Action for Public Transport (N.S.W.) Inc.
|P O Box K606|
|Haymarket NSW 1240|
|8 March 2017|
Action for Public Transport (NSW) is a transport advocacy group active in Sydney since 1974. We promote the interests of beneficiaries of public transport; both passengers, and the wider community. We make this submission on the Review of Environmental Factors dated February 2017 as it relates to route 412 services.
According to the Executive Summary of the REF, the Bus Priority Program supports Sydney's Bus Future by delivering projects that make buses more reliable. That is reasonable, but the whole idea is priority for the bus passengers. The mass removal of bus stops speeds the buses up but mightn't help passengers. Note that a bus stop which is hardly ever used doesn't delay buses at all because they don't have to stop there, so the only reason to remove it would be to free kerb space for parking etc.
One wonders whether removing any bus stop is legal under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth), as it disproportionately worsens the trip for people with limited mobility.
It is essential that any new bus stop locations be equipped with shelters where not already under a shop awning, and with seats and timetable information. All this should be ready the same day that the stops enter service.
It is surprising that this change is being managed by the road-focused RMS instead of by a public transport department. That might explain any emphasis on bus priority over passenger priority but doesn't justify it.
Specific remarks - route 412
The on-time record of 412 buses is poor. Buses arrive in bunches, suggesting that the route requires attention. Is the route too long? Would more bus priority somewhere help? Should some slack be put in the timetable?
Perhaps the route could be split at Earlwood, but only after careful examination and public consultation. Opal data could be used to determine precisely how the service is used at peak and off-peak.
The colours chosen for the leaflet maps make the proposed changes around stops 11 and 12 difficult to understand.
The proposed removal of stops 35, 36, 37 and 45 would seem to be motivated mainly for the benefit of general road traffic, as all these stops are located close to shops. We strongly question this motive.
The proposed adjustments to stops 38 and 39 are perplexing. It's often a good idea to have bus stops in pairs because it increases the "legibility" of the service - is that the intention?
It is difficult to understand why car parking is permissible so close to the intersection of Marrickville Road and Livingstone Road yet bus stops are not. That site is an obvious interchange point for routes 412 and 426; there is also the matter of "legibility" of transport services.