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).

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