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
Run almost any bus in the Clayton area and it’s almost
guaranteed to fill up.
With its mixture of university students and low income
earners there are few places better for bus patronage than Clayton. Homes that previously held single families
now accommodate students, either in crowded share-houses or purpose-built
apartments. Clayton now has a grade-separated station and daytime trains every
ten minutes thanks to Dandenong line upgrades.
Local bus routes and timetables have barely changed despite
demonstrated demand. Examples we’ve covered before include the busy and useful
733 and the quieter and less useful 704 (though that's getting an extension soon). Today we’ll look at the 821, a little
known back-roads route to Southland.
You can see 821’s map below. It’s basically a backwards
L-shaped route. The Clayton Rd portion is residential on the west side and
industrial on the right side. Then the route heads west, serving the large
Kingston Centre amid a light industrial and bulky goods retail area. Then its
catchment becomes residential before terminating at the Southland Shopping
Centre Bus Interchange (which is quite distant from the new Southland Station).
An occasional deviation serves the industrial area on Keys Rd.
The area map shows the 821 in relation to other routes. The
route has very little unique coverage, with most being overlapped by parts of
the 631, 705 and 824. Of these the 631 is most similar, with it also linking
Clayton with Southland. The 705 from Springvale to Mordialloc (another L-shaped
route) also has a large overlap but only operates during commuter peak
Despite the overlaps mentioned before, and the large
industrial area catchment, Route 821’s patronage productivity is quite high at 32
boardings per bus service hour. Some of this is attributable to students but
even on non school days patronage is still a respectable 25 boardings per bus
Route 821 operates Monday to Friday only. Possibly due to
its industrial area catchment it missed out on minimum standards upgrades that
saw many other 5 or 6 day per week routes upgraded to 7 day operation 10 to 14
The timetable features an almost perfectly clockface hourly
service from 7am to 7pm. The first morning trip from Clayton is the only
deviation trip. This runs via Keys Rd, presumably to drop off industrial
What role does the 821 fill? It’s hourly service
and overlaps with other routes mean it’s not much of a commuter train feeder
route. It may benefit some industrial workers but the commencement time might
be too late for some people’s starts. However it might be useful for some
school and university students (there being frequent buses from Clayton to
Monash). Also, in conjunction with 631, it provides a handy weekday shopper
connection to Southland.
What would you do with the 821? Is its L-shaped route
sensible? Or should it be swapped with the 705 to form two more direct straight
routes? And should its hours be upgraded to minimum standards? Please leave
your thoughts below if you have any ideas.
You might enjoy these well-regarded books on transport topics
Steven Higashide NEW!
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
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This item was written by Peter Parker http://www.melbourneontransit.blogspot.com
This article first appeared on melbourneontransit.blogspot.com
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