Action for Public Transport (N.S.W.) Inc.
|P O Box K606
|Haymarket NSW 1240
|5 May 2017
Roads and Maritime Services
Transport for NSW
PO Box 973
Parramatta NSW 2150
Bus Priority Program
Submission on M41 bus services
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 March 2017 relating to route M41 services.
The project is designated Bus Priority Program but there are two difficulties with that name:
The objective should be to give priority to passengers. Bus services can be sped-up by removing stops and by detouring them around busy centres such as Burwood but that would be contrary to passengers' interests and should not be the intention.
The term "priority" connotes doing something that gives buses (i.e., bus passengers) an advantage over other road users however the proposals set out in the R.E.F. and leaflets do not make clear what this advantage is.
Deleting lightly-used stops makes hardly any difference to anyone, especially now that the Opal system removes much of the delay of ticketing. Unfortunately, there is no discussion of this feature of the Opal system in the R.E.F.
Although minimised by the Opal system, these delays are variable and hence can make unreliable buses liable to bunch. Bunched platoons of buses are undesirable because of the variance they can cause to travel times but there is no discussion of bunching in the R.E.F.
The departure bus stops at both Hurstville Station and Macquarie Centre can be difficult for prospective passengers to find. In the former case, there are some stops north of the station and some south. In the latter case, most are in Herring Road but some are in Waterloo Road. There should be multiple diagrams posted at such places so that first-time users can easily find their correct departure stops. APTNSW's experience is that bus authorities are reluctant to provide such diagrams; RMS should include them in the bus priority program.
Especially in a long route such as M41 which takes about 90 minutes, RMS should do what it can to make bus travel speeds acceptable and consistent.
- Right turns which are prone to delays should be controlled by traffic signals with turn arrows and/or separate B lights giving priority to buses. An obvious example is the turn for southbound M41 buses from Wellbank St into Majors Bay Road.
- Bus stops should not be displaced for car parking. There should be a stop in the middle of the Majors Bay shops, ideally adjacent to the marked foot-crossing.
- M41 buses crossing Gipps St should be given priority over cars in both directions.
- Steps should be taken to limit non-essential car traffic in the Burwood and Campsie centres so that bus speeds can be acceptable and predictable.
- Bus stops should generally be where the road can be crossed safely. In the case of busy roads such as Stoney Creek Road, that means the stops should be very close to traffic signals if at all possible. For other roads, it can be helpful for buses and marked footcrossings to be adjacent.