Monday, 19 November 2012

If I ran Transperth... Suggested Minimum Frequency Standards: v2

I previously made a post about minimum frequency standards, but I will revise them now.
Early Morning - 4am to 5am
Daytime - 5am to 10pm (excluding peak)
Peak - 6am to 10 am and 3pm to 7pm
Evening - 10pm to 12 am
Night(after) - 12am to 4am
Early Morning - 4am to 5am
Daytime - 5am to 10pm (excluding peak)

Peak - 6am to 10 am and 3pm to 7pm
Evening - 10pm to 2 am
Night - 2am to 4am
Early Morning - 5am to 6am

Daytime - 6am to 8pm
Evening - 8pm to 2 am
Night - 2am to 5am

Daytime - 6am to 8pm
Evening - 8pm to 12 am
Early Morning - 5am to 6am
Night - 2am to 5am

I will provide some examples of service standards. Most routes should fit into these, but some may need special standards.
Every 15 minutes during peak, 30 minutes during (the rest of the) daytime and  60 minutes during evenings and early mornings.
Every 7.5 minutes during peak, 15 minutes during the daytime, 30 minutes during evenings and early mornings, and 60 minutes at night.
Greater service than Silver.

 As a result, most areas will get TUAG (every 15 minutes or more)service during the peak, and main routes (along most main roads) will receive TUAG from 5am to 10pm, and some kind of service 24/7. This trunk service could be depended on, and would make it possible to live comfortably in many parts of Perth without a car.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Beaufort St and Guildford Rd Bus Changes - November 11

On November 11th there will be some changes to the Beaufort St and Guildford Rd bus services.
Beaufort St will have some good service increases to an already well served corridor. Buses will operate every 6-7 minutes during the middle of the day, and every 10 minutes on weekends. This would have to be the best PT frequency in Perth (or at least along a corridor of reasonable length). But this is deserved at Beaufort St is a VERY busy transport corridor and commercial strip.
There will be some replacement of 21s with 22s, in fact at least half the service is provided by 22s. But the Embleton section of the 21 is mostly duplicated by the 48 or 955, and the only unique section is about 700 m on Lindley and Priestly Sts, which is ridiculously close to both the 955 and the 48. So I would question the very existence of the 21.
On Sundays the 67 will finally get a decent frequency on Sundays, every 30 minutes instead of the current service every 1.5 hours. Intersestingly, this is better than the frequency on Saturdays, as some of the half-hourly Mirrabooka runs are 68s. I'm not sure why there is a difference between Saturdays and Sundays here when the total frequency is equivalent.
Beaufort St still lacks decent night service, especially on Sundays. It is a strip busy at night, especially in Mt Lawley, yet the half-hourly night frequency is but a small fraction of daytime service. And Sunday service completely stops at 9:45, when most businesses open late on Sunday just like on any other night.
These issues will be addressed in a future post detailing a complete rethink of Beaufort St services.

On to Guildford Rd. There won't be any frequency increases on the Guildford Rd, but the few 43 (41 and 42 combined route)services on weekdays and Saturday (only in the early morning and late-night) will be replaced by 41 or 42 services, which is good as dedicated routes are more direct than combined routes.

Quite the opposite of frequency increases, the 44 will be removed in order to fund extra 22 services. This is understandable, as the 44 sits between the super frequent Beaufort St corridor, and the frequent, high capacity and long-service-span Midland Line, so the 44 isn't much use. In addition, Beaufort ST gets consistently high bus loadings, so could use more service.

The service changes could be summed up as Beaufort St increases and Guildford Rd increases. However, this ignores the fact that Guildford Rd still has a strength over Beaufort St - night. It gets buses every 20 minutes on weeknights and Saturday nights, better than Beaufort St's half-hourly. Neither route has Sunday services running late into the night (Guildford Rd is wrap at 8:30, while Beaufort St continues till 9:45, but not near some southern services such as the 106, 507, 920 and 940 which run until midnight or so on Sundays).

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Red Cat changes 28th October 2012

On Sunday 28th October there will be some small changes to the Red CAT bus service. This does not concern frequency, but stop location. The Freeway stop (currently 20), will be removed, and instead of stop 1 being at Murray St (corner Pier St), it will be renumbered, and 1 will be at the WACA.
What do I have to say about this? Well, the Freeway stop is relatively quiet due to proximity to the freeway (lack of patronage generators, deterrence to walking across it) and the QV1 stop. But then again, the CATs are designed for fine-grained city circulation, and I don't think that this stop removal would free much time in the schedule (not that the Red CAT even has a timetable). Renumbering to start in East Perth may be logical, as the residential population make sit a good starting point. But these changes are relatively inconsequential.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

If I ran Transperth ... Suggested minimum frequency standards

I've previously advocated for feeder buses to run every half-hour during the off-peak. I'll flesh out that idea in this post.

Definitions -
Peak - 6am to 10 am and 3pm to 7pm
Daytime - 5am to 9pm (7 days a week, excluding peak)
Evening - 10pm to 12 am (2am on Friday and Saturday nights/Saturday and Sunday mornings)
Early Morning - 4am to 5am
Night - 12am to 4am (2am to 4am on Friday and Saturday nights/Saturday and Sunday mornings)
Every 15 minutes during peak, 30 minutes during (the rest of the) daytime and  60 minutes during evenings and early mornings.
Every 7.5 minutes during peak, 15 minutes during (the rest of the) daytime, 30 minutes during evenings and early mornings, and 60 minutes at night.

 As a result, all areas will get TUAG (every 15 minutes or more)service during the peak, and trunk routes (most main roads) will receive TUAG from 5am to 9pm, and some kind of service 24/7. This trunk service could be depended on, and would make it possible to live comfortably in many parts of Perth without a car.

More important corridors should get more frequent service, but preferably in the above ratio.
For example -

Every 3.75 minutes during peak, 7.5 minutes during (the rest of the) daytime, 15 minutes during evenings and early mornings, and 30 minutes at night.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

More service changes

On a completely different tack, lets go to the south-west. Pinjarra, as well as North and South Yunderup, will get their first regular public transport. Route 600 will run straight along Pinjarra Rd to Pinjarra, while 604 will deviate via North Yunderup and terminate in South Yunderup. Both run only on weekdays, and the service on the 600 is every hour outside of the peak and roughly every 30 min during the peak, while the 604 is less frequent, running 4 times a day. This service is quite good for a rural area and a small town, and expands the reach of the Transperth network.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Sunday 30th September Changes

 On Sunday, there will be several changes to Transperth bus services.
424 - Before
424 - After
414- After
414 - Before
Changes to the routing of Stirling feeder buses have been planned for a while, and will be carried out. The 414 will serve the western part of Balcatta that the 424 use to serve. The 424 will now travel along Karrinyup Rd and North Beach Rd, following the 427 (except for the deviation to Osborne Park Hospital, following the 423). Since the 427 follows the 423, the 423 will now travel west of Stirling station, taking Cedric St, Odin Rd, Barnes Rd and Huntriss Rd, serving the commercial area at the corner of Barnes Rd and Morris Rd.
423 - Before
423 - After
Frequencies have been co-ordinated so that buses run every 15 minutes on  weekdays and 30 minutes on Sundays along Odin and Barnes Rd (combination of 423 and 425, as well as half-hourly 423 on Saturdays). Corridors such as this create public transport that is dependable, as on weekdays you can turn up and go (TUAG) instead of looking at timetable. In addition there are more early morning trips on the 423 and 425 from Hillarys Boat Harbour and the intersection of Milverton Av and Karrinyup Rd respectively, with trips leaving Hillarys as early as 4:50am to connect with the first train. This again broadens the usability of public transport.
However, there was an opportunity to create a corridor much like that on Odin and Barnes Rds along Cedric St. Shifting 415 trips on Sundays 15 minutes forwards would result in bus service every 30 minutes along Cedric St until Amelia St, in addition to the 15 minute service on weekdays and the 30 minute service on Saturdays provided by the 415 on its own. Changing the 415 schedule would also create a similar corridor from Mirrabooka along Ravenswood Dr and Amelia St until Marloo Rd, if the trip times were reduced by 2 minutes eastbound and 3 minutes westbound. There is plenty of fat in the 415 schedule, as evidenced by waits at the intersections of Amelia and Cedric Sts westbound and Amelia St and Wanneroo Rd eastbound. This waiting is also present on weekdays, but is the worst on Saturdays, where a westbound trip may be scheduled to take 25 minutes but in reality only take 18 min. Passengers may wait 10 minutes for a train as a result, where the timetable shows 5 minute connections.
There will also be timing changes on routes 15, 365, 372, 386, 387, 388, 389, 390, 391, 401, 402, 407, 421, 426, 427 and 467, and stand changes at Stirling
Stand 1402, 428 
Stand 2 415
Stand 5 410, 412
Stand 6 421, 423
Stand 8 413, 424, 427

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Service changes 13th May 2012

O From the 13th May (today), there will be some changes to some bus services serving Hillarys Boat Harbour, Scarborough Beach, Kalamunda and Great Eastern Highway. There is good news and bad news.
The good news - There's an extra 408 trip to Glendalough (from Scarborough Beach) on Saturday morning. It leaves Scarborough Beach at 7:53 and arrives at Glendalough Station at 8:17. There will also be a Whitfords Shopping Centre timing point, and while this may seem only organisational and and not physical, it is still useful, as the shopping centre is a key destination, and the timing point will help buses travel on time, as they can't leave a timing point early.
The bad news - The summer-only 456 trips (for Hillarys) that boosted the frequency on that route to 15 minutes, will be removed, and the route will only run every 30 minutes. However, the 456 isn't as used as much as some other routes, which would better deserve resources. As the trips are summer only, this change won't actually kick in for a while yet.
There will also be timing changes to 400, 408, 456, 458, 36, 40, 291, 295, 296, 299, and the 291 will be moved to the Eastern 109 timetable.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Service Changes for Whitfords and Clarkson area services

On 29th April there will be changes to buses running from Whitfords (some to Joondalup) and Clarkson. This will include routes 352, 450, 460, 461, 462, 463, 464, 465, 466, 467, 468, 469, 480, 483, 484 and 490.
There will be extra peak hour trips on the 460, 461 and 462, and extra weekday off-peak trips on the 460, 462, 463, and 464, for half hourly frequencies on each route. Since the 461 already runs on a half-hourly basis, this means gthat all feeder buses from Whitfords to Joondalup west of the Mitchell Freeway will run every 30 minutes, which will be very good for public transport users in the areas, especially since there are common sections of routes with combined (roughly)15-minutely service. Those living east of the freeway still only get their hourly 465s and 466s, but this is normal in other areas.
The 483 will extend along Camborne Parkway, Hollington Boulevard and Santorini Promenade to the 484 teminus (Santorini Prom after Benenden Av), and will run extra trips during the peak and weekday off-peak (for off-peak service every 30 min). This means the Santorini Prom terminal will get buses roughly every 15 min on weekdays.
In addition  routes 352, 450, 465, 466, 467, 468, 469, 480 and 490 will get minor time changes.
These improvements will make public transport much more useful in the Whitfords and Clarkson areas.

Friday, 30 March 2012

New Route 415

On Sunday 1st April 2012 (not an April Fool!), Route 415 from Mirrabooka to Stirling will start operating. It will take Ravenswood Dr, Amelia St and Cedric Street, and run every 15 min on weekdays, half hourly of Saturdays and hourly on Sundays. This is a very useful link, which will increase cross-suburban connectivity, a market typically not well served by public transport. It serves both Northlands and Stirling Village shopping centres, including a direct link between Mirrabooka and Northlands, and also Northlands and Stirling Village. I am very happy that this vital link is started, filling in a major gap in the public transport network.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Changes to Routes 41, 42, 43, 44, 47, 48 and 55 (Guildford Road)

On 18th March (tomorrow) there will be changes to Guildford Road bus routes (and the 44).There will be minor time changes, and there will be three extra weekday morning 42s leaving from Maylands peninsula, leaving at 5:18, 7:25 and 9:02. The first trip will allow provide public transport an hour earlier than currently to the peninsula, the second trip will provide extra peak hour capacity, and the last extra trip will extend the peak and spread out the load. In all not bad for the Maylands peninsula area

Sunday, 19 February 2012

New Route 451

Tommorow (20th February 2012), a new bus route will be trialled. It will be called the 451, and will run between Greenwood Train Station and Kingsway City Shopping Centre along Hepburn Av. The service will run only on weekdays, every 20 minutes from 6am to 9am and 4pm to 7pm, and hourly from 9am to 4pm. This route can only run on weekdays because it uses the sole bus stand at Greenwood, which is used by the 456 to Sorrento on weekends, meeting all daytime trains.
The route will take 17 minutes, 20 min with the midday deviations to Keith Simpson Masonic Homes, which is oddly takes longer than the 450, running to Warwick, which is further away, in 12 minutes.
It is a pity that there will be no weekend service, or service after 7pm, but the former require an additional bus stand, and the latter needs more operational funding.
The route is operating on a six month trial, after which the route's patronage will be reviewed, and while it is a useful link, its limited schedule does not help its chances.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Other service changes for the 19th of February 2012

Also up for service changes tomorrow will be Routes 23, 24, 25, 27, 28, 78, 79, 100, 101,102, 103, 107, 210, 211, 214, 403, 404 and 515
Routes 100 and 101 from Canning Bridge Train Station to Curtin University will get extra services during peak hour (2:30 pm onward in the afternoon) as well as extra 100s on Labour Day, Foundation Day and Queen's Birthday, when Curtin University still operates.
Route 78 connecting the Busport with the University of Western Australia (UWA) will get some extra services throughout the day.
The 214 from the Busport to Huntingdale will get a new afternoon peak short service, terminating a Thornlie, which leaves at 5:15pm, with the 5:17 bus now leaving at 5:20.
Routes 403 and 404 serving Tuart Hill and Joondanna on the journey from Wellington St Bus Station to Osborne Park will get some extra peak hour trips
All routes mentioned in the first sentence will get minor time changes.

Service changes Routes 37-39 (Airport, Belmont, Kings Park)

On Sunday 19th of February there will be some changes to Routes 37, 38 and 39, serving the Domestic Airport (only the former), and Belmont, concerning their extension into Kings Park on weekends (except the weekday-only 38).
Previously , the 39 would extend to Kings Park on weekends (before 6:30pm on Saturdays), for half-hourly 39 service to Kings Park on Saturdays, and hourly service on Sundays. All 37 trips before 6pm would extend to Kings Park on Saturday, and on Sundays every second trip before 6:30 pm , plus an extra trip after that, would extend to Kings Park, for half hourly frequency on Saturdays and hourly on Sundays of 37s to Kings Park. This adds up to a 15 minute frequency on Saturdays and a 30 minute frequency on Sundays to Kings Park.
Under the changes the 39 will serve Esplanade Busport, instead of Kings Park, which will instead be solely served by the 37. To maintain current frequency all 37s will go to Kings Park on Sundays, and on Saturdays frequency will be doubled to every 15 min from Belvidere St / Gardiner St (Belmont), matching weekday frequency.
This high frequency does not extend to the Domestic Airport, which is what the route is designed to serve, but perhaps this just shows that its winding route through suburbia is not ideal for Airport service. The 36 and 40 used to deviate to the airport a few years ago, travelling straight along Great Eastern Highway, but that service was removed when airport management claimed a redevelopment plan would cause congestion with high levels of bus service (not adequately catering to buses?), which is unfortunate.
Route 39 will also go through some time changes, but no new service will be added.
While Route 39 users may lose a one-seat ride, that was a one seat ride only on every second trip. The changes will simplify the bus network, especially given that the 39 still went to the Busport, so now the 39 will  have one route for the whole week.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

The case for metros and tiering

Train systems in Australia often come as one product to serve a whole metropolitan area, which I think is best described as a suburban railway. This means that governments only have to maintain one rail-based product, saving resources, but this can cause problems as cities grow and public transport use grows faster than population.
To make trains attractive to suburban passengers, railway lines often skimp on stop spacing in inner areas to get passengers from the suburbs to the CBD quicker. This does not serve inner city areas adequately, even of there is already a railway line in the area. For example, the Mandurah line does not make any stops between the city and Canning Bridge, despite passing through dense or significant areas like South Perth or Como.
To deal with overcrowding capacity can be increased by measures that make use of existing rolling stock such as replacing seating with space for standees, such as longitudinal seating (along the sides rather than in pairs). However, this is unpopular with long distance commuters from suburban areas to the CBD who may be forced to stand for long periods of time. This seating is already common on A series trains, which do not serve far destinations except for the Armadale Line, but this modification is present at the ends of B-series trains, and is being rolled out on other parts of those sets, which are used on the 70 km Mandurah Line as well as the 30 km Joondalup Line, which is constantly extended to follow suburbia.
The solution here is to split the suburban railway into two rail modes; the metro for inner areas, and the commuter railway for outer areas. Metros will have close stop spacing to serve inner suburbs thoroughly. Their use will be higher and service will be more frequent (TUAG) because inner areas are more conducive to public transport use, being built when cars were not available or not widely used. The trains may be driverless, or operated automatically by computer, to provide this service cheaply, and will feature full longitudinal seating, because average trip length will be shorter.
On the other hand, commuter rail will have much wider stop spacing, for quick journeys from the outer suburbs to the city centre. Their frequency will be dictated by levels of use, which likely aren't as high as further in. But, of course, users of commuter rail will usually get a comfy seat.
Perth is part-way there, with the two tiers operating on the Armadale corridor (commuter to Armadale, metro to Thornlie) Monday to Saturday 6am to 12am, and supplemented on Sundays by an all stops service to Armadale. However, the rollingstock is still the same on both lines, the metro section (at least) should be grade separated, and of course the tiering should be full time, with the Thornlie line a bit more frequent.
The Midland and Fremantle lines are probably short enough to be metros, despite the express running in the peak, but again, grade separation is needed, and frequency could be better.
The Clarkson and Mandurah lines have inner tiers to Whitfords and Cockburn Central operating on the peak shoulder (formerly off-peak and the height of the peak before service cuts and fleet expansion respectively). This is completely grade separated but the stations are in freeway medians, and so are widely spaced and pedestrian/bike-unfriendly, the tier is part-time only and frequency needs a boost.