Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Timetable Tuesday #144: Bus 732 - Burwood Hwy's tram connector

Which is Melbourne's most frequent 7 day bus route? It's neither a SmartBus nor something in a dense inner suburb that replaced a cable tram. Instead it's a short section of a suburban route boosted because the early 2000s era government only half fulfilled a promise to extend the 75 tram to Knox City. The tram was extended from Burwood East to Vermont South with the remainder to Knox being a bus. The 'Knox Transit Link' is just one of the multiple roles served by Route 732 between Box Hill and Upper Ferntree Gully in Melbourne's east. 

For a Melbourne bus the route is amazingly straight with just one significant bend. It starts at Box Hill and runs due south, skirting the eastern part of Deakin University. Then it runs east along Burwood Hwy until Upper Ferntree Gully Station. 


Burwood Hwy is a significant transport spine in Melbourne's eastern suburbs. Many shops and corporate headquarters are lined along it. Tram 75 along it has been extended several times, with Vermont South being the current terminus. Route 732 overlaps part of the tram but has the benefit of running to Box Hill which is a major destination for people in the area. Another overlap is further east, in a sparser area. Here the overlap is with the 693 though this is different in that it deviates north via Ferntree Gully. 

Arguably, the further east you go the less there is a need for a one seat ride to Box Hill as taking the train will probably be quicker. However this is not necessarily so when comparing it with a bus + train trip noting the poor (30 min) interpeak frequency of trains on the Belgrave line. 

You can get a better idea of the 732 from the annotated network map below. 


The full route runs from Box Hill to Upper Ferntree Gully station. A dotted line east of there is an off-peak daytime loop to serve Angliss Hospital. The thick line is the Knox Transit Link from the tram terminus to Knox City Shopping Centre. This includes a lot of short trips to provide a frequent service and connections from each tram (in most cases). 


Route 732 serves a swathe of seats in Melbourne's east - all marginal. These include Box Hill (Paul Hamer MP - Labor marginal), Burwood (Will Fowles MP - Labor marginal), Forest Hill (Neil Angus - Liberal marginal) and Ferntree Gully (Nick Wakeling - Liberal marginal). The redistribution will reduce the number of seats in the area but many will likely remain marginal. 

Timetable and service levels

The timetable for the 732 is best explained in two parts: (i) the full route and (ii) the Knox Transit Link section between Vermont South and Knox City. 

The full route almost but doesn't quite meet the 2006 minimum service standards. That is service up to approximately 9pm seven days per week with maximum intervals between trips of an hour. 

Monday to Friday interpeak service is three trips per hour from the unusually early start of 5am. However its times are uneven with gaps of up to 27-28 minutes. Thus it gets close to but does not qualify for inclusion on my Useful Network frequency maps, which have a maximum wait cut-off of 20 minutes. Another issue is that even if it was an even 20 minutes it would not harmonise trains at Box Hill due to these following a 15/ 30 minute pattern (despite a more suitable 10 / 20 minute pattern operating on weekends). 

Saturday service is roughly 40 minutes during the day and 60 minutes at night. Sunday service is mostly about hourly. However it doesn't quite meet the hourly minimum service standard as intervals are lumpy. For an example there is gap of around 90 minutes in the morning and around 75 minutes inbound from Upper Ferntree Gully. The span is asymmetrical, with the last weekend buses leaving Upper Ferntree Gully at 8pm as opposed to after 9pm for Box Hill. 


The Sunday timetable excerpt above shows how much more intense the Knox Transit Link service is compared to the route 732 as a whole. In addition the Knox Transit Link operates over almost the same wide operating hours enjoyed by the 75 tram. The concept was there would be a seamless tram / bus connection, though in 2011 the PTUA complained this wasn't so

Noteworthy though was when the 75 was one of the six tram routes chosen for Night Network operation in 2016 the connecting 732 Knox Transit Link bus did not get a corresponding 'meet every tram' upgrade. Instead the link is provided with the hourly 967 special Night Bus route. More recently late night 732 service was cut earlier this year, presumably due to low usage. 

In the morning peak the short 732 trips operate about every 8 to 10 minutes. Interpeak service is about every 10 minutes for the short trips on their own. However the full route passes every 20 minutes or so, reducing some gaps to 5 minutes. Arguably this is excessive - one wonders whether economies might have been possible with short trips being spaced between the full length trips. This would however require the full length trips to be run at an even 20 minute interval, which is not currently the case. This does not happen as the bus operator concerned (Ventura) tends to avoid clockface timetabling, even interpeak and on weekends. This is because our Department of Transport does not enforce network-wide frequency planning standards. In this we lag Switzerland, which does through its Tactfahrplan (clockface) scheduling policy.  


Early Saturday morning frequencies are every 20 minutes, improving to 12 minutes for most of the day. Like on weeknights evenings drop to approximately every 20 minutes with some unevenness. Service is least (about every 30 minutes) early Sunday morning and evening to reflect the drop off in tram services then. 

History

The 732 as we know it has been going since 1980, though there have been similar routes going back to 1944. For much of the 1970s it provided a bus along both Highbury Rd and part of Burwood Hwy, with other routes (735 and 736) going further east along Burwood Hwy. Both have since been made less direct with the 732 becoming the main Burwood Hwy route. 

The short Knox Transit Link trips between Vermont South and Knox City were added in 2005. These ran as extra trips in between the full length 732 trips. Hence you had Melbourne's most frequent bus service on the overlap section while the full length route was the usual six day per week / short operating hours service typical of Melbourne buses. This went a long way to being corrected a couple of years later when the full 732 route gained an (almost) minimum service upgrade in 2007 with longer operating hours and Sunday service. 

For a long time (up to early 2021) the 732 was scheduled in a manner where the short Knox Transit Link trips combined with the full length trips to provide the high Vermont South - Knox City service. However the 2021 service change decoupled them to make them effectively separate services. While this might have improved the reliability of the Knox Transit Link part of the service, it resulted in a 'lumpy' timetable with some trips only two minutes apart. Also the number of trips added may not have necessarily been the most efficient use of bus resources in Melbourne's east given (a) Knox Transit Link's low usage and (b) the extreme lack of bus services in parts of Knox (such as Scoresby Rd). 

Patronage

The 732 is one of the busiest bus routes in the eastern suburbs. Both in terms of overall patronage and boardings per service hour. The latter is 35-36 boardings per hour on all seven days with the highest number recorded on Sundays. This is due to a combination of a favourable bus using demographic (most likely at the electorally marginal Box Hill end) and the poor hourly service provided. High productivity can wreck a bus route with the 732 on weekend a prime example. 

The goodness of the 732's catchment and the strength of Box Hill as a centre appears to offset its overlap of the 75 tram on Burwood Hwy. The bus goes to Box Hill and the tram doesn't so they have different roles. Where both routes perform strongly and the catchment is favourable then you might accept what you might at first sight consider a duplicative service. 

The Knox Transit Link further east is a different story. Board one of the short trips and there often won't be that many other passengers. It's a frequent service but it is very slow if taking it all the way to the CBD. Camberwell (on the way) may attract some but not necessarily very many passengers. Certainly having more buses between Vermont South and Knox City than trams that they meet is overkill not justified by patronage numbers. Especially when the number of such trips was greatly increased in the early 2021 recoordination.

Another thing about the 732's extending so far east is that it precludes many one-seat rides, even for local trips, for passenger boarding routes south and east of Belgrave without even more network duplication than currently exists. This may be one of the reasons for the low patronage productivity of routes like the 695. It may be possible for it to do better if it ran to a major destination like Knox City instead of the 732.  

Reform options

Route 732 has a lot of potential for reform. Not least because it serves the major centre of Box Hill, just misses Deakin University and will just miss the proposed Burwood Suburban Rail Loop station. And, as mentioned above, parts of the route are well used while other parts are poorly used, despite its strong overall usage. 

The map below is a potential network concept for a reformed Deakin area trunk bus network involving the 732 and 903. 


In a nutshell both the 903 and 732 are rerouted to better serve Deakin University. As well the short poorly used Knox Transit Link trips are replaced with frequent service all the way between Knox City and Box Hill. This may seem expensive but resources can come from amalgamating the 201 and 768 Deakin University shuttles into the extended 732.

An attempt could be made to lessen run time with express / limited stop running between Vermont South and Box Hill, with the tram or the 767 available at all stops missed. Service could be every 10 minutes weekdays and 20 minutes weekends, with the inferior weekend tram connections at Vermont South accept as a price for the vastly improved frequency to Box Hill. Every second trip could extend from Knox to Upper Ferntree Gully to preserve the existing 3 buses per hour but (hopefully) with a more even 20 minute interval. This would nicely complement needed upgrades of Belgrave line weekday interpeak services from every 30 to every 20 minutes. 

If funding is limited a 15 minute weekday frequency between Box Hill and Knox City may be acceptable. This has the advantage of evenly meshing with the current 15 min base train frequency at Box Hill and, if every second trip is extended to Upper Ferntree Gully, trains there as well. And, while still not quite 'turn up and go' it would offer a superior service to the 20 minutely Deakin 201 shuttle. The main trade-off is inferior timetable coordination at the Vermont South tram terminus (trams every 10 min, bus every 15 min). But you are still getting a much simpler network and far better Deakin access at a very small cost. 

The eastern part of the 732 also bears looking at. Simplification might involve operating the Angliss Hospital trip full time as part of a regular route extended from the east that might make other local trips easier. It might be possible to consider this in conjunction with reforms to 693 and 695

Conclusion

Route 732 tries to do a lot of things. Does it do too much? Or are there more things it could do, eg a better Deakin University connection? Does the Knox Transit Link get too much service while the Box Hill end gets too little? And is there scope for timetable neatening, such as an even 20 minute service and more weekend trips? Comments are welcome and can be left below. 


See all Timetable Tuesday items here



Friday, November 26, 2021

Building Melbourne's Useful Network Part 113: A new bus network for Hampton Park (and more)


Today we'll venture to Hampton Park, in Melbourne's outer south-east. The area has had a station at Hallam for years with rapid housing growth in the 1970s and 80s. Main roads form the 'bones' of a coarse grid, with loopy streets and creeks interrupting it at the finer level. This makes it harder to simplify local bus routes without losing coverage. Also, unlike older suburbs, housing density and commercial activity peaks at 1 or 2 km from the station, with less around the station itself. 


The area has had quite a few piecemeal bus reforms over the last 20 or 30 years. Early numbers were in the high 700s (eg 792, 793, 794). Route numbers we know today (892, 893, 894, 895) started in August 2002 . The 891 started in 2010, replacing 827 in Hallam Gardens. The 2016 Cranbourne network saw major changes to 892 and 893 with the latter becoming a more direct and frequent route. However other Hampton Park changes were planned but did not proceed. More recently 863 from Endeavour Hills was layered over an unchanged existing network in the Hallam area. 

Lynbrook station opened in 2012. It got one bus route running to it but did not spark a comprehensive reappraisal of the local bus network. Its only route to the Hampton Park area is the 891 with other local routes, such as from Narre Warren South, going near but not to the station.

The average bus in the area is indirect and runs approximately every 40 minutes. The main exception is the 893 which was upgraded to every 20 min 7 days per week as part of the 2016 Cranbourne upgrades. This is a direct route running from Dandenong to Cranbourne via Hallam Station and Hallam Rd. There are no routes of equivalent (or indeed any) quality running east-west such as between Lynbrook and Narre Warren South even though there is now a lot of housing well away from the nearest station.  

The main destinations for Hampton Park people include the local shops on Hallam Rd and Fountain Gate in nearby Narre Warren. There's a lot of employment in nearby Dandenong South. Further away are jobs, services and education facilities in Dandenong and Berwick. The area sits between the Pakenham and Cranbourne lines with local stations being Hallam, Narre Warren and Lynbrook. 

Notwithstanding earlier comments about difficult street layouts, the bus network is more complex than it should be. The 2010 Metropolitan Bus Review proposed simplification but was never implemented. Even by suburban route standards, both routes 894 and 895 are very complex. They go a different way during peak and off-peak periods to save service kilometres. However this makes them almost unfathomable, especially if you look at the PTV's website maps below. 



Worthwhile bus network reform in Hampton Park must involve simplifying these routes. There are also complexities with buses in Narre Warren South with loop routes and weak termini. However discussion of them will be held over to another day. 


Hampton Park is in the state seat of Narre Warren South. This is held by Gary Maas MP. It is regarded as being fairly safe for Labor. Changes will be made to seat boundaries in the area due to the redistribution.  

Productivity of existing routes

All local routes have about average or better patronage performance on weekdays as measured on a boardings per kilometre basis (first number to the right of the route number). Numbers are for late 2018 (supplied by DoT). 

890 25/6/2
891 35/21/13
892 37/31/17
893 42/29/17
894 21/11/7
895 29/23/14

Saturday and Sunday usage (second and third numbers) is low on routes 890 and 894 as neither link residential areas to major shopping centres. 894 is also very complex. However 892 and 893 (which go to Dandenong) are strong performers while 895 (which goes to Fountain Gate) also performs well on Saturdays. 

The newer 863 from Endeavour Hills to Hampton Park is the least productive with half or less boardings per service km performance of the abovementioned. It has little unique coverage and doesn't go to major shopping centres. I won't discuss it today but it could be useful if wider reform was attempted.

Few frequent routes

As mentioned before the average bus in the area runs every 30 or 40 minutes. There is only one route  (893) that runs at the same frequency as off-peak trains (every 20 min).

I looked at main routes through this area before. Useful Network Part 26 examined corridors for potential frequent routes in the City of Casey while Part 97 considered potential SmartBuses in an even bigger part of the south-east.

Those items left some loose ends as local routes didn't get much mention. That's this item's purpose. I'll discuss local routes, notably in Hampton Park. However some of the benefits are wider, extending to Lynbrook Station, Narre Warren South and Berwick as you'll learn later. 

A reformed network

Network reform was considered with the following aims: 

1. Simplification of the very complex 894 and 895 routes with consistent all route service all day.

2. Improve connections to the station at Lynbrook and jobs at Dandenong South. It won't be possible to provide a one-seat ride for Dandenong South jobs from everywhere. But Dandenong South's 890 can be made to intersect with most routes in the area, permitting access with just one connection. 

3. Retain connections to shops at Fountain Gate and Hampton Park as much as possible, noting that there's often a trade-off with directness due to the location of the latter.  

4. Provide for direct routes that could be given frequent service if resources allowed. 

5. Retain residential area coverage. Stops retained in all but very few cases (where alternatives would be available). 

6. Relatively self-contained and simple to implement with a focus on the network's main problems. Berwick and Narre Warren South's network also needs reform but could be done in a subsequent stage. 

A potential reformed network is mapped below. 


A description of and rationale for the revised network is below: 

890: The current route runs to Lynbrook via a section of Westernport Hwy with no stops. It currently does well on weekdays but not on weekends as it has little residential area catchment that isn't close to Lynbrook Station. Lynbrook station is itself a weak terminus since it has a train and just two other bus routes. Hence travel to Dandenong South from many areas like much of Cranbourne, Hampton and Narre Warren South requires an unattractive bus-train-bus trip involving two changes, mostly between or two infrequent services.

The revised network takes 890 away from Lynbrook and routes it through residential parts of Hallam and then north to Hallam Station. It would then continue to Fountain Gate. This would enable increased weekend usage. Access to Dandenong South is better with connectivity with key north-south routes from Cranbourne including 893 on Hallam Rd and 841 at Fountain Gate. The 890 also replaces part of the very complex 894 with a straighter route that adds access to Fountain Gate. 

891: No change to route. However it might be scheduled so it combines with the new 894 to provide a combined 20 minute service to Lynbrook and Fountain Gate from some areas. 

892: Rerouted to replace 894 on Lakeview Dr. This lessens overlap on Hallam Rd which since 2016 has had the upgraded 893. This change frees 894 to do other things as explained later. A weekend frequency upgrade from every 60 to every 40 minutes is suggested, especially on Saturdays. This would partly compensate part of Pound Rd which goes from 2 to 1 route west of Hallam Rd due to the 894's simplification. Departures from Dandenong could be staggered with 890 to provide a 20 min combined frequency to Hampton Park west of Hallam Rd. The Ormond Rd part of the 892 would gain more frequent service to new destinations due to reforms to the 895 discussed later. 

893: No changes to route. However wider operating hours are suggested to reflect its status as a major route and provide after 9pm evening and early morning weekend service in the area. Due to Dandenong's more frequent trains, bus/train connectivity could be optimised at Hallam Station where trains are less frequent.

894: This complex and indirect route is radically reformed to go the same way each time. It would now provide a connection to Lynbrook and Fountain Gate. The latter should assist with improving currently low weekend usage. 

895: This also involves a radical reform. So radical that you might give it another route number like the 852 mentioned here. It is basically a direct Lynbrook - Berwick route. It's a thicker line as it's a potential more frequent service. Frequency could be every 20 minutes all day, particularly on weekdays. Its role is as a train feeder at both ends and to connect people to hospitals and educational services in the Berwick area. The directness and speed should assist usage despite its overlap of other routes at the Berwick end. Bus-bus connections may also be possible with the 893 (every 20 min) and a potentially upgraded 841 to provide a (currently missing) network grid. 

Resourcing

Bus vehicle usage for the existing routes involved is roughly as follows: 

890: +1 bus. Existing 40 min service needs 2 buses. The revised route is longer so 1 more bus is assumed. If that isn't sufficient it may be possible to interline it with the 892 at Dandenong which will  gain layover time. 

892: unchanged: Existing 30 min service with 40-45 min run time would require 3 buses. Revised route is longer but dropping frequency to every 40 min would leave bus requirements unchanged. Any surplus time at Dandenong could assist the extended 890 (also run by Cranbourne Transit). Ideally departures from Dandenong would be staggered with 890 to provide as close to a combined 20 minute frequency as possible to Hampton Park west of Hallam Rd. 

894 & 895: +2 bus: Existing 40 min service uses 3 buses on 2 hour cycle interpeak. Timetable is consistent with routes interlining at Narre Warren South terminus. Peak period short-cuts are economical but add to complexity. The new 894 would have similar length and 40 min frequency as 891 so should use 2 buses, leaving one to be put towards the 895. 

The new 895 via Seebeck Dr on the map is about 11.4 km long. Running it via Casey Central Shopping Centre would make it about a kilometre longer. Despite it being a little less direct it is potentially more useful and connects with more routes so running via Casey Central is on balance desirable. An 11km long route permits an efficient hourly service with one bus on local streets. Three buses could permit the 20 minute frequency recommended. The 895's direct route along main roads may allow somewhat faster speeds, with the ideal being a 20 minute service via Casey Central with three buses. 

Overall this network needs three new buses. It may be possible to get away with fewer but this is not recommended as it would mean poorer service on the new direct route 895. However if additional resources were available consideration may be given to boosting peak frequencies on 891 and 893 as these enjoy above average usage on weekdays.    

A network option B

Every proposed network will have shortcomings. Thus it is not wise to draw up just one network and think 'this must be the one' since this will make you blind to its deficiencies. At the same time you should not lose heart and give up. Especially when you have an existing unsatisfactory network and nothing has been done in nearly 20 years to fix complex routes like 894 and 895.

In the first network's case both 892 and 894 go near but not right to Hampton Park Shopping Centre. The difference is barely 100 metres but it will still annoy passengers, especially the less mobile. 

Another fault with A is that it doesn't tackle inefficient overlaps enough. In fact its extension of 890 to Fountain Gate creates new overlaps along Princes Hwy. Economies may be possible if another way for this route could be found. 

The network option B (below) presents another approach. 



Notable changes include: 

a. 890 and 892 west of Hallam Rd are flipped. This routes 892 past Hampton Park Shopping Centre instead of 890. It's a trade-off here: which route should have the best access to Hampton Park Shopping Centre? Another approach could be to introduce a kink with a small amount of backtracking so that both do. 

b. The 894 from Network A is deleted. Parts of it are replaced by the 890 which is routed to Narre Warren Station and Fountain Gate via the existing 895 alignment. Arguably this more east-west alignment is more legible while still making possible a lot of bus-bus and train-bus connections for the 890. It should also make the 890 a strong weekend patronage performer instead of its current weakness.

Other parts of the 894 around Coral Park Primary School retain service by diverting the 891 through the area. 891 would become even more of a coverage type route, especially if it is, as on the map, deviated via Fordholm Rd to better serve Hampton Park Shopping Centre. However those willing to walk to direct routes have the 893 and the revised 895 with their more frequent service. A partial solution could be to terminate 891 at Hampton Park Shopping Centre and extend 863 to Lynbrook via Coral Park. This would speed travel as access to Hallam Station would be direct instead of via Willow and Oaktree.

Network B is more economical than Network A. This is because removing 894 would free up its two buses. One might be needed for the 891 due to its extra length. It may then be possible to upgrade 891's peak service to be nearer to 30 than 40 minutes. This is a small but desirable improvement. The other remaining bus could be put towards the 895 upgrade. Hence Network B may require only two new buses instead of three for Network A. 

The economy of Network B reflects a common issue with bus network reform. Existing unreformed suburban bus networks in Melbourne are dominated by indirect and overlapping local routes running every 30 to 60 minutes. In Melbourne's east there are no SmartBuses east of Ringwood or Dandenong. Even routes running at moderate frequencies, like every 20 minutes, simply don't exist in many areas. 

Cost-effective reform might require merging two local routes so they become less direct while retaining coverage. However doing so may have an overall gain as they free up buses that could be used on frequent and direct routes. The latter tend to be more popular with passengers so adding them is a good way to grow network patronage. Example two-tier networks like this operate in Wyndham, Brimbank and Cranbourne. 

Conclusion

New bus networks for Hampton Park and surrounds have been proposed. 

Both are simpler than the current network and delivers new 20 minute more frequent service between Lynbrook and Berwick. Connections to jobs at Dandenong South are also improved.

Special effort has been made to retain service at pretty much all stops buses currently call at. Where this isn't the case there will be a stop nearby. 

More routes run directly to stations. There are fewer 'dead end' termini. The networks are also compatible with subsequent reforms for Narre Warren South and Berwick which have similar needs for simplified routes.

Which network do you prefer? Or maybe there's third and fourth options that could be better still? Maybe you can draw inspiration from the (mostly unimplemented) Cardinia/Casey bus network review done about 10 years ago?  Comments are welcome and can be left below.  



Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Timetable Tuesday #143: Up to 115 min between buses - Scoresby’s unloved 757 758 twins

 


Little exemplifies the stagnation of buses in the City of Knox more than the two bus routes we’ll talk about today. 757 and 758 started as limited service daytime shopper services in 1982 to then new subdivisions. Nearly 40 years later that remains their role today. 

I’m doing them together since their histories and alignment parallel. For example they started on the same day, are of similar length and have similar service levels. Both run south from Knox City, finishing at a dead end terminus near Ferntree Gully Road. They are like inkblots on card with Stud Road forming the crease. 757 is west of Stud Rd while 758 is east. Both have complex loops near their bottom ends. Compare them below: 


The maps above can be zoomed in on the PTV website but they miss other information. Possibly more helpful is the City of Knox network map below. 


This shows the 757/758 mirror image more clearly as well as these routes’ role. Basically they are coverage routes servicing pockets off the main roads. Road layout design has made such routes more necessary. This is because traffic engineering doctrine states that main roads like Stud Road should be limited access with residential streets behind them having, at best broken grids, and at worst ‘spaghetti style’ streets.  This results in main roads having limited walk-up access for main bus routes and local routes (like 757 and 758) being slow and indirect. Neither are conducive to efficient, well-used and economical bus networks. 

In terms of coverage, 757 serves the strip of housing between Eastlink and Stud Rd. It has pretty much unique coverage if you ignore the Stud Rd routes.  758 covers the wide area between Stud and Scoresby roads. In the south it has overlapping catchment with the complex 753, though they have differing destinations.  

Both routes have multiple loops in their bottom section. In some pockets they are the only pubic transport within reasonable walking distance of homes. Both southern termini are weak. On the map they intersect with the 693 along Ferntree Gully Rd but its unlikely few would make connections due to low frequencies and poor pedestrian access. Neither the 757 nor 758 run to any train station. Hence a city trip using one of these routes would be a multi-hour affair with two or three changes. 

Timetables

Both routes run Monday to Friday with no weekend or public holiday service. Like many routes in Knox they missed out on the ‘minimum standards’ upgrades of 10 to 15 years ago. The number of trips on both routes can be counted on two hands, with some digits remaining.

Operating hours are limited. Starts are roughly 8 to 9am with finishes 5 to 6pm. This makes them suitable for weekday shopper trips to Knox City and possibly some school trips. 757 starts and finishes earlier than 758, with neither having sufficient span to provide a generally useful commuter service. Frequency is also limited; Intervals between services average about 90 minutes with some approaching 2 hours. 

Patronage

Both routes are poorly used, attracting less than half of the average number of boardings per service hours compared to the rest of the network. On weekdays (the only day these routes run) 757 attracts 10 boardings per service hour with 758 slightly busier at 11. 

Although the catchment is regular outer suburbia, everything about these routes contributes to their poor patronage performance. This includes their restricted operating days, hours and frequency. They don’t run to a train station and their southern termini aren’t anywhere useful.  Consequently about their only use is for Knox City shoppers, and even there other routes like the 901 provide a more attractive service due to their higher frequency if people can tolerate the extra walking. 

Conclusion

The 757 and 758 routes are both underperforming and unloved. Reviews about 10 years ago suggested reforms but none got implemented.  More recent governments have emphasised infrastructure at the expense of service so nothing has happened lately either. 

I’ve already said what I’d do with bus services in the Scoreby area – you can read it here. If you've got any thoughts please leave them in the comments below.