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[Mar/Apr 2019] SA Transport observations

Adelaide / South Australia Transport Discussion

Re: [Mar/Apr 2019] SA Transport observations

Postby burrumbus » Sat Apr 13, 2019 12:02 am

Skexis wrote:@ burrumbus. The trouble with having shifts made up of just the smaller runs for midis would be that those runs are needed in order to pad out shifts operated by larger buses. Dunno how familiar you are with AdMet routes but here's an just one example where the small run at the start pads the rest of the day out to an acceptable length. If all those smaller runs were done by midis then either that shift would be too short or too long. Also having the larger buses only doing the longer routes would mean there would be too much dead time in between them.

Good evening Skexis.
Thank you for the example of the Southlink run sheet.
It is an efficient shift with little dead running and sensible turnarounds to hopefully enable on time operation.I would have thought that the shift may have operated a tad longer to the extent of enabling another trip and to make the drivers wage a bit better.
But to my way of thinking it still represents the complexity of bus rostering.First and foremost it covers operation in two different contract areas.If Southlink lose one or both of those contract areas in the upcoming tenders the work involved in disentangling the rosters would be considerable.
I would have thought there would be enough work in each contract area to be able to construct shifts just for those contract areas.I would imagine Lonsdale depot would be a very heavy peak hour orientated depot with a lot of broken shifts to cover those peak hour school and route trips.
The run sheet you showed had that shift working 5 different routes over that shift.Presumably drivers in both contract areas have to know every route in each contract area.That is very complex for a driver to remember.Many drivers just hate that aspect and prefer regular routes and regular ,predictable shifts.I have seen shifts in other large companies where up to 8 different route are operated.
I still believe that mini/midi buses can be easily introduced onto exclusive shifts with regular drivers.Your example just illustrates how complex bus rostering is in large companies.
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Re: [Mar/Apr 2019] SA Transport observations

Postby jibb » Sat Apr 13, 2019 5:50 pm

The 12 MAN Midis that were sitting in the Morphettville yard have now gone to Lonsdale South depot and will be used on various Southlink services from Monday.
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Re: [Mar/Apr 2019] SA Transport observations

Postby Skexis » Sun Apr 14, 2019 1:29 am

burrumbus wrote:The run sheet you showed had that shift working 5 different routes over that shift.Presumably drivers in both contract areas have to know every route in each contract area

As it happens, no. The only northern run SL do from down south is the 222 which is good as we'd be trapped out north for longer periods otherwise.

With longer shifts you'd run into all sorts of problems, the primary one that comes to mind being driver fatigue. You'd also run into issues with drivers possibly hitting their 5 hour driving limit and being forced to park a bus full of passengers by the side of the road while they take a break. Can't see that one going down too well. Also consider staffing as longer shifts would mean fewer drivers are required and although this would look good to an accountant fewer drivers working longer hours means considerably less flexibility to cover leave, sickness and breakdowns etc.

It all does work though, or at least it does at the moment. Having midis back on regular rostering would make it work not so well.

jibb wrote:The 12 MAN Midis that were sitting in the Morphettville yard have now gone to Lonsdale South depot and will be used on various Southlink services from Monday.

Wonderful. Lets hope it's purely to do with the changes at Oaklands and that they'll disappear as soon as the work is complete.
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Re: [Mar/Apr 2019] SA Transport observations

Postby burrumbus » Sun Apr 14, 2019 2:37 am

Thanks for the info Skexis.
How many Southlink Lonsdale shifts have the 222 on them ?? And what is the reason for that ?? I think 4.5 hours is the maximum you should give a driver on a shift half.Fatigue is an issue ,but the biggest issue is just getting too close to your 5 hour driving limit.9 hours paid per day does give a driver a decent ,liveable wage,especially for younger drivers with families.I think your above example of 7 hours 49 minutes paid is not quite enough.
Anything less doesn't give enough to retain a driver,and they are off looking for alternate employment.
The same applies to casual school bus driving shifts,which are typically 20 hours paid.That just is not enough and only attracts older retired and semi retired blokes mainly.Also some older ladies are attracted-which is great.I have 2 ladies I use.One on school runs and charter and another for weekend charter.They are brilliant with fantastic safe driving skill and a real customer service mentality.
You do need to operate your business for maximum efficiency and sometimes paying longer shifts with less staff is the way to go.The longer shifts give permanent drivers better wages and helps retain them ,especially younger blokes.But you do need a pool of casual drivers you can call on to cover work,especially weekend charter.
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Re: [Mar/Apr 2019] SA Transport observations

Postby BroadGauge » Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:43 am

burrumbus wrote:9 hours paid per day does give a driver a decent ,liveable wage,especially for younger drivers with families.I think your above example of 7 hours 49 minutes paid is not quite enough.

For drivers who are employed on a permanent full time basis, as most route service drivers would be, is it that relevant when they are guaranteed their 38 hours per week anyway, which will usually be made up with varying shifts and lengths? For casual drivers it is, of course, a completely different equation.
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Re: [Mar/Apr 2019] SA Transport observations

Postby jibb » Sun Apr 14, 2019 10:54 am

jibb wrote:The 12 MAN Midis that were sitting in the Morphettville yard have now gone to Lonsdale South depot and will be used on various Southlink services from Monday.

Torrens Transit R803--R808 have also been loaned to Southlink to cover Rail Substitute services.
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Re: [Mar/Apr 2019] SA Transport observations

Postby burrumbus » Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:05 am

BroadGauge wrote:
burrumbus wrote:9 hours paid per day does give a driver a decent ,liveable wage,especially for younger drivers with families.I think your above example of 7 hours 49 minutes paid is not quite enough.

For drivers who are employed on a permanent full time basis, as most route service drivers would be, is it that relevant when they are guaranteed their 38 hours per week anyway, which will usually be made up with varying shifts and lengths? For casual drivers it is, of course, a completely different equation.

Hours worked for permanent drivers is still important because of the relatively low wages per hour that the industry pays permanents.
An example I am well aware of is an operator that had 7 permanent drivers on town work.Average hours per week was in range 48-50 spread pretty evenly over the 7 shifts.The drivers were very happy with this as the work was mainly Monday-Friday and gave them predictable shifts over a 7 week roster.They did not need to do other work to get a good liveable wage.One shift per week over 7 weeks.The operator decided to change the rosters and introduced 11 drivers onto those same services with average hours of 38-40 hours,including some school bus shifts.Result-an exodus of drivers over the next year.Why?? Because their average pay declined quite markedly and the shifts were not as predictable.
With the relatively low wages per hour,compared with many other jobs ,hours worked is important to give drivers a good solid liveable wage.It is one of the factors that large companies do not consider .It contributes very much to the high churn rate of drivers in many large companies.One of the lessons is give your drivers good hours and give them predictable work on which to plan their lives around.You might actually be able to retain more of your drivers for a lot longer time periods.
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Re: [Mar/Apr 2019] SA Transport observations

Postby Former driver37 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:20 am

jibb wrote:
jibb wrote:The 12 MAN Midis that were sitting in the Morphettville yard have now gone to Lonsdale South depot and will be used on various Southlink services from Monday.

Torrens Transit R803--R808 have also been loaned to Southlink to cover Rail Substitute services.

Also seen a few Scania BCI on Southlink route services
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Re: [Mar/Apr 2019] SA Transport observations

Postby Eagle Eye » Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:48 am

burrumbus wrote:With the relatively low wages per hour,compared with many other jobs ,hours worked is important to give drivers a good solid liveable wage.It is one of the factors that large companies do not consider .It contributes very much to the high churn rate of drivers in many large companies.One of the lessons is give your drivers good hours and give them predictable work on which to plan their lives around.You might actually be able to retain more of your drivers for a lot longer time periods.

It might be all good and well to say increase drivers' hours from 38 hours to 48-50 hours per week but this simply isn't permitted under the Enterprise Agreements at the larger companies at least. The unions would be up in arms if a company tried to increase its hours and apparently increase fatigue for its staff.

In other news, bus #1022 was spotted on a 720 to the city this morning.
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Re: [Mar/Apr 2019] SA Transport observations

Postby Former driver37 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:55 am

It looks like most mile end depot BCI scanias are at lonsdale depot to help with rail subs for a few weeks seen buses from 1989 right through to 1022 this morning
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Re: [Mar/Apr 2019] SA Transport observations

Postby jibb » Mon Apr 15, 2019 11:12 am

It appears I was wrong about the MAN Midis at Morphettville Depot, they are still there, not sure why they came out of DPTI's yard and went onto the tracks?
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Re: [Mar/Apr 2019] SA Transport observations

Postby jibb » Mon Apr 15, 2019 11:54 am

Former driver37 wrote:It looks like most mile end depot BCI scanias are at lonsdale depot to help with rail subs for a few weeks seen buses from 1989 right through to 1022 this morning

I would imagine those Bustech Scanias would need to be returned to Mile End Depot at the end of the second week,as they will be needed when schools return.
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Re: [Mar/Apr 2019] SA Transport observations

Postby Former driver37 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:39 pm

jibb wrote:
Former driver37 wrote:It looks like most mile end depot BCI scanias are at lonsdale depot to help with rail subs for a few weeks seen buses from 1989 right through to 1022 this morning

I would imagine those Bustech Scanias would need to be returned to Mile End Depot at the end of the second week,as they will be needed when schools return.[/quote
Maybe that's when the man midis will return into service during school term
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Re: [Mar/Apr 2019] SA Transport observations

Postby jibb » Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:17 pm

Scania Bustech 1023 is also at Lonsdale.
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Re: [Mar/Apr 2019] SA Transport observations

Postby BroadGauge » Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:30 am

burrumbus wrote:An example I am well aware of is an operator that had 7 permanent drivers on town work.Average hours per week was in range 48-50 spread pretty evenly over the 7 shifts.The drivers were very happy with this as the work was mainly Monday-Friday and gave them predictable shifts over a 7 week roster.They did not need to do other work to get a good liveable wage.

48-50 hours is a lot to be doing every single week! Especially in a job where fatigue can become a safety issue.

Perhaps the differentiating point here is that drivers in the big cities would be working weekend shifts (with their accompanying penalty rates!) far more often than at a regional operation like you describe, which can make a significant difference to weekly earnings.

Not to mention the availability of overtime shifts on days off for those who want to earn even more. I presume at the kind of operation you describe, that nearly all the work happens during the working week (when all drivers are already engaged) so there would be few opportunities to pick up an extra day.
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Re: [Mar/Apr 2019] SA Transport observations

Postby burrumbus » Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:03 pm

Many charter drivers do those hours on charter and tour work,but the driving hours are not continuos like a metro track driver.Also the driving conditions in the country with traffic is a lot easier than metro work.
Yes weekend work can bump up earnings considerably but many drivers just do not want to do weekend work.They would prefer family or recreation time.
And you are correct the availability of overtime shifts is just not there for many country drivers as the vast majority of work is Monday-Friday.The only extra opportunities are for weekend charter which some drivers are interested in,but not all.
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Re: [Mar/Apr 2019] SA Transport observations

Postby Crispy! » Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:07 am

1984,1985,1986,1987 have also been transferred to SouthLink Lonsdale.

Still not used to seeing these Torrens Buses on 7xx Routes,

also a couple rare TT observations, I did see Scania L94UB 1226 on City Connector (98A) tonight, and 1901 on a 254X yesterday.
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Re: [Mar/Apr 2019] SA Transport observations

Postby TA3001 » Wed Apr 17, 2019 1:23 am

1999 was also doing a train substitute service yesterday. I think I have seen 1786 on of the city connector services on one occasion some time in 2015.

And these buses are exactly the same chassis as 1270 and onwards, albeit slightly modified over time, so it's only the numbers that are different.
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Re: [Mar/Apr 2019] SA Transport observations

Postby Crispy! » Wed Apr 17, 2019 2:36 am

TA3001 wrote:1999 was also doing a train substitute service yesterday. I think I have seen 1786 on of the city connector services on one occasion some time in 2015.

And these buses are exactly the same chassis as 1270 and onwards, albeit slightly modified over time, so it's only the numbers that are different.


@ TA3001,
1999: Yeah as it would be,

1984-1999, 1020-1023 are with SouthLink until the Rail Replacement finishes so in the meantime they can do any Rail or any SouthLink route that is rostered would be interesting to see one/ some in the hills. :P
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Re: [Mar/Apr 2019] SA Transport observations

Postby TA3001 » Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:31 am

Good riddance, even if it's only temporary.
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Re: [Mar/Apr 2019] SA Transport observations

Postby jibb » Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:40 am

Bad luck, better get used to it as there are lots more coming!
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Re: [Mar/Apr 2019] SA Transport observations

Postby TA3001 » Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:36 am

My main dislike about them is the fact that the backrests are unsturdy and hit you in the back every time they go over a bump, as well as those stupid arch like items just behind the front row of seats. It's a bus not a museum.

And then there's the window line... I sort of wish the CB60 Evo 2 order had never been discontinued.
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Re: [Mar/Apr 2019] SA Transport observations

Postby bigrobbo » Wed Apr 17, 2019 1:08 pm

Bit of confusion it seems over Easter running times.

Nothing is available on line saying if public transport is running to Saturday or Sunday times on Easter Saturday.

I rang the infoline this morning. The operator said buses will run to public holiday times on Saturday, only to be corrected by his supervisor.


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Re: [Mar/Apr 2019] SA Transport observations

Postby Eagle Eye » Wed Apr 17, 2019 4:00 pm

bigrobbo wrote:Nothing is available on line saying if public transport is running to Saturday or Sunday times on Easter Saturday.

Saturday timetables are always used on Easter Saturday.
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Re: [Mar/Apr 2019] SA Transport observations

Postby mmosca447 » Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:26 pm

Spotted 1021 on a 719 today, still difficult to get my head around seeing Torrens buses on Southlink routes... maybe we'll see more coming to Southlink if they take a liking to them during rail closures?
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