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.