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
New train timetables are starting on January 31 on many lines. Some 450 services are being added with many more trips moved in time. Bus timetables are also changing, with the stated intention being to fully align all bus services with the new rail timetable. However the bus time revisions won't happen all in the one go. The first lot will happen on the same day when the train times change (January 31). More timetables will be revised on 28 February. The third and final stage will be 11 April. The above link lists routes whose times are changing first. It's a substantial effort, involving over 90 routes.
The most conspicuous non-inclusions in the first round are buses in Ballarat and Melton. Both bus systems operate at a base frequency of 30 or 60 minutes. That is compatible with trains that are hourly for Ballarat and two trains per hour for Melton (on weekdays). The upgraded train timetable boosts Ballarat to every 40 minutes (off-peak) and Melton to every 20 minutes. Hence there will be a period of one month (best scenario) or 2.5 months (worse scenario) of broken harmonisation between trains and buses. That is trains with a 20/40 pulse trying to be met by buses every 30 or 60 minutes.
On the other hand it could be argued that fewer passengers will be affected compared to say Wyndham (especially Point Cook) where there are many more bus+train multimodal passengers. Bus routes in Wyndham will eventually get revised timetables but not in this first tranche. Bacchus March, in between Ballarat and Melton, in contrast, does get new timetables on the 31st. That is good since Bacchus Marsh is one of the Ballarat line stations getting the biggest changes to its train times. Also getting a change is Brunwick's Route 509, an hourly shopper route whose passengers are not very likely to connect with trains. It wouldn't feature if you wanted to do the most important routes first. However timetabling is closely related to driver rostering. Even if only some operators' routes need rescheduling then it may be expedient to adjust times of them all to maintain rostering efficiency.
A good touch is that Night Buses are amongst those getting new timetables in the first round. If that wasn't the case then connections between hourly trains and these (also hourly) would be thrown out. Casual readers might take PTV at its word with regards to fully aligning bus services with the new train timetable. Unfortunately, just as PTV undersold the train upgrades, this time it's overselling the bus recoordination since some routes being altered will remain running at frequencies that inherently cannot consistently connect with trains. Where this is the case any realignment can only ever be partial unless major changes are made to bus frequencies to harmonise with trains.An example is the popular bus route 536 between Glenroy and Gowrie. which retains its 30 minute frequency between two train lines that run every 20 minutes. True recoordination would harmonise frequencies by upgrading 536 to every 20 minutes and adjusting times to optimise connectivity at Glenroy, Gowrie or preferably both (if possible) in the main travel direction. This is not an isolated case with Routes 528, 532, 534 also remaining unharmonised with trains.
The new bus timetables do involve at least one service cut. Before you go tut-tutting about that, you need to know that it is to a very underused bus route that should never have got the service it did when it started a few years back. Route 890 between Dandenong and Lynbrook serves largely an industrial catchment. Since it started it ran 7 days until 9pm with a 40 minute weekend frequency. On Sundays in particular it gets a superior service to busier routes like 800 (no service) and 733 (hourly) as I pointed out last year. The weekend service has been very poorly used.
The new timetable reduces the frequency from 40 to 60 minutes to reflect this low usage. This adjustment is appropriate especially if the freed resources are moved to boost service on a more deserving route. Route 511 is a growth area bus between Donnybrook and Beveridge. It remains with one weekday morning service (each way) and two weekday afternoon services (each way). The eagle eyed will see a new footnote besides the final trip.
This states that the bus now returns to Donnybrook station. However this extra trip is not documented in the timetable going the other way. Also it will be interesting to attempt a journey plan to see if the journey planner recognises this extra capability.
I didn't look at all timetables. But what I saw involved relatively minor time adjustments.
Hence this effort could be described as a fairly minimalist recoordination effort rather than any sort of serious timetable and service review. The principle though is good. We just need more proper area-based network reviews so we no longer have buses every 22, 23, 25, 26 or 30 minutes trying to connect with trains every 20 minutes (and mostly failing) as is currently widespread in parts of Melbourne. See all Timetable Tuesday items hereThis 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 © 2003-2021 Interactive Omnimedia Pty Ltd.
You can syndicate our news using one of the RSS feeds.