382 / 901 option is marginally quicker even than the one seat ride on the 385. Use the bus elsewhere!

Short term political decisions to create bus routes like the 385 and new 509 lead to poorly used services,that are a waste of resources and create ,like you said perceptions(mostly real)of empty buses subsidised by the taxpayer.

Yet I do feel sorry for the politicians who can't seem to win. On the one hand we complain they implement short term cost cutting, or don't implement services when estates are built. Yet, when they implement network improvements like the Plenty Valley and Epping North networks which are a vast improvement over what was provided even 5 or 10 years ago, we seek out the minor details to fault. I recall when the growing Doreen estates were served by a few peak hour only buses in each direction on the old 520 along Yan Yean Rd, with minor concessions to deviating through a couple of new estates next to Yan Yean Rd. It wasn't that long ago. In Epping, the poor old 575 tried woefully to serve every new estate north of Epping every 40 minutes, or worse. Now most of the new estates north of Gorge Rd / McDonalds Rd have 20 minute peak hour frequencies that much more established parts of Melbourne can only currently dream of! They listened to the complaints of people when the 562 got diverted back to it's original 562 80s-era route and provided a link to Greensborough, spending money to do so. Sure, I think it was a mistake, it's been tried and failed, and the resources should go elsewhere.

But I'd rather the odd mistake from listening to voters than just ignoring voter concerns.
User avatar
krustyklo
 
Posts: 2647
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2004 10:12 am
Location: Bundoora, VIC
Has thanked: 183 times
Been thanked: 284 times

Re: Plenty Valley Bus Network

Postby BroadGauge » Wed Nov 01, 2017 8:49 pm

Whittlesea is fairly well serviced by route 382 alone, in comparison to other similar towns at the edge of suburbia. I don't see a service to places with similar populations like Healesville or Wallan that runs every 40 minutes, every day of the week.

Keeping the route 385 extension in peak hours might be reasonably useful if it's properly off-set with the 382 north of Mernda to provide a 20 minutely service to Whittlesea connecting from the train, which would definitely be a luxurious level of service in relativity but wouldn't change the number of buses that run to Whittlesea presently.

As the 385 extension isn't proposed to do the loop to the north of town that the 382 does, the route 384 trips in peak to Eastern Hill/Humevale/Kinglake could logically run as an extension of 385 services, which would give those passengers a single seat ride to the station.

Speaking of that route, I wonder how many passengers actually use the short working 384 services that run from Whittlesea to the eastern end of town, scheduled to take 3-5 minutes? It might actually be more economical just to call a taxi for passengers as required to connect with buses in the centre of town rather than run a bus route for just four stops. :twisted:

I think that the best solution for anybody who wants to go from Whittlesea to Greensborough would be a timed connection between the 382 and 385 at Mernda in the off-peak. It would be fairly simple to have an arrangement for drivers to radio the other bus for the connection to be held in the event of any late running, which should please the vocal small number of people who make that journey.
User avatar
BroadGauge
 
Posts: 3457
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2005 12:20 pm
Location: North of Mexico
Has thanked: 176 times
Been thanked: 195 times
Favourite Vehicle: Car

Re: Plenty Valley Bus Network

Postby burrumbus » Thu Nov 02, 2017 8:54 pm

Thanks for the detailed analysis of the travel times there,krustyklo..Public transport on that trip is just viable at the height of the peak,but dreadfully uncompetitive with cars at other times.Still there probably are very few from that area travelling to Heidelberg.The Northern Hospital at Epping is probably the bigger focus.
Your analysis of the 513 is very accurate.I used the 513 a bit a couple of years ago whilst in the Preston area.The patronage on it has dropped considerably from Bell Street Bus Co days.Loadings from Heidelberg either way are quite low despite the resources allocated to it.The Coburg-Glenroy section is still reasonably well patronised.The Smartbus route has certaintly taken patronage away on the Coburg-Heidelberg section(and from 527 too).I think unreliabilty is a factor too.I don't think there is enough run time.I also think the route needs splitting to remove the 2 branches from Heidelberg-Eltham to help matters.
I think politicians should stay out of bus route design and timetabling and leave it to market focused planners.It mostly gets stuffed up in my opinion.
burrumbus
 
Posts: 1781
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2011 10:12 pm
Has thanked: 963 times
Been thanked: 394 times

Re: Plenty Valley Bus Network

Postby krustyklo » Sat Nov 04, 2017 11:46 am

Your analysis of the 513 is very accurate.I used the 513 a bit a couple of years ago whilst in the Preston area.The patronage on it has dropped considerably from Bell Street Bus Co days.Loadings from Heidelberg either way are quite low despite the resources allocated to it.The Coburg-Glenroy section is still reasonably well patronised.The Smartbus route has certaintly taken patronage away on the Coburg-Heidelberg section(and from 527 too).I think unreliabilty is a factor too.I don't think there is enough run time.I also think the route needs splitting to remove the 2 branches from Heidelberg-Eltham to help matters.


Interestingly my experience on the admittedly few times I've used it in the last couple of years (usually in February for a specific training event that is job related and a couple of other random times, so could be related to time of year) is that it is about 2/3 full or so leaving Heidelberg and gradually picks people up along the way. Whilst there is some duplication with the 903, the 903 can be even more unreliable than the 513 and diverts to Murray Rd and Northland adding time to the trip between Heidelberg and west of St Georges Rd, adding more time than just waiting for the 513 in peak hour if travelling past Preston.

However I would agree anecdotally with the statement that patronage is likely less than Bell St Bus Co days.

Although a relatively trivial point given a still acceptable frequency, a factor may also be the gradual deterioration of the frequency along Bell St. In the 1986 timetable there was a bus every 12 minutes (ie, 5 an hour) which had slipped to 13 minutely by 2004, now it's every 15 (ie, 4 buses an hour). Presumably this is to add 5 minutes running time between Heidelberg (from 53 to 58 in the morning peak), but the unreliability westbound comes from the traffic jam that is Rosanna Rd. An easy short term fix would be to run the 513 via Cape St between Station St and Darebin Rd - the bus is wide enough to cope with buses. Ultimately I agree though that a look at rearranging routes east of Heidelberg to be more useful would help. I quite liked the Banyule/Nillumbik suggestion of diverting the Greensborough section via Macleod to Northland and slicing the 513 at Heidelberg to form Heidelberg - Glenroy and Heidelberg - Eltham sections (although I have a feeling the review suggested Rosanna, Heidelberg would make more sense). Having said that, I would prefer to see data on how many through journeys take place through Heidelberg. If enough, it would be better to use Cape St to improve reliability and keep it similar.

I think politicians should stay out of bus route design and timetabling and leave it to market focused planners.It mostly gets stuffed up in my opinion.

I agree. Certainly they should have a role in setting high level outputs desired from the system given they have to approve funding and have ultimate responsibility to voters for the success or otherwise of the system, but there is too much interference at a route setting level to keep noisy Mrs McGillicuddy happy by having / not having a bus go past her door every 20 minutes so she can go to the shops once a week and the local RSL once a fortnight (with the stop in front of someone else's house of course), making buses less attractive to the majority / potential majority.
User avatar
krustyklo
 
Posts: 2647
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2004 10:12 am
Location: Bundoora, VIC
Has thanked: 183 times
Been thanked: 284 times

Previous


  • Advertisement

Return to Discussion - Melbourne / VIC

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests