Monday, June 27, 2011

Counting the good things

I was reading some Transperth bus service change notices and couldn't help thinking that these were almost like textbook examples of good service planning that should simplify the network (and hopefully increases patronage and efficiency).

Below are some examples, taken from the notices:

City Beach and inner northern suburbs

Western suburbs

* Wider spans of peak frequencies
* Co-scheduling two routes to provide an even 30 minute service on Sundays
* Replacing special evening/weekend only routes with the same routes running 7 days per week (something that Melbourne has already almost completely achieved)
* Some routes to become 100% low floor
* Rationalising routes to remove duplication of another service (the frequent CAT route)

Inner north

* Changes similar to above
* Renumbering a historic route number (to be in same number block as others in the area since the Joondalup line opened)
* Small service upgrades to provide an even 30 minute frequency
* Increase in one route to a clockface frequency (from 80 to 60 min) while a quieter route is downgraded from 90 to 120 min
* Truncating a route but providing a more intensive service on the remaining busier portion
* Removing an infrequent occasional deviation
* Adding new timing points

North metropolitan region

The theme is continued for the north metropolitan area. There are however some route changes which are explained with alternatives given where necessary. Also notable was a reply to requests for a bus interchange at Greenwood station - basically saying that the station wasn't designed to accommodate a bus interchange and many parking spots would need to be removed if one was to be fitted. While not being familiar with the station, the logic did not appear to stack up; unless buses were very lightly loaded, they would likely carry more people to the station than a dozen or two cars that occupy spaces for eight hours or more per day.

Overall though Transperth service change notices are excellent reading and give an interesting insight into the decisions that service planners make to improve the network.


Dave said...

Shame about the carparks being considered a more valuable use of space than a bus interchange. Also, imagine it would be pretty easy to turn most or all of the space back to commuter parking if necessary - but I doubt it would be.
Nice to see the co-scheduling results in even headways. So often you see 4 services an hour, departing at 0, 6, 30, 36 or something equally unhelpful...

Otherwise the changes sounds entirely sensible... has the sky also turned green?

gxh said...

When I lived in Perth some years ago, the bus services in certain areas was characterised by a network of a number of infrequent routes - seemingly to appease everyone who wanted a bus in their street! As you point out in your next post, an alternative may be a smaller number of direct, frequent routes. Hopefully, Transperth is moving towards the latter. It may mean that some commuters have to walk a few extra minutes to a bus stop, but for many of us this is preferable to organising your life around a bus that only comes once an hour!

Anonymous said...

I guess with the car park issue, while they did seem t identify the car parking space as the issue, they then continued with other points about how the chosen route provides service boosts for other people, and how Warwick is a more substantial station with another 17 bus routes to connect to (as well as more trains in peak hour, many of which will have originated at Whitfords and skipped Greenwood so that there would still be seats available.) Or in other words, they couldn't be bothered reconfiguring the carpark because they decided the benefits relative to diverting to Warwick just didn't justify it, then passed it off as a car park issue.

Anonymous said...

Additional, as these include my local bus route, I am really looking forward to the changes - the current bus times are a mess, and also haven't factored in the Roe Street bridge (i.e. they changed the route to eliminate a level crossing and cut the journey time, but didn't immediately change the timetable... strange.)

Anonymous said...

Havin spent my 28yrs of my life in Perth before moving to Melb in 2002 , what you will find with Greenwood, it was built after the northern suburbs line was already in place. The station was built after local demand requested a station be built. A local bus network was already offering a feeder between Whitfords & Warwick. My whole way of thinking and this is purely personal opinion is the people who pushed for the building of the station had an anti bus sentiment. The trips via bus to either Warwick or Whitfords is 10 mins either way from the small suburb of Greenwood. The feeder services offered are very well planned out and never far too walk to any given bus service. Im a true believer in the fact there was no need for Greenwood station to have been built but unfortunately there is an element of society who still see a bus as a vehicle designed for the lower dregs of society!!!