Action for Public Transport Meeting, Great Southern Hotel (Bistro Lounge ) George Street, Central. 5.30pm.

MONDAY, 6th February.

A.P.T. monthly meeting - environment centre, 399 Pitt St, City. 5.30pm (Town Hall nearest station)

9th - 12th March.

Bicycle Show - Paddington Town Hall. (Bus Routes 378, 379, and 381 or ride your bike)

11th - 12th March.

Energy Fair - Punch Park, Wortley Street, Balmain (near Unilever - Routes 401 or 441 buses from York St. City Bus Stand.) It is hoped to have APT at this happening.

24th - 26th May.

Australian Transport Research Forum - Perth - emphasis on Users Views.

March to October.

Macquarie University Transport Seminars 2.00pm to 4.00pm Wednesdays.

10th - 11th June.

(Queens Birthday Weekend) advance notice for those interested in seeing 10,000 tonne coal trains moving with minimum environmental impact. Special rail tour from Mackay (Qld) to Goonyella and Peak Downs. Further details next newsletter.

Harbour Bridge Tolls

It is not surprising that the NRMA's Chief Executive, Mr. G. Webster, is opposed to an increase in bridge tolls, or any other action which might cause motorists to make less use of their cars, as at least half of the NRMA councillors are DIRECTORS of companies whose profits depend on increasing car usage. They are:-
J.M. GreenwoodDirector, Outboard Marine Aust. (Recreational boating)
M.S. LawrenceDirector, Group Engineering Ltd. (Parking Station Operator
Sir Wm. PettingellDirector, Blackwood Hodge (Earthmoving equipment)
Director, Cummins Diesel (Truck, equipment,engines)
Director, Leighton Holdings (Construction, road-building)
J.R. HarrowellDirector, Alliance Holdings (Hire purchase, finance)
R.T.M. RoseDirector, Bishopsgate Insurance (Accident ins.)
Director, Mayne Nickless Ltd. (Road transport)
Director, P & O. (Container terminal operator)
J.S. MillnerDirector, Aust. Oil & Gas (Petroleum products)
Sir Robert NormanDirector, AGC. (Car finance, vehicle & eqpt. leasing)
Director, P&O.
A.H. UrquhartDirector, Chubbs Aust. Co.(Auto. fire extinguishers)
Nor Can the NRMA executive claim to speak for its members generally, as fewer than 1 in 200 of them voted at the NRMA election in November 1977.

Transport Investment & Morale.

We welcome, of course, the current Government spending on improvements to the states P.T. System, but there is little evidence as yet of any significant improvement in the morale of the "shop window" operations personnel, which might be expected to fallow such investment. With notable exception, many P.T.C. staff still have a carefree attitude to the public. A rapid improvement will be required if we are to get full value for the investment in hardware and approach the high standards set by the competition, the airline industry. We shall be watching this one closely and we suggest the administration do likewise.

To Bathurst & Parkes on the Indian - Pacific.

Travel restrictions from Sydney have been relaxed. Passengers may now book seats (up to 7 days in advance) to the above centres on Monday and Thursday I-P's.

New Buses for Sydney.

The Acting Minister for Transport (Mr. W. Crabtree) has advised that our recommendations for improved ventilation, windows, and luggage space on Sydney's buses, have been passed to the P.T.C. Bus Development Committee, prior to final arrangements being made for the ordering of 550 new buses. However he makes the startling claim that the New Bus Development Committee which includes officers of the P.T.C.'s Engineering, Planning and Marketing Divisions and representatives of bus body builders unions and operating staff "ensures that the needs of passengers are kept well to the fore !"

They may claim too, for their own ends, but the Mercedes body is proof that they aren't even aware of bus passengers problems, particularly ventilation and luggage space.

We road tested the new Domino/Volvo city bus last month (it is a contender for the P.T.C. order mentioned above) and made a number of recommendations concerning passenger accommodation. The bus is due back in Sydney soon - Dates from Tuesday meetings.

Sydney Private Bus Services - Expanding or Declining ?

The news that one of Sydney's largest private bus operators, McVicars Pty. Ltd. is up for sale, must raise serious doubts as to the stability and future of private bus operation in Sydney. During recent years the private bus scene has been one of continuing takeovers and "selling off" less profitable routes. This constant state of flux, coupled with a reduction in services during weekends and evenings on many routes and an ever increasing dependence upon charter operations, all adds up to an uncertain future for many private bus operators.

It is generally accepted that if private bus operators in urban areas are to provide at least some semblance of "social" service (i.e. during evenings and at weekends when those without cars need some form of mobility) then there must be assistance of one kind or another from governmental sources.

This can take several forms ranging from complete takeover of a private route by a government operator through to subsidisation of a private operator's school bus schedules. Only in Melbourne and Sydney do private bus services constitute an important part of the public transport scene. It is therefore enlightening to compare the policies in these two cities as regards private bus operations.

Melbourne private bus operators now receive subsidies towards the cost of constructing new vehicles - in return for this operators are expected to achieve some form of standard vehicle design and to meet specifications relating to seating, doors etc. laid down by the Victorian Transport Regulation Board. The T.R.B. maintains control over routes, route numbers, fares, timetables and vehicle standards and this enables it to provide, by means of the Transport Information Centre, instant, up to date information on all Victorian private bus routes for the potential customer. Proposals are now being made to introduce a scheme whereby Melbourne private bus operators will operate under subcontract to an overall transport authority. In this way bus companies will retain their individuality whilst still being under governmental control.

It appears that in Victoria there is some form of policy relating to private bus services. Unfortunately the same cannot be said in Sydney where there appears to be a complete absence of a policy for private bus operations. The P.T.C. has taken over two private services which ceased to function, however these were small services operating within the P.T.C.'s area. One wonders what the P.T.C. would do if a large operator in the western suburbs, for example, ceased to function.

Governmental interest in private bus services in New South Wales is typified by the tiny Public Vehicle Section of the Department of Motor Transport which appears to be little more than a bus route recording office. As a result there is no overall Sydney bus map, no logical route numbering system, no transport information centre and no incentive towards adopting a standard bus design - all in complete contrast to Melbourne.

N.S.W. private bus operators do receive financial assistance for school bus services but that is where government subsidisation ends. The future of Sydney's private bus operation therefore raises some interesting questions. If further private bus companies cease trading will the P.T.C. be in a position to take them over? Is there any proposal to subsidise private bus operators or to introduce a sub-contracting scheme? Are there any moves by the D.M.T. to foster overall publicity for private bus services and encourage standard vehicle designs? Action for Public Transport awaits the answer to these questions with great interest.

P.T.C. Orders new railcars with airconditioning for drivers - but not passengers.

The P.T.C. has recently called tenders for thirty-two new railcars which it proposes to operate on Newcastle or Wollongong suburban and interurban services. Although these new vehicles will contain a number of improvements over existing railcars a surprising feature is the installation of airconditioning for the driver but not for the passengers or the guard.

Action for Public Transport commends the P.T.C. in its efforts to improve train driver's working conditions but it is difficult to understand why airconditioning should be installed in a new train only for the driver but not passengers. At present the P.T.C. is taking delivery of thirty new double-deck inter-urban cars for Blue Mountains and Gosford services. These trains are airconditioned. It appears that the P.T.C. intends to operate new airconditioned trains on some interurban services but new non-airconditioned ones on other interurban schedules. Queensland Railways have published figures for their new electric suburban trains which indicate that the fitting of airconditioning and carpets increases the initial cost by only 5% but gives high benefits in sound-proofing, passenger comfort and reduces train cleaning costs by virtually eliminating the entry of dust into the cars.

Action for Public Transport hopes that the P.T.C. will install airconditioning in these new railcars so that passengers served by these new vehicles might enjoy the highest standard of public transport comfort.

Double - deck Interurbans for "The Fish."

The delivery of the first six of thirty airconditioned double-deck interurban cars has enabled the Blue Mountains commuter train "The Fish" to be operated by these vehicles since the second week in January. Action for Public Transport welcomes the arrival of these new interurban cars and looks forward to a further order to replace old locomotive-hauled rolling stock and facilitate the availability of electric multiple-unit trains for the long awaited Gosford-Newcastle rail electrification scheme.


The Bicycle Show (mentioned above) will be accompanied by a "Bicycle Transportation" Forum on Fri. March 10. The day session (10 till 5.30) will involve transport decision makers including local councils, and costs $5. Mayor Leo Port & Minister Peter Cox have been invited. The evening session is free (7 till 9pm) & features Prof. Elias Duek-Cohen. Sat. 11 March- Bicycle Parade with decorated & vintage bikes- leaves Dawe's Point Park at 2.30 pm for Paddo. Next meeting of Bicycle Institute; Feb. 2 at 7.30pm- Environment Centre. Then Mar. 2 ditto.


At the A.G.M. on 7/11/77 our name was changed to "ACTION FOR PUBLIC TRANSPORT" and the following Office Bearers were elected;
ConvenorJohn Hoyle622 7144, 798 4895.
SecretaryAndrew Phelan415 706,
TreasurerGeoff Dawson44 1358.
Management Committee- Michael Conroy, Kevin Eadie, Don Morison, NS. Max Poole acted as returning officer.

Readers are Invited to support ACTION FOR PUBLIC TRANSPORT in the achievement of its objectives;

  1. To foster and promote the expansion and improvement of public transport services for the overall benefit of the community
  2. To promote a rational transport system with regard to efficient use of resources and environmental and social consequences.
  3. To promote public discussion and participation in the provision of transport services.
  4. To support research to further the above aims. Simply complete the form below and forward it with the appropriate amount, or drop in to one of our weekly meetings.

MEMBERS who have not yet renewed (just a few) are asked to do so promptly.

FORMER members are invited to re-join. (There is no "joining fee")