Route 950: Morley - Beaufort St - Perth - UWA - QEII

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Re: Route 950: Morley - Beaufort St - Perth - UWA - QEII

Post by Mr OC Benz »

It depends on time of day for different locations of course. Without detailed patronage data, I could only go by my own observations over the years that I have (on and off) travelled along this corridor. It is one route that I use regularly in Perth and am quite familiar with the demographics of so I could give some details on travel patterns even, from my viewpoint at least. It'd be rare for a service to stop at most/all of the stops. A typical service may stop at about 50-60% of the stops, but on a busier service (i.e. with about 50+ pax heading north out of the CBD for instance), it could be as high as 75-90%.

If you analyse the timetable, you'll see that there is quite a variation in running times for the route at different times of the day. Obviously, running time is longest during the peaks, due to high demand and heavy traffic and thus buses would be stopping at alot of the stops. But you'll also see that some trips around midday have longer running time as these tend to be quite popular for short trips along Beaufort St and to/from shopping areas. So again, there's a lot more stopping during this time. Then if you look at the last several of services for the night, you'll see that journey time is almost halved by the time of the last service compared to that of during the day. Of course, lighter traffic, but also lighter loads, or sometimes just more concentrated loads (i.e. at night time, it's a lot busier between UWA and Perth and Perth and Mt Lawley than it is along the rest of the route, but during the day this is more balanced).

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Re: Route 950: Morley - Beaufort St - Perth - UWA - QEII

Post by actually »

The later evening 950's probably don't have enough time from mid-week towards the weekend. It's still busy and if there's something on in the city it's all turns to XXX very quickly, or if there's an accident or roadworks...it's goes on and on.
I've been thinking lately with so many 950's in the peak plus the 66/67/68 would the idea of just deleting the 66 be worthwhile? It's very easy to keep up with a 66 even doing all stops because there's always one person who needs to get off the 66 and there's 3 950's right behind it and 1 in front. I think a few limited stop 67's would benefit pax going down Grand Prom who have a journey slowed by pax who again are on a 67 who can catch one of the dozens of 950's on stand at the same time. I'd like to know what you think Mr OC Benz as it's your field of expertise.
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Re: Route 950: Morley - Beaufort St - Perth - UWA - QEII

Post by Mr OC Benz »

The recent time changes in October have added some running time back into some of these late services, so it's not so bad now. But yes, the city can become quite problematic quite easily at night, especially Friday nights. Many moments there where I wish real time bus information was already implemented. Fortunately the relatively high frequencies at night help mitigate the impacts of these delays however.

Since the 950's introduction, I've long been of the opinion that the 66 should be withdrawn. Many of these passengers have already shifted onto the 950 anyway and the 66 has seen a considerable reduction in trips to only operate for an hour during the core of each peak. Although if the recent changes to Flinders St are anything to go by, where the 370 was introduced as a limited stops version to the 970 with similar operating characteristics to the 66 (i.e. one hour operating period in the core of each peak), then perhaps a complete withdrawal of the 66 is unlikely to happen anytime soon. But as you say, if the 66 is not offering much of a time benefit compared to the 950 (especially when you factor the longer wait for a 66), then it may as well just be done with.

I have actually had a more radical idea as to the routes in this area in my head over the past year, aimed at simplifying the services even further while increasing travel opportunities with little to no extra cost in providing these improvements.
  • Continue to consolidate and rationalise stops along Beaufort St (to approx 500m spacing) to:
    - reduce the amount of times the bus needs to stop along the route, thus improving travel time and enables redundancy of route 66
    - build a case for adopting all door boarding and high capacity buses along this corridor to reduce dwell times and minimise bunching at the consolidated stops
  • Withdraw route 66, replacing services with added capacity on route 950 given:
    - there is little time benefit to passengers by retaining this route
    - duplicates the existing high frequency 950 route
    - enables further consolidation and simplifying of bus routes in the area improving legibility
  • Modify routes 67 and 68 to travel between Mirrabooka and Maylands Station:
    - enable connection to Perth CBD and Beaufort St precincts by connecting with 950 in Inglewood
    - enable timed connection to/ex-Perth trains at Maylands - which could actually save someone between 5-8 mins for travel between Dianella/Bedford and the Perth CBD
    - reduce duplication and consolidate the bus routes along Beaufort St into the one premium bus service - 950 - further enhancing ease of use and legibility, ultimately increasing PT mode share
    - re-orientate from a service focussed on the Perth CBD to one which facilitates improved cross-metropolitan travel to key destinations
    - significantly improved travel opportunities with connections to the train and other bus routes at Maylands Station (routes 41, 406 etc)
    - shortening of the route length will allow the frequency of both routes 67 and 68 as well as the 950 to be boosted providing added benefits to PT users in the affected areas

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Re: Route 950: Morley - Beaufort St - Perth - UWA - QEII

Post by actually »

Interesting ideas Mr OC. I think the 67 should still travel to the city. Many many pax hop on at many points down Beaufort St and head to Mirrabooka or Dianella. The 68 being a not-so-frequent service could travel to Maylands maybe?
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Re: Route 950: Morley - Beaufort St - Perth - UWA - QEII

Post by Mr OC Benz »

Yes, the downside with a rerouted 67/68 is that passengers from Beaufort St heading to Dianella/Mirrabooka would need to change services. However I think that would be outweighed by the increased frequencies along Grand Prom that could be achieved, along with increasing patronage for trips from the Midland Line to Mirrabooka and vice-versa (as well as short trips along Grand Prom). The upside with the increased frequencies to the 67/68 and to the 950 would mean that you would never have to wait long for a connecting bus and you're further increasing travel options by PT.

The other thing I find is despite the fact the 67/68 and 950 share the same route from the city to Grand Prom, there seems to be an overall preference to catching the 950. Presumably people are more familiar with where it goes compared to the other routes and know that it runs more frequently. This often results in the 67/68 being under-utilised for trips along this section while 950's are often carrying standing loads. So for legibility purposes, just running 950's along Beaufort St will ensure more balanced patronage levels on each bus and further increase patronage (due to the notion that the 950 would be considered even more frequent).

With such a change and assuming the same type of vehicles being used as today, I think the following frequencies could be sustained on each route:
67/68
M-F Peak: 5 mins
M-F Off-peak: 15 mins
Saturday: 15 mins
Sunday: 30 mins
Evenings: 30 mins
950
M-F Peak: 2-3 mins
M-F Off-peak: 6 mins
Saturday: 7-8 mins
Sundays: 7-8 mins
Evenings: 10-15 mins (Potentially 10 mins up until 2200hrs on at least the later days of the week could be sustained)

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Re: Route 950: Morley - Beaufort St - Perth - UWA - QEII

Post by actually »

I agree the 67/68's are under-utilised along Beaufort St outbound because people do tend to pile on the 950.
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Re: Route 950: Morley - Beaufort St - Perth - UWA - QEII

Post by Merc1107 »

esperanceguy wrote:I was in Perth for Christmas and noted that the two 67s leaving the city at 4.58 & 5.03pm were both artics... with barely any passengers, at least along the William St section.
I was going to mention the same thing. Have rode the 950 during peak a few times, its the run that gets "slammed," and yet other routes yield artics :?

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Re: Route 950: Morley - Beaufort St - Perth - UWA - QEII

Post by actually »

School holidays artic can be randomly rostered...even different allocations daily. Also very quiet around Christmas time
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Re: Route 950: Morley - Beaufort St - Perth - UWA - QEII

Post by simonl »

That the 950 was made an all stops route rather than a cheaper to operate and faster limited stops route goes against everything I believe in.

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Re: Route 950: Morley - Beaufort St - Perth - UWA - QEII

Post by tonyp »

It may be all stops technically but, as Mr OCB points out, it only stops at maybe 50 to 80 percent of those stops.

Its typical journey times for the distance are actually very similar to the Adelaide light rail. However the Adelaide operation has its own exclusive lanes separated from traffic and overall less stops. This means that the 950 actually performs very well in its mixed traffic circumstances. If you populate it exclusively with artics at those headways, your're looking at it having the capacity of a traditional tram service with rigid trams, but performing better than the Adelaide light rail whose annual patronage it probably matches.

After having a considered look at the Perth scene, it seems to me that the fleet would benefit from a substantial increase in the number of artics, with the focus on busy routes like the high frequency ones. What would be the political chances of getting a big delivery of artics?

The thing about new light rail in Australia so far (with the exception of Gold Coast) is thàt it doesn't perform very well due to poor implementation and lack of experienced oversight. Perth's bus operation is so good (unlike e.g. those in Sydney and Adelaide), it's a case of "if it ain't broken, why would you want to fix it?" If you can upgrade the busiest operations to artics (and even consider all-door loading on those services), it will provide the additional capacity to defer the need for introducing trams until further in the future.

In the meantime, PTA can apply its talents to learning about how to implement light rail itself, without relying on these multinational consortiums and consultancies that tend to be the source of some of the problems of these new lines (including their slowness). The last thing you want is a downgrade in quality of service.
Last edited by tonyp on Sat Jan 28, 2017 11:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Route 950: Morley - Beaufort St - Perth - UWA - QEII

Post by simonl »

tonyp wrote:It may be all stops technically but, as Mr OCB points out, it only stops at maybe 50 to 80 percent of those stops.
Compare that to a limited stops service which only serves 1/3 stops.

333 serves about half the 380 stops on the common parts.

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Re: Route 950: Morley - Beaufort St - Perth - UWA - QEII

Post by tonyp »

simonl wrote: Compare that to a limited stops service which only serves 1/3 stops.

333 serves about half the 380 stops on the common parts.
Somebody in Perth would be better to reply to this, but I'd say that there's only really a problem if it's regularly stopping at more than 2/3 of those 42 stops. Also, any potential for stop consolidation could be pursued. Ultimately you shouldn't lose sight of the fact that its there to serve people along the corridor. People shouldn't have to walk a kilometre to a stop. This just encourages them to take the car instead.
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Re: Route 950: Morley - Beaufort St - Perth - UWA - QEII

Post by simonl »

People will walk further to a higher quality service - like a faster one.

Stops have to be pretty infrequent to be walking a kilometre along the route - that requires a 2km gap. If you're talking about someone who's already walking 500m to the route, the increment of walking along the route is low.

I was referring to the 333/380 in Sydney in the above BTW.

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Re: Route 950: Morley - Beaufort St - Perth - UWA - QEII

Post by Shoudy Chen »

Another idea of Route 950 will be to cover the Beaufort St with a dedicated bus lane. This would eliminate traffic congestion in the area.

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Re: Route 950: Morley - Beaufort St - Perth - UWA - QEII

Post by simonl »

Shoudy Chen wrote:Another idea of Route 950 will be to cover the Beaufort St with a dedicated bus lane. This would eliminate traffic congestion in the area.
Haven't they already done that for a sizeable portion of Beaufort St?

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Re: Route 950: Morley - Beaufort St - Perth - UWA - QEII

Post by Off The Rails »

simonl wrote:
Shoudy Chen wrote:Another idea of Route 950 will be to cover the Beaufort St with a dedicated bus lane. This would eliminate traffic congestion in the area.
Haven't they already done that for a sizeable portion of Beaufort St?
Yeah. Doesn't work very well from what I've seen (there is an AM bus lane towards Perth, and a PM bus lane from Perth). Cars park in it when the lane is not active, which means buses are cutting in and out of lanes.

As a side note, none of the Peak-time bus lanes work very well, if it's only one direction.

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Re: Route 950: Morley - Beaufort St - Perth - UWA - QEII

Post by simonl »

So what's the problem with the peak time lanes, in the peak direction?

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Re: Route 950: Morley - Beaufort St - Perth - UWA - QEII

Post by Merc1107 »

I have to wonder whether it might be better to make both the inbound & outbound lanes active during both peak periods. Most passengers may only be moving in a certain direction, but the buses themselves are still in route-service in the opposite direction (and many will presumably do the reverse journey).
In my experience, peak hour traffic clogs the entire area near the CBD, not just one direction inbound or outbound.

Even if buses are on dead running, I'm sure the liberty of having priority would help individual shifts run on time, rather than run late from heavy traffic.

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Re: Route 950: Morley - Beaufort St - Perth - UWA - QEII

Post by simonl »

Even better would be full time bus lanes but could be overkill.

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Re: Route 950: Morley - Beaufort St - Perth - UWA - QEII

Post by tonyp »

These three videos that I found on Youtube, despite variable quality, give an overview of the running of 950 from end to end - although the film doesn't start at Morley and I don't know how far out it is from that terminus when the film starts.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVtrwzccoOA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8LkfPWUdjo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1xPRwesq6Q

Further to my unanswered question above about the prospects for further orders of artics, I've dug around and I gather that the current order for 70 is going to take till 2020 to complete! This is a bit strung-out to say the least and one can only imagine how long any further order would take. I imagine that the politics behind it is that they want to keep the production within the Volgren factory in Perth and that factory only has a certain capacity that they won't expand (?).

It would be nice if they could move to the Scania N series fully low floor chassis as shown on this 100% low floor Volgren Optimus for Skybus in Melbourne. It would significantly help improve passenger distribution and movement by removing the inhibiting hazard of aisle steps.

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Re: Route 950: Morley - Beaufort St - Perth - UWA - QEII

Post by Merc1107 »

tonyp wrote:Further to my unanswered question above about the prospects for further orders of artics, I've dug around and I gather that the current order for 70 is going to take till 2020 to complete!
I've heard many dates bandied about, anything from "By 2018," "The end of 2018," and now 2020! :?
As much as I love the Renault articulated buses the current order is replacing, many are worn out and should have been withdrawn a long time age. Of course, Labor's "CNG-only" saga, coupled with the reluctance of Mercedes to offer a desirable replacement is why the old fleet soldiered on.

If you do the math (3033 was the first, we're at 3070), about 37 deliveries remain. There are about 15-20 Renaults left - whether they stay till 2020 for short-term capacity increases, or to delay sending new buses to the outer-suburbs for "School Runs Only," I don't know.
I'll refrain from commenting on the delivery rate, as I'm likely to be very uncharitable.
tonyp wrote:It would be nice if they could move to the Scania N series fully low floor chassis as shown on this 100% low floor Volgren Optimus for Skybus in Melbourne. It would significantly help improve passenger distribution and movement.
I have to say, if Labor had remained in power, and the maligned 3002 (an Irisbus Citelis 18 GNC) hadn't caused so much kerfuffle with reliability issues and relatively poor performance, we might already have a fleet of 100% low-floor buses. :mrgreen: Alas, it was not to be.
Much as I like (or "liked") our CNG odd-bods, Gas is something best put behind us for now.

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Re: Route 950: Morley - Beaufort St - Perth - UWA - QEII

Post by Mr OC Benz »

Artic deliveries to be completed by end of 2018. About 15 per year (=70 over 4-5 years. 2014/15-2018/19). The factory was actually expanded to be able to produce these artics locally at the current pace.

New bus procurement tender is being prepared soon for 2019(?). It'd be nice if it signalled further push to move from low-entry to low-floor, even if only for part of the contract. The inner metropolitan area with routes like the 950 would certainly benefit.

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Re: Route 950: Morley - Beaufort St - Perth - UWA - QEII

Post by TP1173 »

Love your ideas for the Beaufort St corridor Mr OC Benz. Couldn't agree more. But you could add one more thing to the list. 24 hour permanent bus lane up Beaufort. None of this parking and peak hour rubbish. Buses only for 24 hours.

Certainly longer distances between stops would be good. It's ridiculous how close they are at the moment.

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Re: Route 950: Morley - Beaufort St - Perth - UWA - QEII

Post by Perth Jaywalker »

24 hours bus lanes on Beaufort St would be better, but still the traffic is being funnelled into a single lane at Beaufort St bridge right lane southbound and William St northbound. Most mornings the queue on Beaufort St bridge right lane southbound is long, and some of the cars unable to turn left from Roe St onto the right lane of the bridge end up turning into the left lane and trying to overtake. Used to be better when William and Beaufort St were one-way, you didn't need bus lanes and the traffic flowed properly.

The proximity of the bus stop just outside metro church annoys me severely. If someone needs to get on/off, almost always the bus gets caught at the lights on Aberdeen St. Most likely the reason for putting a stop there was to replace the stop for 41, 42, 48, 55 on Newcastle before Lindsay St which would no longer be in use as those buses would no longer continue along Newcastle to turn left into William St. And so all the other buses (16, 60, 66, 67, 68, 950) must stop there as well.

The southbound stop at Weld square and the metro church stop are less than 200 m apart!
Metro church stop.png
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Re: Route 950: Morley - Beaufort St - Perth - UWA - QEII

Post by Mr OC Benz »

Route 950 continues to get boosted with extra trips being added from 23 April. These include:

Monday to Friday
- Extra AM trip with first bus now departing Morley at 4:20am (currently 4:50am) and departing QEII 5:07am (currently 5:33am)
- Extra PM contra-peak trips from Morley, extending the 10 min PM peak frequency until around 6pm
- Extra PM trip from QEII at 10:46pm extending the 15 min frequency to Morley until 11:15pm (for departures ex-Perth).

Sunday
- Extra AM trip with first bus now departing Morley at 6:01am (currently 6:32am).

Essentially these changes mean that on weekdays, 950 operates for 20 hours (in any one direction). Or 22 hours if you count from first service in one direction to last in opposite direction. Getting closer and closer to 24 hour operation it seems...

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