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
Pakenham is one of our emerging growth corridors. It's long been an established town around a station and gained electric trains early on. It became a suburban rail terminus in 1975 but frequencies were low until the 2000s. Most of Pakenham is in the marginal Labor seat of bass held by Jordan Crugnale MP. Development spread away from the stations. Buses, normally operating hourly, spread to provide a basic coverage. Hence the area's only Useful Network, that is service operating every 20 minutes or better, remains the train line. Because of its heritage as a regional line stations are spaced further than normal. Even if you live near the railway the chances of you being near a station are slim. Network coverage improved when Cardina Rd station opened in 2012. Still if you want good coverage you do need buses running parallel to the railway, despite it looking duplicative on a map.
I discussed the need for a frequent bus along Princes Hwy, north of the railway, in Useful Network 26 and Useful Network 27. It needs to be three times as frequent as the existing 926 to properly mesh with trains. Given the development to the south a similar mirror image route is needed there. This is today's topic.
The first problem is the road network. It's poor for an efficient east-west bus route that is both direct and gives good coverage without excessive walking. The existing 928 between Cardinia Rd and Pakenham does its best but has indirect sections. In this area there seems two approaches. Two routes or one. The two route option has a frequent route strictly along main roads and a less frequent route that weaves in and out of the smaller streets for local coverage. The problem with that is that two routes increases operating costs and the frequency that you can afford for a given number of buses. A single route option has a route that may sometimes veer off the road for coverage reasons. However as it's only a single route you can afford a reasonable frequency. And there could be less overlap than if you had two routes. This is the option, based on the current Route 928 alignment, I lean towards. What about future development? For a long time Pakenham (like Melton) was like a satellite town with about 10km of largely open land to the contiguous metropolitan area. However development has been trending inwards from Pakenham towards Beaconsfield. Almost the entire Princes Hwy/Pakenham line corridor is now developed or about to be. Part of this is a proposed town centre at Officer. Officer is a proposed employment hub and the council has moved there. However there are no bus routes approaching it from the south or south-east.
Expanded Useful Network
The map below shows an expanded Useful Network for southern Pakenham. Unlike networks presented in previous weeks there's no pruning or modification of other routes.
Instead Route 928 is left intact but extended west to Officer. And its service is increased from every 60 minutes to every 20 minutes. This might seem a big increase but the route does have a large catchment with almost 100% unique coverage. And new buses will need to be bought and run but again this can be justified by it being a growth area.
ConclusionWhat do you think of the upgraded Route 928? Do you think it would get a lot of use or should it remain a neighbourhood route? If you have any comments or ideas please leave them below.
PS: An index to all Useful Networks is here.Melbourne on Transit bookshopFavourably reviewed books about transport and cities. Purchases via these links support this blog and its independent reporting (at no extra cost to you).
This item was written by Peter Parker http://www.melbourneontransit.blogspot.com
This article first appeared on melbourneontransit.blogspot.com
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