SA lockdown

Adelaide / South Australia Transport Discussion
Skexis
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SA lockdown

Post by Skexis »

Read somewhere that Sydney has gone to a Sunday timetable during their lockdown. Why doesn't Adelaide do the same as running near empty buses cannot make any sense.
Merc1107
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Re: SA lockdown

Post by Merc1107 »

It's not really as simple as just running a Sunday timetable. It's a major disruption to the workforce and is problematic when drivers are guaranteed a specific number of hours each week; there are headaches surrounding rostering, how to share the limited work and so on. These issues SHOULD have been resolved in the national 'lockdown' last year but perhaps haven't.

For a snap lockdown it's a lot of work to make the alterations. In a prolonged lockdown, yes, it should happen.
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Re: SA lockdown

Post by ABS »

Near empty buses is exactly what you want in a lockdown. Social distancing.
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Re: SA lockdown

Post by TT »

In Adelaide Sunday timetables kick in not long before 8am on most routes. Not much good for the people who are still going to work, like the essential workers. Sydney’s Sunday timetables are far more comprehensive than Adelaide’s. I did one early route this morning that had 6 people on, all staff who got off at QEH. You’d need to run a modified weekday timetable (like between Christmas and New Year) not a Sunday one.
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Re: SA lockdown

Post by TT »

All City Connector runs and After Midnight services have been cancelled already, as was the case on the last lockdown.
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Re: SA lockdown

Post by jibb »

It seems strange that we have mostly empty buses and trams running to full timetables with few if any passengers.
Iwould have thought that maybe a Saturday timetable with a few weekday routes added would be suffice?
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Re: SA lockdown

Post by 2MSJ »

That may seem simple, but in reality is difficult to implement at short notice. It took Sydney 4 weeks to move to a Sunday timetable and even then there are adjustments having to be made to service industrial areas that don't have a weekend service etc. It's not impossible but perhaps not worth it for a week. Anecdotally, some of the busier services seem to be those before weekend timetables would kick in, and most schools are technically still open. Lots of school services link onto regular weekday timetabled trips, or frequencies drop right off past schools on weekend frequencies.
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Skexis
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Re: SA lockdown

Post by Skexis »

2MSJ wrote: Fri Jul 23, 2021 8:27 am..not impossible but perhaps not worth it for a week
It'll be more than one week I reckon.
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Re: SA lockdown

Post by Tim Williams »

I really do not know what drives the operations staff at Aldgate/Mt Barker.

This afternoon at about 2.30pm, I observed two artics heading up Glen Osmond Road, the first on the 861 to Glen Osmond with virtually no passengers on board, the second artic, about 10 mins later heading up to the hills similarly bereft (lacking of) passengers. Maybe the unions (via the drivers) control rostering to maximise their wages - artics attract a wage loading!!

Perhaps someone could explain this apparent stupidity or if this is part of union domination, I thought that went with the demise of the STA and of course, the wonderfully powerful "Motor Tramways and Omnibus Association" - a beautiful title for a bunch of recalcitrant neaderthals!!!
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Re: SA lockdown

Post by TT »

Southlink must be the only drivers who get wage loadings for driving artics. I thought that only applied back in the government days.
As they’re still running all regular services, even during Covid lockdown, I would’ve thought that all/most artics would still need to be on the road just to meet dispatch requirements.
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Re: SA lockdown

Post by Merc1107 »

A HR license retention or artic penalty are a part of the Modern Award for bus drivers. Obviously if an EA foregoes this sort of payment, the drivers are benefiting in some other way.

If nothing else, a larger bus allows for more social distancing. Hardly a bad thing in the present climate.
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Re: SA lockdown

Post by Tim Williams »

Do look at the passenger numbers on these buses - virtually nil.

Social distancing has nothing to do with this!!!!

EMPTY BUSES GOING UP AND DOWN - why increase the cost of operating, by allocating artics. I can assure you that artics cost a lot more to operate than say 12mtr rigids, even without the uneccessary driver rate loading,
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Re: SA lockdown

Post by busrider »

Bear in mind that four rigids from the hills are on loan to Torrens Transit, so even with lower passenger loadings, they still have less rigids than normal available to send out.
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Re: SA lockdown

Post by TT »

I’ve checked Southlinks drivers agreement on the Fair Work website. No mention anywhere of wage loadings for artics: where are you getting this info about wage loadings from?
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Re: SA lockdown

Post by Tonsley213 »

Tim Williams wrote: Mon Jul 26, 2021 6:56 pm Do look at the passenger numbers on these buses - virtually nil.

Social distancing has nothing to do with this!!!!

EMPTY BUSES GOING UP AND DOWN - why increase the cost of operating, by allocating artics. I can assure you that artics cost a lot more to operate than say 12mtr rigids, even without the uneccessary driver rate loading,
Tim,

Are you suggesting that southlink go though and disconnect the trailer portion of attics such that the government can pay for the operation of a rigid only??? Preposterous!

Mate, there are limited number of busses. You will find that on a normal weekday most of the fleet is on the road. There are not rigids just sitting doing nothing.

The cost of operating the services are already budgeted for and any savings running less services while significantly impacting essential workers which rely on their service would be hard to justify.
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Re: SA lockdown

Post by Tim Williams »

Yes, I am not trying to be inflammatory, but having operated artics they are incredibly expensive, particularly on the hills runs to Mt barker and other places.

They are good people movers, but they come at a cost and if I were running the whole operation, I would ensure that artics are operated only where and when they are needed and that is not today on the G O Road services with very very low patronage.
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Re: SA lockdown

Post by Linto63 »

Tim Williams wrote: EMPTY BUSES GOING UP AND DOWN - why increase the cost of operating, by allocating artics.
As others have said, with the weekday timetable being operated in full, it is probably isn't possible to operate all diagrams just with rigids. There may be other factors at play such as a desire to have all buses continue accruing mileage at their normal rate to avoid planned maintenance schedules getting out of sync. While artics will have a higher operating cost than rigids, and it may be seen as a waste, in the grand scheme of the dent made in government finances by the lockdown, will be small beer.

Same thing is happening in Sydney, where despite operating a Sunday timetable which normally can be handled by newer rigids, older rigids and artics regularly appear.
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Re: SA lockdown

Post by tonyp »

Tonsley213 wrote: Mon Jul 26, 2021 7:06 pm
Are you suggesting that southlink go though and disconnect the trailer portion of attics such that the government can pay for the operation of a rigid only???
You wouldn't get very far considering the "trailer" is the pusher! Never underestimate the power of a trailer:

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Re: SA lockdown

Post by jibb »

busrider wrote: Mon Jul 26, 2021 7:04 pm Bear in mind that four rigids from the hills are on loan to Torrens Transit, so even with lower passenger loadings, they still have less rigids than normal available to send out.
Obviously every depot has spare buses over and above the number required to cover vehicles out of service.
Southlink oviously had additional spare buses that they could do without, without being caught short of buses to operates peak services,
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Re: SA lockdown

Post by Merc1107 »

It doesn't matter if artics are empty or not (if there are a few passengers travelling, the need to social distance remains). Southlink have undoubtedly factored in their operation costs as part of their tender.

If we were talking a Sunday timetable, absolutely their use might be questionable when there are a lot of fixed costs not being paid for with less service kilometres. But that isn't the case here.
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Re: SA lockdown

Post by Tim Williams »

Interesting to read the comments such as "factored in", "rosters", contract payments etc. - it's pretty obvious that none of you blokes have run buses and had to worry about the actual costs of operation, one type vs. another and trying to run profitably and extracting the the best margin possible and at the same time, ensuring the customers are well and appropriately served.

I can assure you that running artics is significantly more expensive than rigids, particularly on those long Hills runs.
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Re: SA lockdown

Post by Lt. Commander Data »

Surely some extra fuel is just a drop in the ocean to Keolis Downer? A shift recut for a single week of lockdown maybe wasn’t deemed necessary, or they just couldn’t be bothered?

I’d be interested to see fuel consumption of a (5 cylinder) Euro V artic vs (6 cylinder) Euro III rigid as well.
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Re: SA lockdown

Post by Tim Williams »

There are a number of other items of "Variable Costs" in addition to fuel and oil, such as tyres, brakes, and general maintenance - and they do cost significantly more on an artic, which are a lot heavier than a rigid.

Anyway, our discussions will not change the operation - it is all a bit academic, but I thought it worth mentioning.
When I was at Briscoes then Bus Australia, we costed different vehicle types in reasonable detail and strived to ensure we gained the best margins we could for each vehicle type. We operated 4 x artic buses and 1 x artic coach. As an example of our costing efforts, I was intrumental in removing old Denning coaches from the Mt Barker services, because of their very high fuel consumption, low passenger capacity and sunken gangway - totally unsuitable for that type of operation. I convinced the Board that flat floor Volvo B10M's with ZF Auto and Volgren bodies were the way to go (1 x 53 seats and 2 x 49 seats - compared to Denning's 41). THey were a lot cheaper on maintenance and fuel, drivers and passengers loved them and they were very suitable for the operation etc. etc. Then along came the Volvo Fuji Artics, great buses, but higher operating cost per km - we were careful to use them where the loads warranted them.
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Re: SA lockdown

Post by SBD »

Tim Williams wrote: Tue Jul 27, 2021 12:38 pm There are a number of other items of "Variable Costs" in addition to fuel and oil, such as tyres, brakes, and general maintenance - and they do cost significantly more on an artic, which are a lot heavier than a rigid.

Anyway, our discussions will not change the operation - it is all a bit academic, but I thought it worth mentioning.
When I was at Briscoes then Bus Australia, we costed different vehicle types in reasonable detail and strived to ensure we gained the best margins we could for each vehicle type. We operated 4 x artic buses and 1 x artic coach. As an example of our costing efforts, I was intrumental in removing old Denning coaches from the Mt Barker services, because of their very high fuel consumption, low passenger capacity and sunken gangway - totally unsuitable for that type of operation. I convinced the Board that flat floor Volvo B10M's with ZF Auto and Volgren bodies were the way to go (1 x 53 seats and 2 x 49 seats - compared to Denning's 41). THey were a lot cheaper on maintenance and fuel, drivers and passengers loved them and they were very suitable for the operation etc. etc. Then along came the Volvo Fuji Artics, great buses, but higher operating cost per km - we were careful to use them where the loads warranted them.
@Tim, I don't think anyone is disputing that the cost to run an artic is higher than to run a rigid bus all other things being equal. The point may be that not everything else is equal, and your example about changing the fleet mix is entirely irrelevant for a one-week lockdown.

If the fleet is scaled to fit the normal weekday timetable, and the normal weekday timetable is being operated, there may not be a supply of spare rigid buses to replace the otherwise scheduled articulated ones.

Another consideration may be the routine maintenance crew availability during this time. If that normally involves several people working close to each other, then the work will take longer if they are distanced. We don't know if the crew roster is changed to ensure separate A and B teams who never see each other, so that if one team becomes infected, the other can continue, or even if some of the normal maintenance crew are in mandatory quarantine for two weeks because someone else in the family had been to a Tier One site on the weekend.
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Re: SA lockdown

Post by Lt. Commander Data »

Tim Williams wrote: Tue Jul 27, 2021 12:38 pm When I was at Briscoes then Bus Australia, we costed different vehicle types in reasonable detail and strived to ensure we gained the best margins we could for each vehicle type. We operated 4 x artic buses and 1 x artic coach. As an example of our costing efforts, I was intrumental in removing old Denning coaches from the Mt Barker services, because of their very high fuel consumption, low passenger capacity and sunken gangway - totally unsuitable for that type of operation. I convinced the Board that flat floor Volvo B10M's with ZF Auto and Volgren bodies were the way to go (1 x 53 seats and 2 x 49 seats - compared to Denning's 41). THey were a lot cheaper on maintenance and fuel, drivers and passengers loved them and they were very suitable for the operation etc. etc. Then along came the Volvo Fuji Artics, great buses, but higher operating cost per km - we were careful to use them where the loads warranted them.
Very interesting!

The Volvo/Volgrens were unfortunately a bit before my time, however from photos they look very attractive.
I remember the Fuji artics fondly - generally (in Transit Plus days) they were used on school runs, however I remember a catching one on a T163 when I was young. Some drivers still speak highly of (some of) the Fujis!

I’m not sure if people still run cost analysis that you have described - except perhaps DIT. I’d hazard a guess that driver hours are the main variable that can be changed for the contractors, and possibly route design once a year.
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