McGill's & Alexander Dennis
South East Transport Changes from 2 December
Featured Bus Route – October 2018
DATE FOR THE DIARY - 25th November - Finchley Bus Running Day
Alexander Dennis & Lothian
Buses on Parade
The non-Inner West bus routes to be privatised
Leeds Considering Hydrogen Powered Buses
New CEO for First Group & Results for Six Months to September 2018
Alexander Dennis at Euro Bus Expo 2018
Self preservation makes it wise to have several lines in the water, strings to your bow or pies on your fingers. Then if something goes sour then you've still got other things to hang your hat on. Investment fund managers call that a diversified portfolio.
The Department of Transport has latterly caught on to this approach. It has lately shown as much public interest in nets as in networks, bream as in buses and flatheads as in frequencies. That was until bushfires and COVID-19. Fishing participation is one of the few things that's likely collapsed even faster than public transport ridership. The achievement of Target One Million is looking very flaky indeed.
Does this threaten the Department's existence? Probably not. The overheads of running it can be attributed to 'stimulus' or 'job creation' even if its output is not publicly apparent. The Department of Transport is like a volcano. For years it can appear almost dormant with little significant coming out, not even smoke signals. Then, to everyone's surprise, a lot emerges in a blaze of publicity. So don't underestimate what activity may be simmering beneath its surface.
Especially in this era where managing political risk is everything and department heads appear discouraged from publicly raising ideas that the minister may scotch. The old railway commissioners or even past department leaders were more fearless, as this '90s example shows.
Something like Newton's first law of motion says that it's easier to keep an organisation ticking along at a uniform slow speed than to shut it down and restart after everyone's skedaddled. Getting lost expertise back can take years. And there's been past times when it's been let go, only for it to be urgently needed a few years later.
The big game here is confidence. You only get that if people keep their jobs and have money in their hands. What tat they spend it on is less important than the act of spending.
The imperative to keep money flowing is like pass the parcel with a bomb that only explodes if the parcel is not passed. The belief is that the future economic growth will make the GDP bigger and the debt incurred manageable. Provided interest rates stay low. Which they usually do unless there's a credit squeeze or it's desired to tighten things due to runaway demand or inflation.
Anyway since the tide's out on fishing it's time to get back to public transport. Even if only to maintain internal morale. Their volcano's been plugged for too long. It would be even better if such work could, if only in name, combine both portfolio interests. And kick-start an unloved brownfields area on the CBD's doorstep into the bargain.
Which brings us to Fishermans Bend.
Existing Fishermans Bend Useful Network
The area has jobs but transport to it has always been limited. You can only easily get there from one direction with buses (Route 235 and 237) running from Southern Cross Station. For a while you could take Route 232 buses from Altona North but traffic congestion forced all trips to bypass Fishermans Bend (and run as freeway expresses) several years back.
The 606 arrives from the south (on weekdays only) but it's an infrequent part of a complex local network. With the 109 tram and 234 bus a hike away from most parts, this means the only public transport running every 20 minutes or better interpeak in the area is the 235 bus from the CBD.
All this means that Fishermans Bend is isolated, especially for somewhere so near the CBD. Public transport even from surrounding suburbs (eg the inner-west, south and south-east) is inefficient and slower than driving.
Southern Cross Station is a convenient connection point for regional passengers. However current rail