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PTA / Transperth & Private Observations - Mar/Apr 2017

Perth / Western Australia Transport Discussion

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Re: PTA / Transperth & Private Observations - Mar/Apr 2017

Postby tonyp » Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:31 am

Why is the CAT stop in Barrack near Market gone? It's the key stop that serves the shops. They might as well have a stop at the lights, the buses wait there so long anyway.
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Re: PTA / Transperth & Private Observations - Mar/Apr 2017

Postby Perth Jaywalker » Thu Apr 20, 2017 2:50 pm

You can't have (non-indented) bus stops on any street which has a dedicated cycling lane on it.

Mr OC Benz wrote:Well in some respects, yes it was to stop circling trips and make navigating easier, but also to improve the movement of people. We've seen reduced number of lanes and wider footpaths - it has never been any better being able to walk through the city and not worry about crowded footpaths or people zooming past you. The waking environment is certainly a lot more attractive than it was 10 years ago (but still room to improve). Cycling provision still pretty poor though.


Aren't number of lanes and one-way vs. two-way flow independent things though? William St and Barrack St were narrowed to their current widths before conversion to two-way.
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Re: PTA / Transperth & Private Observations - Mar/Apr 2017

Postby tonyp » Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:09 pm

Perth Jaywalker wrote:You can't have (non-indented) bus stops on any street which has a dedicated cycling lane on it.

There used to be a stop there though. So the cycling lane was put in later?

Wow, what seriously warped priorities. For the sake of a few occasional cyclists, the direct access of hundreds of people to the major CBD shopping precinct is killed off? Perth has Australia's best public transport system but it's certainly brought down a peg or two by some lame-brained road and traffic management - although that has its equivalent in traffic management in other states.
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Re: PTA / Transperth & Private Observations - Mar/Apr 2017

Postby TP1173 » Thu Apr 20, 2017 6:21 pm

tonyp wrote:For the sake of a few occasional cyclists...
Barrack St has heavy cyclist traffic, as it is the main North/South cycle route, connecting with Elizabeth Quay and the Foreshore Cycle Path. It was developed as the alternate to William St and has bicycle priority, separated bicycle lanes and seperate traffic signals for bikes, as well as raised humps running alongside the bicycle lanes. It was simply too dangerous to have bikes going down William St, so Barrack St solved that problem.

I can vouch for it and say that compared to taking on buses, trucks, taxis and pedestrians along William St, I can breeze down Barrack St on my bike now, and I feel safe. :D
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Re: PTA / Transperth & Private Observations - Mar/Apr 2017

Postby tonyp » Thu Apr 20, 2017 6:58 pm

Well it seems like Barrack St needs to be majorly reconfigured, perhaps one way, because greater numbers of bus passengers are breezed past where they want to go - with insult added to injury in those endless waits at traffic lights before they can even get to the stop to then walk back the way they came, tackling the traffic lights again on foot.

Speaking as an outsider, it looks like royally bad planning, disappointing in a city that has so much that is excellent.
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Re: PTA / Transperth & Private Observations - Mar/Apr 2017

Postby Mr OC Benz » Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:13 pm

Yes the whole idea of putting the cycle lanes on Barrack St was to be able to move all (all except CATs were moved a few years ago) the buses onto William St. But since the William St bus only road hasn't progressed further, it hasn't played out that way and the Blue CAT is still using Barrack St. Silly situation.
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Re: PTA / Transperth & Private Observations - Mar/Apr 2017

Postby Perth Jaywalker » Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:57 pm

On the topic of traffic signals, I am of the opinion that timing/synchronisation can make limited improvement. I reiterate my previous point: vehicles need to turn right. Most intersections have approach legs only two lanes wide, so full monty (3 circle, 3 arrow) lights aren't appropriate, except at T-junctions. Yet without right arrow signals, right lane is held up by turners.

This leaves the "L-shaped" lights where green is always accompanied by green arrow. In this case, you've taken a single phase of one-way traffic and broken it into two phases. No matter how you time it, half of the traffic won't be moving; make green longer on one side and the opposite side has a longer red. This is the type of light at William St int. The Esplanade and at the lights at either end of both bridges over the railway.

On the other hand, the only red time on a one-way street is spent waiting for side road traffic. Timing for good flow is easy; make lights successively turn green and you have a green wave.

phases-small.png
One-way vs. two-way phases
phases-small.png (9.12 KiB) Viewed 1893 times
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Re: PTA / Transperth & Private Observations - Mar/Apr 2017

Postby tonyp » Sat Apr 22, 2017 9:47 am

On that question of dwell delays caused by enthusiastic use of the ramp, after a lot of observation I've come to the conclusion that use of the ramp isn't so much an issue in itself (indeed I'd be reluctant to discourage such a user-friendly practice that makes Perth public transport the most accessible in Australia), but the fact that the other doors are also interlocked with the ramp. This means everybody else alighting (and boarding on the CATs) is held up while this is going on at the front door. Surely there's a engineering way of separating the other door/s from this procedure? I can't think of any safety issue why it is done.
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Re: PTA / Transperth & Private Observations - Mar/Apr 2017

Postby Merc1107 » Sat Apr 22, 2017 11:04 am

tonyp wrote:On that question of dwell delays caused by enthusiastic use of the ramp, after a lot of observation I've come to the conclusion that use of the ramp isn't so much an issue in itself (indeed I'd be reluctant to discourage such a user-friendly practice that makes Perth public transport the most accessible in Australia), but the fact that the other doors are also interlocked with the ramp. This means everybody else alighting (and boarding on the CATs) is held up while this is going on at the front door. Surely there's a engineering way of separating the other door/s from this procedure? I can't think of any safety issue why it is done.

At least on the OC500LE Gassies, the rear doors can be opened while the ramp is being deployed. It is also my understanding that raising the bus is possible as the ramp is in motion. Neither operation can be done concurrently in the Volvo.
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Re: PTA / Transperth & Private Observations - Mar/Apr 2017

Postby sylar » Sat Apr 22, 2017 11:39 am

I think it must be a procedural matter or driver choice with keeping the doors closed whilst the ramp is being lowered. Only just this week while I was about to board a OC500LE Gassy at the Perth Busport the driver deployed the ramp and opened both the front and rear doors just after commencing the deployment. And again on another OC later in the week the driver was lowering the ramp while opening the rear door for me to exit at the same time.
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Re: PTA / Transperth & Private Observations - Mar/Apr 2017

Postby tonyp » Sat Apr 22, 2017 4:03 pm

On the 910 today there were a couple of passengers shouting for the centre door to be opened at different stops because they didn't realise the ramp was being deployed. The driver indicated that it wasn't possible to open the doors during the operation. I notice that the kneel occurred during the ramp deployment but the unkneel didn't happen until the ramp was fully retracted.
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PTA / Transperth & Private Observations - Mar/Apr 2017

Postby TP1462 » Wed Apr 26, 2017 12:20 pm

Don't know if it's been mentioned or not but set 075 has been upgraded to B3 standard and 3026 has replaced 726 at Southern River


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Re: PTA / Transperth & Private Observations - Mar/Apr 2017

Postby TP1173 » Thu Apr 27, 2017 1:12 am

Don't know if anyone is aware but 1327 is now at Nth Freo from Shenton Pk. Probably not a recent move but worth noting for those that keep lists.
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Re: PTA / Transperth & Private Observations - Mar/Apr 2017

Postby tonyp » Sat Apr 29, 2017 8:53 am

Brilliant CAT video covering all the issues Mr OCB:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zhio6oNgnRY

:) :) :)

These buses would definitely benefit from a third door at the rear, European style, but there isn't a RHD chassis available yet to do this. Having a third door between the axles, like the Carbridge buses, may help though.

The electric ramp is one of the great pluses of the Perth bus system, but the little issues can be seen here. I can understand why the front door would be interlocked with the ramp but there doesn't seem to be any safety issue why the centre door should also be interlocked with it. It certainly holds things up. I think they should be investigating this issue as it's quite a significant one.

With regard to baby buggies, Perth drivers certainly seem to use the ramp for every one, but in my (real life) experience, if the bus is parked close and parallel to the kerb it's very easy to "walk" a buggy over the vertical gap between a typical kerb and the kneeled threshold of a bus. I guess in the end it's up to driver judgement. As an occasional FIFO to Perth, I actually wish that drivers would use the ramp more for somebody with a suitcase on wheels - that's something where lifting is more of an issue! Some drivers do, some don't.
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Re: PTA / Transperth & Private Observations - Mar/Apr 2017

Postby Mr OC Benz » Sat Apr 29, 2017 11:22 pm

tonyp wrote:These buses would definitely benefit from a third door at the rear, European style, but there isn't a RHD chassis available yet to do this. Having a third door between the axles, like the Carbridge buses, may help though.

The electric ramp is one of the great pluses of the Perth bus system, but the little issues can be seen here. I can understand why the front door would be interlocked with the ramp but there doesn't seem to be any safety issue why the centre door should also be interlocked with it. It certainly holds things up. I think they should be investigating this issue as it's quite a significant one.

With regard to baby buggies, Perth drivers certainly seem to use the ramp for every one, but in my (real life) experience, if the bus is parked close and parallel to the kerb it's very easy to "walk" a buggy over the vertical gap between a typical kerb and the kneeled threshold of a bus. I guess in the end it's up to driver judgement. As an occasional FIFO to Perth, I actually wish that drivers would use the ramp more for somebody with a suitcase on wheels - that's something where lifting is more of an issue! Some drivers do, some don't.

From about 4:51 in the video, demonstrates some of the constraints of the current bus design. While boardings initially began relatively quickly, it began to slow down as it became apparent that the front section of the bus had filled up and people were still trying to get on and up the steps to the rear section of the bus. Common scene at Sutherland St being outside the only DFO in Perth (not for long!), but also regularly occurs outside Perth Station and along the Red CAT. At least it's worth noting that the distribution throughout the entire bus is still somewhat better than what would normally occur for front-door loading, but a third door at the rear would definitely of improved the flow of passengers boarding and reduce dwell times significantly, especially if the wheelchair ramp remained at the front door and the rear doors could be operated independently. I could only imagine the chaos that would ensue if Perth CATs were front-door boarding only. Delays, excessive dwell and bank up of traffic. Just too much high turnover at stops.

Regarding the ramp, each model seems to be set up differently. I can only go from long term observations, but those who actually experiencing day to day use driving them might be able to improve on my comments. Also defects can impact on how some of the functions work:
Mercedes-Benz O405NH / Volgren "CR225L" (Both diesel and CNG) - Kneel function can be activated just as bus comes to halt or already stationary, but not with doors open. Bus raises automatically upon all doors closing. Wheelchair ramp can only be deployed while bus stationary with doors closed and can be operated independently of the kneel function. Wheelchair ramp automatically retracts once final door closed. Rear door cannot be opened while ramp deployed :?:
Mercedes-Benz OC500LE / Volgren "CR228L" (diesel - all regional now) - Kneel function can be activated once bus stationary or with doors open. Bus raises automatically upon all doors closing. Wheelchair ramp can only be deployed while bus stationary with doors closed and can be operated independently of the kneel function. Wheelchair ramp automatically retracts once final door closed. Rear door can be opened while wheelchair ramp is being deployed :?:
Mercedes-Benz OC500LE CNG / Volgren "CR228L" - Kneel function can be activated once bus stationary, but not with doors open. Bus raises automatically upon all doors closing. Wheelchair ramp can only be deployed while bus stationary with doors closed and can be operated independently of the kneel function. Wheelchair ramp automatically retracts once final door closed. Rear door can be opened while wheelchair ramp is being deployed. I have however seen several instances of the wheelchair ramp being deployed and/or retracted while the front door is open. Presumably defective?
All Volvo buses - Kneel function can be activated once bus stationary or with doors open. Bus raises automatically upon all doors closing. Wheelchair ramp can only be deployed while bus stationary with doors closed and can be operated independently of the kneel function. Wheelchair ramp automatically retracts once final door closed. Rear door cannot be opened while ramp deployed.

Worth noting that the newest Volvo B8 CAT buses have now been fitted with external cameras on the sides/front/rear and one for the rear door. Presumably the newer CAT deliveries will come with them fitted as standard. Given the amount of incidents/collisions that occur in the city, they will be useful for providing evidence. The older CAT buses and all the other standard buses which stray onto CAT services occasionally will however, have to continue to rely on mirrors for rear door use.
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Re: PTA / Transperth & Private Observations - Mar/Apr 2017

Postby tonyp » Sun Apr 30, 2017 8:01 am

Mr OC Benz wrote: I could only imagine the chaos that would ensue if Perth CATs were front-door boarding only. Delays, excessive dwell and bank up of traffic. Just too much high turnover at stops.

You only have to go to Wollongong and observe the Gong Shuttle, which is Wollongong's equivalent of the CATs - a very busy, free city circulator service. This service is constrained by NSW practice that allows front door boarding only and some of the blow-outs in dwell time are terrible and put the buses out of timetable. I've even seen people left behind at the stop because people inside won't move away from the front door and the driver gives up and drives off with the bus only 2/3 full, leaving those on the stop to wait 10 minutes for the next service. At least they open the centre door to let people out though, which is more than you get in many NSW services. Occasionally, when some of the regular dedicated buses (Volgren Optimus like Perth) are out of service for maintenance, they substitute a single (front) door bus. That's a complete disaster. This is how they run the busiest bus service in NSW.
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