Public Transport Victoria forum hears call for more Maryborough train services
State Government Commits to Developing Rail Infrastructure for Victoria
Horsham residents to be quizzed about future use of dormant rail corridor land
No choppers here: Malcolm Turnbull takes the train to Geelong
Opposition Leader Matthew Guy backs Melbourne Airport rail link
Jail time for train threats to Vline Staff
Premier Daniel Andrews hears efforts to address Central Goldfields disadvantage, push for more Maryborough trains
The Inland Rail Link Melbourne to Brisbane a Similar Case as the RAA's Bendigo - Geelong Rail Link
North-West Rail Alliance urges more council support amid push for return of Mildura passenger rail
Grampians Rail Trail: Shire calls for community to step up and manage facility
Public transport is slow enough without having to backtrack or unnecessarily change services.
Network design should enable people to reach popular destinations via
reasonably direct routes. Unfortunately such principles are not applied
consistently, as we’ll see today with Pakenham’s Route 925.
To set the scene, Pakenham is a fast-growing fringe suburb
about 55km east of Melbourne. It got rail electrification relatively early for
a place so far out since it was on the main line to the power-producing Latrobe
Valley (which once had electric trains as far east as Traralgon). Many can remember occasional electrified
trains to Warragul but by the late 1990s these had been wound back to Pakenham.
Pakenham itself though has seen a steady rise in the number
of trains terminating there. It joined the suburban network in 1975. In later
decades off-peak frequencies were increased to 30 and then 20 minutes. And the
long gap between Officer and Pakenham was filled by the new Cardinia Road
station. Sunday morning timetables though remain a remnant of past lower service levels with only an hourly frequency offered until quite late.
Pakenham itself grew big enough to get its own bus network. It's original bus route was the very long 826 from Hampton. This was part of a three route group, including 827 and 828, that were shorter. In January 2006 Route 826 and 827 trips were folded into an upgraded 828 operating between Hampton and Berwick only. The eastern part of the 826 became the 926 from Fountain Gate to Pakenham. 927 and 928 became new local routes giving coverage to parts of Pakenham away from the station. Sunday service and further routes in the area came later.
Route 925's route map is below. It runs westwards from Pakenham north of the railway.
Route 925 operates in the state seat of Bass. This is very marginal, having been gained by Labor's Jordan Crugnale in 2018.
Part of 925 overlap other routes as can be seen on the network map below. However it stops short of Cardinia Road station. This means that those using this route as a train feeder need to backtrack to Pakenham, adding unnecessary time to their trip. This is a contrast to Route 928 that efficiently serves both stations south of the line.
To be fair Pakenham Station has existed for decades while Cardinia Rd Station opened only in 2012. Still that's 8 years ago. And governments have generally been pretty good at rerouting local bus routes to other stations when they open.
The gold standard were Geelong, Wyndham Vale and Tarneit which got new bus networks in 2015. Mernda also got some bus network extensions when its stations opened in 2018 though the main work was done a few years before to create a bus network that only needed minor changes when the trains came. Caroline Springs got one bus route (460) extended though they butchered its timetable with highly irregular trips soon after.
Still, with the paucity of bus network reform for other reasons, the surest way to get improved bus routes in an area is to campaign for a train. However not even that helped the unreformed bus networks around Southland or Cardinia Rd Station as discussed here.
Route 925 is Pakenham’s least used bus route on a passenger
boardings per hour basis. On weekdays it gets 12 boardings per bus service
hour. This drops only slightly to 11 boardings per hour on school holidays,
meaning that its major passenger base must be people other than
schoolchildren. Weekend use is in the
single digits, down to 8 and 7 boardings per service hour for Saturday and
Sunday respectively. These numbers place the 925 in about the bottom 15% of
Melbourne bus routes.
Other local Pakenham routes that have the same hourly
service frequency perform much better. For example the 927, 928 and 929 have
weekday productivity of 15, 20 and 30 boardings per hour respectively. Compared
to other buses in Melbourne this makes the 927 average with the 929 above
The overlap with other routes, the backtracking and it serving one instead of two stations would be factors in the 925's poor performance.
Route 925 runs to minimum service standards. Frequency is roughly hourly.
What would you do with the 925? Should it be extended to Cardinia Rd station? Is there scope for local routes to be simplified, potentially in conjunction with a 926 straightening? Please leave
your thoughts below if you have any ideas.
You might enjoy these well-regarded books on transport topics
Breaking Point: The Future of Australian Cities
The Public City: Essays in honour of Paul Mees
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)
This item was written by Peter Parker http://www.melbourneontransit.blogspot.com
This article first appeared on melbourneontransit.blogspot.com
About this website
Railpage version 3.10.0.0037
All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner. The comments are property of their posters, all the rest is © 2003-2020 Interactive Omnimedia Pty Ltd.
You can syndicate our news using one of the RSS feeds.