Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Timetable Tuesday #27: The Two Followers - 627 and 822 from Chadstone

Bus route 822 has been running for years. It starts at Chadstone then goes south via Murrumbeena Station, Murrumbeena Rd, Southland, Cheltenham then Sandringham.

Its map is below. 

Bus route 627 (reviving an old number - but that's another story) started two days ago. It also commences at Chadstone (thoughtfully from the same interchange bay as 822), then goes south via Murrumbeena Station then Murrumbeena Rd. It then goes straight south via East Boundary Rd then a few local streets before terminating at Moorabbin Station. Pictures from its first day below.

In other words 627 duplicates the 822 for a bit before staying on the main road. But there'd still be common catchment for those living between the two routes. That's particularly handy if you're coming home from somewhere and have the choice of both routes at Chadstone or Murrumbeena Station. Hold that thought for later. 

627's map is below. 

The maps above are not to scale. You can see the relationship between the two routes on the Glen Eira network map below: 

This is 822's timetable (from Chadstone/Murrumbeena). Click for a larger view.  

This is 627's timetable (from Chadstone/Murrumbeena). Click for a larger view. 

I'll leave you to compare the timetables. But I do wish to draw attention to one thing. Look at afternoon departure times from Chadstone (and Murrumbeena Station a few minutes later).

Weekday ex Chadstone

Route 822: 1:34 2:04 2:34 3:04 3:34 4:05 4:34 5:08 5:38 6:09 6:36 7:06 7:40 8:36 9:29 10:39
Route 627: 2:14 2:44 3:16 3:47 4:17 4:48 5:18 5:49 6:19 6:48 7:21 7:51 8:21 8:57 9:21 9:57

Saturday ex Chadstone  

Route 822: 1:49 2:29 3:09 3:51 4:31 5:11 6:11 7:11 8:04 9:00 10:00
Route 627: 1:31 2:11 2:51 3:31 4:51 5:31 6:11 6:51 7:31 8:06 8:36 9:06 9:36

Sunday ex Chadstone

Route 822: 1:08 2:08 3:08 4:08 5:08 6:08 7:08 8:00 9:00 10:00
Route 627: 1:31 2:11 2:51 3:31 4:11 4:51 5:31 6:11 6:51  7:31 8:06 9:01

The ones in red are where departures on both routes are within a few minutes of one another. On weekdays both routes run every 30 minutes. They are roughly 10 to 20 minutes apart. This isn't an even 15 minute combined service. However it harmonises with the 10 minute daytime train frequency at Murrumbeena. Weeknight frequencies diverge. 822 drops to roughly hourly while 627 retains its roughly half hourly service all day. On only one occasion (after 9pm) are there two bus departures within 10 minutes of one another.  However if you miss that it's nearly 30 minutes until the next service.

During the day on Saturday both routes operate every 40 minutes. Departures are almost perfectly staggered, providing a combined 20 minute service. That is until about 5:31pm. By then 822 has dropped back to hourly. 627 retains its 40 minute frequency until about 8pm before going up to 30 minutes after then. Presumably this is possible with the daytime number of buses due to quieter roads and faster run times.  The uneven and then clashing frequencies mean that two buses go the same way for quite a bit within a few minutes of one another after 6pm. By about 8pm Saturday trains on the Dandenong line have dropped back to 30 minutes. Hence you would have two buses often departing at once unless you altered one route never to properly connect with the train. Or it might have been possible to operate a cheaper timetable and drop 627 to only hourly at night, offsetting with 822 to meet different trains.

Sundays present buses following one another during the day as well as at night. This is because Route 822 runs every hour versus Route 627 every 40 minutes (30 min at night). This means that buses follow one another on every second Route 822 trip. From 8pm, because both buses drop to hourly and there's no staggering of times, two buses arrive pretty much at once followed by an hour wait until the next two.  What's the bet that all those trips will be carrying a lot of fresh air then?

Over to you. Would spacing evening departures provide a better overall service? Should Route 822's Sunday timetable be upgraded to provide a more even service like Saturday's. Or would that be just tinkering and would it be better to put Route 627's resources towards wider network reform with higher frequency routes?

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...

I would install traffic lights at Tucker Rd/South Rd, as the government apparently have under
consideration, allowing the 627 to go to the end of Tucker Rd (as originally planed) and thus much better serve the TAFE just near the intersection.

I would also swap the 626 and 627 over North of McKinnon Rd, running the 626 along McKinnon Rd (creating a better feeder for McKinnon station), creating a more logical route structure. I would redirect the 822 along East Boundary Rd, replacing most of the detour with a diverted 701. I would also truncate the 822 at Cheltenham station, extend the 631 from Southland to Sandringham (directly along Bay Rd, a much better connection to Sandringham station, particularly now Southland station is there) and extend the 821 via Jack Rd.

Peter Parker said...

Thanks Tom. Some good ideas. I might do a Friday post in a simpler network in the area. Stay tuned!