Saturday, February 02, 2019

Timetable Tuesday #6 - Bus route 823

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.
Today we look at a highway route in Melbourne's south. As a pedestrian one cannot fail to note car traffic volumes along Nepean Hwy. The demonstrated demand is such that even if a small proportion used the bus, that would be sufficient to justify a reasonable service. And it is generally true that fast and direct main road routes are amongst the network's most frequent and best used. Examples include Smartbus services along Warrigal, Wellington, Blackburn, Springvale and Stud Roads.

An exception is Nepean Hwy's route - the 823 from North Brighton to Southland. It serves the busy Southland shopping centre then runs straight up Nepean Hwy, calling in at Moorabbin. Service is one bus per hour on weekdays only. There is no evening or weekend service - the 823 missed out on last decade's minimum standards upgrades. And one might wonder whether it is better for it to finish at Elsternwick rather than its current weaker terminus.

Does 823 have potential to be more useful? If so, what would you do? Extra points if you consider it in relation to 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

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Tom said...

Elsternwick does seem the more logical terminus.

The 701 could take over the East Brighton section, finally causing it to pass Patterson station. The Tucker Rd bus, that is/was somewhere in the pipeline, should help some of the passengers currently using the 701 getting to Bentleigh. A Jasper Rd bus might not go astray either.

While the new Southland Station has taken some justification from a decent 823 service away, by providing vastly improved Southland PT access to the areas within the 823 and the Moorabbin and Highett catchments, the urban infill development of the old Highett gasworks (with the residential section getting significant density) provides increased justification. Running the 823 along the service lanes of the Nepean Highway would also give better access to some of the areas the route needs for its justificaion, as would more pedestrian crossings of the Nepean Highway.

Peter Parker said...

Agree re the 701, though there will be complaints if it's removed from Bentleigh. But as a local route I'd tolerate a kink to keep it via Bentleigh. As for the Tucker Rd bus, it's a political project and I'm not convinced it's the best that could be done. Personally I'd straighten the 822 and run it at least every 20 min 7 days/week with some extra operating hours as well. That would tie in with the upgraded Murrumbeena Station and neatly fill the gap in relatively frequent service that exists between Warrigal Rd and the Frankston line.

Yes the densification (and the courts) provide justification for a better 823. At least every 30 min 7 days/week, eventually every 20 min. While buses shouldn't be planned around unreliable rail networks, a strong non-duplicative trunk bus system feeding into another line can offer some relief (especially off-peak) for the increasingly frequent signal, points and overhead failures we seem to be getting (as well as being a good feeder network in itself).

Tom said...

Reorganising the 626 and the proposed Tucker Rd route, to form a proper north-south Koornang-Tucker Rds route and a proper east-west McKinnon Rd route, would be good.

The 822 is already slightly straighter because of the Skyrail upgrade to Murrumbeena station allowing the stops just outside the station in Murrumbeena Rd allowing the Sydney St, Hobart Rd and Neerim Rd deviation to be removed. Although it still needs the Marlborough Rd and Cheltenham station deviations removed (the 701 could take the Marlborough Rd section, the 823 extended to Cheltenham and I don`t know which route to send via Park Rd and Jack Rd).

The 822 and new route could run a combined timetable, with double frequency, as far as GESAC in East Boundary Rd.

Peter Parker said...

Tom - especially after the new 627 starts there'll be so many routes in the area that it could be worth standing back and seeing how it could be done better. The concept of a combined 822/627 frequency is good but will be hard to explain to people.

I'm not sure how frequently the new 627 will run (likely either every 30 or 40 min). If it's 30 min it could be spaced 15 min offset with 822 to provide a combined 15 min service. But off peak that won't mesh well with trains every 10 min. If 627 is every 40 min then that won't be evenly spaced with 822 every 30 min.

When one stands back the first thing one sees is that East Boundary Rd is half way between the Frankston line and Warrigal Rd. If one puts a good service on that nearly everyone gets to be within a short walk of a good service.

So I'd make that the centrepiece of the local network and rearrange other routes around it. This would have implications for routes 767, 822 and probably 701. And the proposed 627. Along the lines of the following.

* Route 822 East Boundary Rd route. Chadstone - Murrumbeena - East Boundary Rd - South Rd - Chesterville Rd - Southland SC - Cheltenham Station. Every 10-15 min peak. Every 20 min off-peak weekday and weekend. Runs to at least 10pm.

* Route 767 Realign to operate via Rowans Rd (to replace 822 rerouted above). Existing service levels.

* Route 627 (proposed). Realign to operate via Marlborough St (to replace 822 rerouted above). Then Centre, Tucker & South Rd.

* Route 701. Potential to simplify in conjunction with 767 in area so Moorleigh Village area receives a full time service.

* EASTERN SUPER ROUTE OPTION: Upgrade Route 767 from Box Hill and Deakin to every 10-15 min peak/20 min daytime Mon - Sun. Operate through Chadstone to Cheltenham via East Boundary Rd route above. Route 767 shown via Rowans Rd above would be numbered Route 822.

In relation to Park Rd and Jack Rd, on the current network I'd swap 822 and 828 in area. I'd run 828 directly from Southland to Sandringham via Bay Rd (with new stops near Southland Station). That would create a very direct east-west route (potentially a future SmartBus). 822 could run via Graham St, then Highett then Hampton as per the existing 828. You could split the route at Cheltenham (give the Hampton end another route number in the 700s) but operationally interline it with the 822 (under the Eastern Super route option only) so people keep their one-seat ride to Southland (albeit a bit longer than now).

Tom said...

Having the 828 as the Bay Rd bus does make sense (particularly if it is a Smartbus).

The Southland-Highett-Hampton section of the 828 probably has a significantly high proportion of its passengers travelling to Southland that it is not reasonable to divert it via Cheltenham, instead the 631 could be extended to Cheltenham via Jack Rd and Park St.

The 701 is a better fit for the Marlborough Rd section because it is a backstreet bus. Then send it along Bignell Rd to Moorlieigh Village and either Brosnan Rd and Chesterville Rd to rejoin its existing route or your proposed South Rd route.

Peter Parker said...

Tom - I like the 631 concept. One major structural issue with the current network is the absence of connections between the Moorabbin East employment area (including the Kingston Centre) and train stations on the Frankston line. All the routes that serve it (eg 631, 767, 821) only go to Southland and not a station on the Frankston line. Southland Station has helped slightly but it's still an inconvenient interchange to the buses. Also people in the residential area around Argus St don't have a good connection to their nearest train.

A 631 extension would greatly help both. Along with the Eastern super route option that extends 767 to Cheltenham and increases its frequency.