Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Timetable Tuesday #3 - Bus route 681

The most important factor that determines the usefulness of a public transport service is not whether it's a train, tram or bus but its timetable, route and stops.
This week we explore Route 681 in the City of Knox. It (mostly) runs from Knox City down Stud Rd, Stud Park Shopping Centre, Rowville, Lysterfield, returning to Stud Park forming a big clockwise loop. Interpeak and weekend trips mostly return to Knox City. The closely related Route 682 goes along the same streets except it runs anticlockwise. Both routes overlap the later-added 901 SmartBus along Stud Rd and on-demand Telebuses in Rowville and Lysterfield. But unlike the latter the 681/682 has 7 day service.
As far as timetables go the 681 is very special. It's one where you must study the footnotes. Otherwise you might find yourself taken well off the route to Waverley Gardens on a deviation. Where trips start and finish also vary with many short-workings. 681's times should be read in conjunction with 682 as if you wish to travel in the 80 - 120 min gaps between 681 services, catching the 682 may be faster, even if it's the long way around. But not all the time as some trips finish short.
681/682 are pretty much daytime shopper services with some peak trips tacked on. These accommodate the school peaks. City commuters will need to knock off early to use them. A tall order given the already long train/bus trip via Huntingdale Station and Route 900.

Like everything else about the 681, there are exceptions. In this case are the extra Thursday and Friday night trips (presumably for late night shopping). These became less prevalent since the 'minimum standards' upgrades of about 10 years ago. But 681/682, due to their early finish remain hold outs. Secondly there's public holiday service. In Melbourne if a route runs Sundays it normally also runs public holidays. But 681/682 are again exceptions, noteworthy for being the only 7 day routes not to run public holidays. So no Christmas visiting or Boxing Day shopping for you.

As with last time, there is just one question. What would you do with the 681's route and/or timetable? Extra points if you consider its relationship with surrounding routes. 

Timetable Tuesday originally appeared as an article on the Urban Happiness Facebook group. Maps and timetables are from the old PTV website . 

You might enjoy these well-regarded books on transport topics

Better Buses, Better Cities: How to Plan, Run, and Win the Fight for Effective Transit Steven Higashide NEW!

The Public City: Essays in honour of Paul Mees Gleeson & Beza

A Political Economy of Access: Infrastructure, Networks, Cities, Institutions (Access Quintet Book 4) David Levinson

Human Transit: How Clearer Thinking about Public Transit Can Enrich Our Communities and Our Lives Jarrett Walker

Transport for Suburbia: Beyond the Automobile Age Paul Mees

(Sales links: I get a small commission if you buy via the above - no extra cost to you)

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