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
A couple of weeks ago
we looked at the 690 from Croydon. Today we’ll revisit the area, but head east
instead of south. The 689 is a short route, running from Croydon to
Montrose. It is a local coverage route,
serving some areas to the north that the more direct and longer established 688
to Mt Dandenong Rd misses. At the end is a loop.
689’s purpose is to connect residential areas to Croydon where there is a station and long-established shopping area nearby. Its catchment is largely postwar established suburbia. It’s leafier than many outer suburbs and has larger than average block sizes and lower than average residential densities. The map below shows it in relation to other routes. It serves part of Hull Rd before veering off south (with another section of Hull Rd being served by the 680 to Lilydale). The run south to rejoin the 688 (and the 689) on Mt Dandenong Rd means that Hawthory Rd gets a bus at the expense of the unserved western section of Cambridge Rd. Nearby Lincoln Rd also doesn't have a bus but both it and Cambridge are in areas served by the flexible route Telebus. Another issue is that 689 goes near but not quite too Mooroolbark Station. This extends the time that Montrose people need to allow to reach the train network as Croydon is further away. After briefly meeting Mt Dandenong Rd, the 689 then veers east via Durham Rd to the eastern part of Cambridge Rd, albeit with its extremity in a single directional loop via Montrose Rd. This means that not all parts of the route can get to the Montrose shops, although all parts can get to Croydon. Montrose shops isn't exactly a dead end but also isn't exactly a strong terminus for a bus.
TimetableAs is widespread in Melbourne’s outer east, the 689 is a limited service route that lacks the 7 day service added to many Melbourne bus routes after 2006. On weekdays it runs roughly from 7am to 7pm. Off-peak service is roughly hourly, with spacings nearer to 40-50 minutes in the morning peak. Afternoon intervals vary between about 40 and 90 minutes with the latter around the pm school peak. The first weekday trip arrives at Croydon at 6:57am, meaning that the 689 does not work for those with an early start. Eleven hours and fifty eight minutes later the last trip leaves Croydon, at just before 7pm. Saturday service is hourly in the middle of the day with 80 to 90 minute gaps between first and second trips. It is very much a shopper type service with service between 9 and 5pm. These hours are too limited for those who might otherwise use it to get to work, especially if they need to change to a train to go to Ringwood. This timetable also runs on most public holidays, as per the standard. No Sunday service is provided. HistoryThe area’s longest established bus routes are what we know as the 688 and the 690. 689 is a bit newer but can still trace its past to the 1960s. For much of its history it followed the 688 along Mt Dandenong Rd. However some time ago it got rerouted to give Hull Rd a service (which once had earlier iterations of routes 673 and 680 - since removed). PatronageOn school days the 689’s patronage is only slightly below average for a Melbourne bus route at 20 passenger boardings per hour. This drops to 15 on school holidays, indicating significant school student usage. A high dependence on school students travelling to school is a common pattern in the outer east where car ownership is high, bus operating hours are short and services are too infrequent to be serious feeder options for commuters. Saturday usage is at an even lower than average 9 passengers per bus operating hours. ConclusionThe 689 is a local coverage route. It, and surrounding routes, have had no reform for a long time. Bus network reviews were done about 15 years ago but implementation was very limited, especially in the Mooroolbark area. Many nearby areas either have no buses (eg Eastfield rd Ringwood east), are served by occasional deviations of main routes like the 737, or get limited hours variable route Telebuses. Where they have their own routes they like the 6-day 689 or the 5-day 680, may be only part-time. What do you think should happen to the 689? Is 7 day service important or should network reform happen first? Should it run by Mooroolbark Station to improve rail connectivity? Any reform to the 689 is likely to interact with reform to other routes including the 680, 675 and various Telebuses. Comments are appreciated and can be left below. More Timetable Tuesday items hereThis item was written by Peter Parker http://www.melbourneontransit.blogspot.com
This article first appeared on melbourneontransit.blogspot.com
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