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History of ACT bus services 1926 - 1990s (long)

Canberra / ACT Transport Discussion - Where the ACTION is

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History of ACT bus services 1926 - 1990s (long)

Postby PaxInfo » Sun Jul 27, 2014 7:52 pm

Mostly from Canberra Times articles retrieved from the NLA Trove website.

More important network changes are summarised.

Common themes:

* Never was a 'golden age' of public transport in Canberra - car's modal share was always high. Nearest to it may have been 1977 - 1988.
* Network revisions have aimed to make routes simpler / more direct
* Struggle with night services - area buses or fixed routes? If fixed routes same as day or a different network?
* Industrial strife in '70s & 80s
* Tendency to take resources from established areas and divert them to newer suburbs
* Experimentation with various route numbering schemes
* Major network restructures about every 10 years - eg 1968, 1977, 1988, 1998 etc
* Long term decline in local route service frequency (from 15 peak/30 interpeak to 50% that now)
* Funding is a major issue (fares never recouped all or even most expenses). Long term trends in service frequency is down, though there are times when there are improvements (eg 1998) which later get cut back.

1926 inauguration of bus service http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y

1927 adding private contractor http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y

1927 Poor service and high car ownership http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y
45 min between buses

1927 poor service and private tendering http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y

1927 private tendering http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y

1927 private tendering opposed http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y

1927 Private company cannot deliver/reverts to public operation http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y

1927 Public operation continues – Queanbeyan remains separate http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y

1928 Few night services http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y

1930 Demand for Westlake bus (letter) http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y

1930 Crowding and inefficiency Parliamentary area (letter) http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y

1931 inconvenient peak timetables http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y

1932 put out to private tender http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y
Govt operation found cheaper

1941 patronage http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y

1945 TWU on Sunday shifts http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y

1946 Yarralumla bus wanted http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y

1947 union complains of crowding http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y

1947 more routes http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y

1948 new timetable http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y

1948 New cross city routes http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y
Descriptions of routes
Numbers signify south and letters for north

1952 Letter (feeder buses) http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y

1952 Bus inquiry http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y
Wage pressures
Poor service
Fares too low

1953 Bus inquiry recommends fewer buses http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y

1957 Need for better promotion http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y

1957 Simplified routes and route numbers http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y
Removing number+letter (introduced 1948) in favour of all numbers
Detailed list of routes

1959 bus changes http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y

1966 survey on buses http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y

1966 various letters of complaint about buses http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y

1966 Canberra to spill north http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y

1966 First limited stop express peak route http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y

1967 Belconnen startshttp://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/a ... stralian=y

1968 complaints about infrequency (letter) http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y

1968 radical bus plan for demand responsive computerised taxi buses off peak http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y

1968 network to be reorganised http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y
Woden Valley upgraded from 60 to 30 min
More services to outer areas including Belconnen
Yarralumla to Kingston route
Weekends cut from 30 to 60 minutes

1968 editorial supportive of new network http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y
Routes more direct/either 30 or 60 min
Half mile walking distance to service

1968 letters against new network http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y

1969 smokers sit at rear of bus http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y

1969 Motorway menace (letter) http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y

1969 govt bus hidden at Airport http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y

1970 suggestions from nurses http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y

1970 fares up http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y

1971 Suggestion to use mini buses http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y

1971 coaxing people back to public transport (article) http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y

1974 bus patronage up http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y

1975 articulated buses http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y

1975 bus service cuts http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y
No services after 8pm, Sat afternoon or Sunday
Due to supply block threat

1976 restricted timetables remain http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y

1976 Saturday buses resume http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y

1976 bus waste (letter) http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y

1977 major upgrade http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y
Network developed in 1973 – this is a reduced but still major change
Intertown every 15 min 7 days/week between Woden & Higgins
Route no more than 20% longer than by car
More people within 400m
Area buses at night to connect with last intertowns
No more than two changes for any trip
Basic timetables same since 1968 in north & south Canberra

1977 patronage up http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y

1978 strikes http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y

1979 Letter (strikes and inefficiency) http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y

1981 industrial unrest Queanbeyan route http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y

1981 list of suburbs and routes http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y

1986 ACTION school bus feature http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y

1987 major review for ACTION http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y
More evening services for TAFE/hospitals
Redistribute service from inner to outer suburbs and on intertown route
New 666 express intertown expresses
Some local routes dropped from 30 to 40 min

1988 introducing new network http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y
Fewer routes (129 to 105)
Express services that bypass interchanges
Abolish evening area buses
Staggering of feeders at interchanges?
Simpler network within 400m of 95% of homes

1979 network changes http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y

1988 schools http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y

1988 Disruptions http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y

1988 New ACTION boss http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y
Industrial relations
Weekend service increase
Less enthusiastic about evening services

1990 Letter opposing Network 88 http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y
Said Network 88 abandoned 15 min peak/30 min offpeak
Extended Civic (express?) services & coverage to South Tuggeranong at expense of other areas

1994 History of PT in Canberra http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article ... stralian=y
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