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Better bus stations

Earlier this year I posted about “better buses”.

The main point of that post was to advocate for a greater focus on improving Auckland’s bus system. To support the case I discussed a couple of cities, namely Brisbane (population circa 2.0 million) and Edinburgh (population circa 600,000), where sustained investment in effective bus improvements have contributed to public transport outcomes that are far superior to what is currently achieved in Auckland.

As of last year, for example, the bus networks in both these cities carried more 110 million boardings p.a., which is almost twice the patronage generated in Auckland. Edinburgh’s performance is particularly enviable: Not only does their network generate close to 200 PT trips per capita p.a. (Auckland is about 50), but it also comes close to full cost recovery (NB: I believe the primary operating subsidy is in the form of payments for concessionary fares, e.g. child discounts, which is more of a social welfare payment).

My main hypothesis (which is not new; other people have articulated the same idea previously and since) is that if Auckland Council (AC) and Auckland Transport (AT) wish to grow patronage quickly, then the most effective option available to us is to transform our bus network from what it is today. Against this context, the fact that AT has not been able to implement any new bus lanes in 3 years goes to show how much distance there is between our day-to-day actions and our strategic objectives.

Please note that I am not arguing against investment in rail; I’m simply observing that buses present a number of opportunities to quickly grow PT patronage in Auckland, primarily due to their scale and responsiveness.

In that last post I mentioned four critical elements of better buses, specifically:

  • Bus infrastructure, especially in the form of priority over general traffic in the city centre. Compared to Brisbane and Edinburgh, Auckland has minimal bus priority in the city centre.
  • Wider stop spacing, whereby we reinvest shorter wait times (from higher frequencies) into longer walk times. The pay-off from fewer stops the buses will run faster. So the general message is that you have to walk further but spend less time waiting and on the bus itself.
  • Managing cash payment, this is one area where Edinburgh does exceptionally well. No change is given onboard, and cash handling is automated. All the passenger does is throw their money in a box, where it is automatically counted, before the driver issues the ticket.
  • Vehicle configurations, this is one area where our operators need a little help methinks. Put simply, Auckland’s bus fleet is not equipped to deal with high passenger volumes, especially in a tag on/off ticketing system. There’s simply no reason why new buses should not come equipped with double entry/exit doors and nor should we accept a narrow aisle in the front section of the bus.

In this post I wanted to now focus on a smaller subset of potential improvements to Auckland’s bus network, namely “better bus stations”. Such as the one shown below from Goteborg in Sweden, which I hope to visit in a few weeks time.

4A Gothenburg, Sweden

I believe that high quality bus stations are hugely beneficial for several reasons, namely:

  • They enable a more efficient and connected network of services – better bus stations will enable AT to operate a connected network of services with less wasteful duplication caused by overlapping routes. This underlying network design logic underpins AT’s New Network and has resulted in plans for a number of new interchanges, such as Otahuhu [1]. The operational efficiencies from connected networks are enormous, as evidenced by the massive expansion in frequent service delivered by way of the New Network.
  • They directly benefit existing passengers – in addition to their operational efficiencies, better bus stations also convey a direct benefit to existing passengers. Better bus stations provide customers with a civilised level of comfort, convenience, and legibility. The civility of bus stations (and buses for that matter) is hugely important for fostering people’s willingness to use PT.
  • They help challenge wider perceptions – There is no doubt that some people who don’t use buses perceive them to be some form of “peasant wagon”, at least compared to rail. Anyone who uses the Inner/Outer/City Links and/or B-line services knows this perception is incorrect: Quality, frequent bus services successfully attracts people from of all income levels. Nonetheless, the negative perception still exists and better bus stations are the most practical way to rectify this perception (noting that the perception exists among people who may never step foot inside a bus).
  • They have positive land use impacts – Now we’re playing the long term game. Better bus stations deliver a level of amenity that attracts not only more passengers (i.e. pedestrians) but also complementary land uses. Here’s a review of the evidence that suggests buses have a positive impact on land values that is of a similar magnitude to LRT.

Thus far Auckland’s efforts to develop better bus stations have focused primarily on bus-rail interchanges, such as New Lynn, Panmure, and Otahuhu. New Lynn really is an exceptional example of what can be achieved, as shown below (photo credit; design credit to Darren Davis).

bus-overview-best-533x400

There are a couple of notable examples, however, of situations where better bus stations have been developed as stand-alone projects. The recently upgraded Otara interchange is one such example, as illustrated below.

Otara interchange

Looking forward, plans for the proposed bus stations at Panmure, Manukau, and Pakuranga are also shaping up well (NB: In saying that I have some serious concerns about the operational performance of the former, which seems slow and difficult for buses to access and uses saw-tooth platforms that face the wrong way).

So the good news is that better bus stations seem to be on the way, even if not as many as we would like.

I’d be interested in people’s ideas on where other better bus stations may be required. Wynyard Quarter is one location that springs to my mind given the structure of the New Network, as does Mangere Town Centre.

To finish, while we do have a few good local examples of “better bus stations”, I thought it was also worth expanding our consciousness and considering some lovely examples from overseas. Adieu from Amsterdam, where the weather is, well, making Auckland look pretty good right now ;).

Weather

Springfield, Oregon, U.S.

1 Springfield, Oregon

1B Springfield, Oregon

 

King George Square, Brisbane, Australia

2A King George Square, Brisbane

Stitched Panorama

IMG_5151

 

Nis Ericson Terminalen, Gothenburg, Sweden

4B Gotheburg, Sweden

4C Gothenburg, Sweden

 

Noosa Bus Station, Queensland, Australia

Noosa Transit Centre

5B Noosa, Queensland

5A Noosa, Queensland

 


[1] Remember that PT’s operating costs exceed its operating revenues, i.e. it is “subsidised”. For this reason we should also be looking for opportunities to save operating costs where the change disadvantages relatively few passengers. This in turn frees up funds to be reinvested elsewhere in the network where it can generate more patronage.

40 comments to Better bus stations

  • TheBigWheel

    Edinburgh’s buses are legendary. It’s 25 years since I lived there and they had automatic cash counting even back then.. and a strict no change policy for years before that.

    The buses were so frequent that you hardly had to consider the timetable, or worry yourself about electronic bus stops.

    That said, the way Edinburgh is laid out is compact and dense compared to Auckland (never mind what Wikipedia says).. at least from a PT practicality perspective.. all those radial routes, and two or three circular loops.

    Contrary to what Stu says, the bus stops were way closer together than they are here, which meant trips could be slow, even with bus lanes (of which there were many miles decades ago). My brother actually took one particularly pointless stop out once, which sped things along for a year or so before some authority finally noticed. There were “limited stop” services designed I assume to counter this problem.

    Of course Edinburgh has now almost bankrupted itself putting in trams that will do little more than replicate one or two bus routes. And burned a pile of goodwill from its residents along the way. Dominion Road tram fans take note!

    • Stu Donovan

      Yes, Edinburgh’s buses are so frequent that timetables are irrelevant, even when connecting between routes. No, if you re-read the post more carefully you will notice that I didn’t claim Edinburgh’s bus stops were well-spaced.

      In fact in this post (http://transportblog.co.nz/2011/07/04/postcard-from-edinburgh/) I even observed that edinburgh’s stop spacing was one area where the bus system could be improved, quote: “Rationalise bus stop spacing: Edinburgh’s bus stops are generally too close together. My journey from Morningside to the City (Princes Street) has a stop every 220m on average. Amsterdam, in contrast, has an average stop spacing of 300-400m. The difference is actually quite significant: Implementing a 350m stop spacing on my route would cut out 6 stops and (if we assume that in the peak each stop incurs delays of 30 seconds) and save 3 minutes – out of a 20 minute journey. What other improvement delivers a 15% improvement in travel time at little cost? Extra patronage generated by faster travel times is likely to far outweigh the numbers of people put off by the extra 120 metre walk – particularly when the operating cost savings are reinvested in providing additional services. “

  • JimboJones

    Personally I would prefer AT to spend less money on better bus stations and more money on yellow paint, bus priority traffic lights, automatic daily/weekly/monthly HOP caps, etc. They seem to be spending up large on infrastructure (not saying this is a bad thing), but not fixing the things that don’t cost much and would make a huge difference. Not much point in having big flash bus stations if it still takes the bus three times as long as a car, which seems to be the case for most routes in this city.

    • Jimbo this is the argument of battered wife: ‘if only he would hit me a little more gently’. She shouldn’t have accept being hit at all, and we shouldn’t accept such tiny sums and low energy going into the urgent rebuilding of the long neglected PT systems, and therefore fall into the trap of squabbling between competing projects that are both high value and, in the scheme of things, low cost.

      The lack of funding or political will for one part of the PT network is not because all the money is going on another part but rather because almost all of it and all the energy is going on the already vast driving network [AT built a huge and unused carpark at Manukau before the much more valuable bus station for example, and are now talking about another one!?]. In other words there is no need to stop building good stations just because proper joined up bus lanes are urgently required but rather we need to agitate for better allocation of resources and energy to the transport sector that has been growing over the last decade and not the one that’s stalled.

    • TheBigWheel

      I’m with you Jimbo.. better buses and better bus lanes before better bus stations.

      Thinking back to Edinburgh again.. every year there were dozens of shiny new buses and miles of new empty bus lanes to whizz along. What the punters wanted. Including me. There was one bus station which you tried to avoid and mostly could do, a horrible place full of stinking diesel fumes and everything else you can imagine. Even so I don’t suppose many would voted for transforming it into what they have in Gothenburg in preference to new buses and bus lanes.

      • I repeat; it’s not either or. We need both to make the new connected network work. And not stinking old ones either, clearly, as in the examples above.

        Think the new Britomart instead of the old vile car park and bus dungeon.

      • Stu Donovan

        Edinburgh is a small city with largely radial routes. Bus stations outside of the city centre do not matter in those situations. Auckland is, by comparison to Edinburgh and Brisbane, relatively polycentric.

        In Edinburgh you would just catch the first bus that came along and then work out where to connect once you made it to a central location, if you needed to.

        In Auckland, there are more locations where connections may be required, e.g. Manukau, Otara, Panmure, New Lynn, Henderson, Avondale, Takapuna, and Albany. These locations *matter* from both an operational and a passenger perspective – we can truncate services here and require people to connect to other bus/rail routes. However, they are also town centres in their own right where a legible and amenable bus station benefits passengers who are just travelling to/from there.

        Operational efficiency matters. A lot.

    • Stu Donovan

      Don’t ignore the operational benefits associated with being able to terminate a service at a legible location and force passengers to transfer. They are dominant benefits, insofar as they trump the passenger benefits.

  • Quoting you Stu: “Looking forward, plans for the proposed bus stations at Panmure, Manukau, and Pakuranga are also shaping up well (NB: In saying that I have some serious concerns about the operational performance of the former, which seems slow and difficult for buses to access and uses saw-tooth platforms that face the wrong way).”

    Hehe the Manukau Bus Interchange design has been taking a panning over the last 6 months with the most recent at the Auckland Development Committee last month. I do remember Patrick not displaying a heck of a load of confidence in it either: http://transportblog.co.nz/2013/08/12/manukau-bus-interchange-details-emerge/

    Bit of luck hopefully we can get a redesign on that interchange and away from the sawtooth design

    Papakura has a mini bus station right outside platform 3 and is heavily utilised too :-)

    As for other places: maybe Pukekohe and Botany could get some bus station treatment too

  • Northshoreguynz

    Bus stations and bus stops are all well and good. But the routes are the key. As an avid proponent of PT I feel hypocritical that I dont use it myself. Why? Because there is no bus service at all that services my suburb. And talking to my son yesterday about the same thing. To get a bus to work for him involves a couple of changes, one hour and $10. The car takes 10 mins.

    • Stu Donovan

      Without further details on origins/destinations I can’t comment on your particular trip, but I suspect many of the issues with routes will be resolved by way of AT’s New Network. If you’re not well-served by what has been proposed then I suggest you submit feedback when the time for consultation on the North Shore network arises.

      • Northshoreguynz

        I live in Stillwater and work in Orewa. My son lives in Beachaven and works off William Pickering in Rosedale.

        • Stu Donovan

          Do you think it’s reasonable to expect that PT will solve unusual locational challenges, especially in the context of largely uncongested driving conditions and free parking?

          The development of effective PT will require that people think about their origins’/destinations before choosing where to locate, That means not necessarily responding to existing travel patterns but instead attempting to offer a product that influences people’s future locational choices.

          In your case, Orewa will be PT accessible from anywhere else on the Northern Busway. In terms of your son, what you need are new bus stations at Onewa Rd and Rosedale. I’d support that in principle! He could then take any bus down Onewa Rd and connect to any bus travelling north on the busway.

          • Northshoreguynz

            Thanks Stu, not really expecting a service from Stillwater:) But I certainly will be looking closely at any cross town services proposed when it’s the Shore’s turn.

          • Luke C

            Would be great to get that Shoal Bay station back on agenda. Haven’t noticed it on any of the new network infrastructure lists unfortunately, but would have huge benefits for the Onewa corridor. Currently they have great services to CBD, but awful service to most places on the Shore!
            Connections to NEX would fix that, as well as being able to streamline the services that head on down to Ponsoby Road. I would suggest running the new inner city cross town route to Akoronga/ Takapuna rather than Wynyward, which gives the North SHore to Ponsonby connection. This would allow the peak only North Shore to Ponsonby services to be cancelled, as well a providing much better journey from inner western suburbs to the North Shore.

    • TheBigWheel

      Likewise, Northshoreguy, here I am in the Isthmus with my car parked outside my office, because there is no viable PT option for my commute, which is all of 5 k.

      Stu, if you want to compare Auckland with Edinburgh. The Isthmus is fairly similar.. in size, population and in having mostly radial routes. If this were in Edinburgh, I’d get one of the circular or cross town routes, used to be the number 1 or the number 32 (slightly further out). Here we have only the 007. So unless you live and work within cooee of a line from St Heliers to Pt Chev forget it.

      Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t find the idea getting two buses or a bus and a train to travel 5 k very attractive.. by the time I’ve waited 5-10 mins twice I might as well have taken the car.

      Patrick, no-one is saying either / or, but it is not both: it is all about priorities. More buses, more bus lanes first. Nice buildings second.

      As for cycling, where I work is a Bike Free Zone. Tragically. Sorting that out ought is the one thing that ought to be even higher up the list than buses.

      • Greg N

        The 007 Bus has not run from or to St Heliers for quite some years Bigwheel.
        It starts and ends at Glen Innes Bus “Depot” [which is opposite the GI Train station].
        There are some buses that connect St Heliers & GI of course, but they’re not 007 buses and you’d need to change buses at least once.
        But of course those buses don’t connect very well.

        As for having a 5km commute with no practical PT option – I know what you mean,
        I know someone (not me) who works in Ellerslie (near the main strip) and lives in St Johns – two neighbouring suburbs.A distance of 2km as the crow flies
        But there is no current combination of bus/buses/trains that will get you from St Johns to Ellerlsie very easily (and none that would be as easy as driving – or as cheap).

        They could get a bus to GI Station, hop the train to Otahuhu, then go north to Ellerslie by train, thats 3 mode switches each direction and who knows the wait at each mode switch for the next mode to come along, so the door to door time would be horrendous.

        Bus would be the same – A bus to GI, another Bus to Panmure, then a Bus to Ellerslie. But neither of these won’t cut the mustard..

        So guess what they do – thats right drive. Why wouldn’t you.
        Even the proposed new network won’t really help much that I can see on the plans I’ve seen as there will be a half hour at best “secondary” bus from GI station to Ellerslie Station, heck you could walk the distance in less time.

  • I used to catch the bus up to Long Bay every weekend to see my parents, which meant about 10-30 minutes (the 887 is not a reliable bus) waiting at the Albany Park and Ride, and I have to say, it’s an awful place to wait – nothing at all interesting to do at the station or nearby, extremely uncomfortable seats and exposed to the elements – bloody awful between April and November and barely tolerable the rest of the time.

    It definitely feels designed as a very short term stop for people changing from car to bus and nothing else. I eventually gave up and bought a motorcycle again (various reasons, this being one of them) – I’d rather ride in the cold and rain than be trapped in that little purgatory.

    • Stu Donovan

      Interesting feedback – given that Albany is one of the better bus stations in Auckland!

      • I would agree with David, not one of the better bus stations largely because of it’s total and complete isolation from anything (although naturally that doesn’t have much to do with the station itself).

        Also yes, I think it is more geared up as a place for people to simply get between their car and the NEX. Reason I say that is, while there is an inside waiting area, you can’t wait there for a bus. You need to sit outside where you can see the departure board and see the buses arriving.

      • It would probably become a bit moot once frequencies are improved – weekend buses are once an hour, if you’ve ever been trapped there after missing a bus my 30 seconds and having to wait another hour in that place you’d probably understand (but even 10 minutes tests me – as nick said – go sit on those seats where you can see the boards/buses arriving for 10 minutes in winter and see how it goes :)

        Constellation and Akoranga are both nicer, though still lack any amenity. Reminds me of The IT Crowd’s episode on smokers – we probably look the same sitting in the middle of nowhere a bit sad and bored:
        http://i1.ytimg.com/vi/n_FaJ79CeB4/hqdefault.jpg

        And keep in mind that I am super-pro PT, why would anyone choose to do this on the weekend when they can just drive?

  • Automated Cash handling is fairly standard around the world, it is common in North America (where exact change has been required in many places since the late 60s, [although the rational for the big steel fare boxes bolted to the floor was to prevent drivers being robbed]. Fare boxes are also the way to pay cash fares in many parts of Asia.

  • I agree that buses are the short to mediyum term future of Auckland PT once the CRL is finished. For me, the point is not steel rails or rubber wheels, but a separate right of way. Brisbane is really a great example of what can be done with buses. The bus only roads are close to the centre, where they need to be and the buses whizz along. The stations as you say are also impressive and in great locations.

    However, we dont have to look that far afield. The Chch bus exchange in Colombo Street was a great piece of design. It wasnt perfect but looking back now (I used it quite often) I realise how radical it was from a NZ perspective. There was a clear and functioning board that told you when and which gate you bus would arrive at. It was reliable, safe and clean.

    There was to be an upgraded underground version as the tunnel for the buses wasnt ideal in terms of angles. Unfortunately the earthquake has delayed that but the plans are back on.

    Auckland sorely needs a central bus exchange and Britomart seems to me the perfect place.

    Just on tickets, the Edinburgh system is too cautious. Just like in the vast majority of Europe, we need to scrap on baord sales altogether and enforce tickets with plain clothes inspectors with enforcement powers. People may say what about the tourists or casual users?; but Prague, which has MANY times the number of tourists that Auckland has, seems to survive with tickets for buses and trams only being purchased from the small kiosks around the city (if you dont have one of the great value annual passes).

    Why cant convenience stores and dairies start selling tickets? Many already topped up Snapper cards.

    • Stu Donovan

      Not sure I agree re: removing onboard cash sales. Reason being that 1) there are many methods for incentising pre-paid ticket purchase that don’t rely on coercion; 2) once you get high smart card uptake the number of people paying by cash reduces to the point where it is irrelevant; and 3) third party ticket vendors have their own costs and disadvantages.

      My hunch is that the best way to get rid of cash sales is to make paying by alternative means (e,g, smart card and mobile phone) sufficiently attractive that no one wants to use cash. Only then you pull the cash option.

    • Stu Donovan

      P.s. Even by ambitious timelines the CRL will not be completeed by 2021. In that context, should we not be developing better bus stations now as a matter of urgency? 2021 is, after all, 8 years away.

  • Ross Clark

    TheBigWheel – yep, as a current Edinburgh resident, I can agree completely with what you’ve said. The disliked bus station you mention, is for intercity services and buses from the wider region (90 minutes’ driving time). Its Glasgow equivalent (Buchanan St) handles at least 10m passengers a year.

    Stu – yes, you’re quite right: a bus concession card available to OAPs and some people on disability, http://lothianbuses.com/timetables-tickets-maps/fares-and-tickets/scottish-concession-cards, supports about a third of the Edinburgh buses’ ridership and IIRC twenty percent of the bus company’s revenues. Very little of the company’s revenues comes from contracted services.

    Most regular paying passengers use something called the Ridacard: http://lothianbuses.com/timetables-tickets-maps/fares-and-tickets/ridacard. Not a smartcard, think of it as a permanent monthly pass. The main cash fare is now £1.50 – and one small convenience factor: only two coins.

  • TheBigWheel – I was about to write “bicycle!” when I saw your sentence “As for cycling, where I work is a Bike Free Zone”.

    How do you mean exactly? Do you mean a workplace rule or a Council rule? Neither should be happening.

    If Council please elaborate and perhaps Cycle Action Auckland can raise the issue with Auckland Council or AT.

    • TheBigWheel

      Ha! “Bike Free Zone” in the sense that..

      (a) you don’t see any cyclists round here
      (b) it’s not possible to cycle the last 1 k or so to my workplace with even a hint of subjective safety.. and I say that with 30 years of cycle commuting.. it’s barely walkable. Honestly. I would happily take anyone on a tour round these parts.

      Penrose, in case you’re wondering

  • grantb

    Been using the bus all this week for the commute, and tend to agree that more changes are required to keep up the momentum.

    Monday started well – the local buses on the shore were modern, frequent, took my hop card and no crowding. The bus stops, while pretty basic (around Takapuna), were easy to find the bus that I needed so I was able to get around no problems despite the injury that meant that I can’t ride.

    Tuesday I found they had an AT Hop card top up machine at Smale Farm – was not there last time. Then I found that many of the buses rolling down the Busway (NEX and other Ritches buses) still don’t take HOP cards. AT help person standing near by, says that they will by next year – not a lot of help when you are standing on a platform with no cash and a AT card loaded with $. At least I read this site, so knew what to expect.

    Rest of the week showed another couple of frustrations. Some of the buses have a bar to split the entrance at the front.Since the Hop card reader is to the right, I tried to get on the right hand side, but collide with people getting off the bus at the front and tagging off, So I end up in the left hand side behind people paying by cash ($20 note from the guy in front this morning) or asking the driver if the bus goes to/via ‘x’.:-(

    The bus stop at Victoria park in the evenings and across the road outside Air NZ in the morning are also very poor. Just watch the Victorian park stop on Fanshaw street in the evening when you have people scrambling up and down the bank to watch for buses coming, or finding that a queue of buses means that the bus that they want is 3 or 4 buses lengths down and they have to push through people lining up or running the otherway on the narrow footpath. When it rains, it gets really silly as the 3 shelters just let the rain in anyway.

    I wondered if the AirNZ one could be replaced with some/most of the buses coming off the bridge circulating behind the AirNZ building toward the Wynyard Quarter into a proper station?
    Maybe some of the northbound buses currently crowding into the Vic park stop could also use the stop then as well.

  • john smith

    An important advantage of having fewer bus stops is that it makes it more affordable to have better facilities and information at more of them.

    Travelling in Germany recently (Leipzig, Nuremberg, Munich), I was very struck by the way city maps show tram and bus lines with EVERY stop marked and named, just like train stations. EVERY stop has its shelter, timetable and realtime information display, and the vehicles have screens displaying the name of the upcoming stop.

    This makes the system much more navigable by occasional users. And remember, we want to encourage occasional users because they are more likely to be offpeak, and increasing offpeak ridership has low marginal cost and improves cost recovery.

    Of course making bus routes as visible and permanent as train lines conflicts with the ‘flexible buses’ meme. ‘Flexible buses’ are much loved by road lobbyists and property developers because:
    - they don’t need special infrastructure that risks competing with the demands of roads for cars;
    - when planning a major development, you don’t need to worry about whether it’s located sensibly in relation to the public transport network, because you can always divert a nearby bus route to provide a token service. The fact that this reduces the efficiency of the total network is not of concern to the property developer.

    There is probably a place for flexible bus routes in greenfields areas under development, until things have settled down. But in fully developed areas, a rational bus network should be settled and considered as permanent as say the sewerage network, and redevelopment or infill development should be constrained accordingly. Then you can invest in better bus stops and interchange facilities with more confidence.

  • macdonald

    Lothian Buses are also council owned – this seems to be a factor in patronage as they seem to invest a lot in comfort and pollution minimisation compared to the other operators e.g. First Group. Greater congestion however has seen big increases in cycling there, as the bus journeys are now quite slow.

    • Ross Clark

      Agreed, with this qualifier. Stagecoach (the operator across to and in Fife) has much better vehicles than Firstbus, whose East of Scotland operation is notorious for the quality of their vehicles (or lack of it). The inter-city coach services (Citylink, Megabus – both Stagecoach brands) have pretty good vehicles as well. It’s not just about private ownership, issues of underlying market strength come into it as well 9ie how much quality will the market pay for).

      Cycling in Edinburgh city – between the tram works and the traffic, you’re taking your life in your hands!

  • Simon

    Note how none of those photos show level boarding. What’s with that? Only Transmilenio and Bogota have that to my knowledge.

    I think Brisbane is mostly an example of what not to do. Stu’s comment that they “have gone for an approach which can charitably be described as infrastructure intensive” is bang on, and pretty significant understatement really. Case in point – Eastern Busway to Coorparoo. $A465m to have something which 90% of its benefit is a queue jump.

    I guess my point is that I also agree with JimboJones.

  • jingyang

    Talking of bus stops: two I use regularly, 1/ in Howick outside the Prospect, tiny little shelter with people preferring to stand about 10m up the road under the street verandahs if the weather isn’t good – and it is a guessing game as to what side of the shelter the bus will actually stop at. 2/ Botany Town Centre – today I was absolutely sunblasted there – the shelters provide no decent shade at all, bloody useless. The signage there is not particularly useful either – because the buses basically pull in and turn around and go out again, it is difficult to work out which stop has the buses going in the direction you actually want to go. I regularly see people crossing the road because they’re not on the right side. AT seems to be relying on the electronic timetable signs to tell you which service goes where – but they can’t be read from a distance.
    Also – could they please stop those signs showing services up to two hours away? It gets rather confusing to show up a stop and see what looks like the next bus on your service as being hours away…
    .

    • Agreed, some of the City link stops are particularly terrible for that. They scroll through four or five pages of what time the links will arrive in two hours time, when all you want to know is when the next will be there and maybe a couple after that.

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