Parramatta Road, Sydney - Wikimedia Commons
Yesterday's Sydney Morning Herald announced that the city's master transport plan is looking at a new route structure that will see many passengers having to transfer to make city-to-suburb journeys.
It is a chop and change system that appears similar to that now clearly being implemented in Christchurch, despite great public concern (not that you'd know it from the city newspapers).
In Sydney's case the long term proposal is to serve central city areas with high frequency buses linking at CBD boundary area interchanges to suburban routes. Part of the Sydney problem is there are 1500 buses a morning trying to thread through congested city streets (and of course adding to congestion themselves).
To quote the Herald report;
"This is how the master plan puts it: "The current radial one-seat bus service network, which attempts to provide single-service bus transport from many origins to many destinations, has little capacity for growth and is not adequate to the task of meeting complex 21st century travel patterns."
The Herald report goes on to describe the proposed new system ;
Fewer bus routes would take people all the way from their home to their final destination. The frequency of buses on major cross-city routes will increase. But "this will be enabled in part by consolidating some existing low frequency bus routes onto major corridors, and by reallocating resources to provide higher frequency on trunk corridors and their rearranged intersecting feeder routes", the plan says. "The need for interchange may be increased, but the inconvenience of interchange is reduced due to higher service frequencies."
Nonetheless, whether in Sydney or Christchurch no service will be a quality service if it is not set to meet high quality service criteria in the exact workings and interaction between all services.
**Checking Saturday timetables to south Christchurch I found this;
These buses depart the Central Bus Station for the Sydenham area/Christchurch south each hour on Saturday evening at the following minutes past the hour;
Route 8 - 08; Route14 -09; Route 12 -11; Route 11 - 21; Route 15 - 31.
...If you are only going to Sydenham shops or Brougham Street you could possibly catch the half hourly service to Lyttelton, leaving Central Bus station at (guess!) 10 and 40 past hour.
Routes 8 and 11 both also serve Milton St - Barrington Mall - Frankleigh Street (with a 47 minute gap with no access)
Routes 12 and 14 both serve lower Cashmere and hills over-lapping at different points, or adjacent enough to offer a "better than wait an hour" alternative for large areas of both routes (with a 58 minute gap with no bus access)
No services at all south of Brougham Street for 37 minutes in every hour
Seven buses per hour and yet there is still a 28 minute gap between the Lyttelton bus (part way) and the No 8, even just to the Sydenham shops/cafes area.
Brought to you by the same people that say they can organise a far more complex chop and change system!!