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BDFL - Memuneh
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  Reply # 2061454 24-Jul-2018 08:15
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From Johnsonville almost everyone I've ever seen would use the old Newlands cards - my guess this type of payment was well accepted on these services so Snapper will be welcome here.

 

The main advantage of Snapper will be time to board - sometimes the green Newlands buses would spend some time on a stop while the driver would manually reload a passenger's card (sometimes more than one passenger).

 

Some passengers would put their wallets on the readers, the reader would fail (due to multiple cards), then try again but just flipping the wallet to its other side, then when it failed then fumble for the card. The worst thing is that these same passengers would do it again the next day.

 

I like how I can reload my Snapper card using my smartphone, at any time. No more having to plan ahead to find an ATM to get some cash for the next trip.





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  Reply # 2061455 24-Jul-2018 08:19
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sbiddle:

 

A question for regular peak time bus users (as while I catch the bus regularly it's normally from the CBD home to the Hutt and isn't during peak hours) - what percentage of users actually use Snapper? I always thought this was really high but I've seen a few comments lately suggesting that a significant percentage of people still pay cash even travelling every day.

 

Much of their modelling data is based solely off Snapper data as it's the only way to track where people go. I just wonder what percentage of overall users this captures. Obviously it excludes all Supergold holders as they're only tracking where they hop on, not where they hop off.

 

 

I very rarely see people paying by cash. When they do it tends to be because they have suddenly discovered that their Snapper has insufficient funds to pay for their trip.


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 2061457 24-Jul-2018 08:22
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Last night the Island Bay Residents' Association had a visit from Darran Ponter from the Regional Council who answered a number of questions regarding the new bus network. One interesting comment he made is that they have decided to get rid of the timetable for the high frequency services so that they can space out the buses on the fly and hence react to the bus bunching problem as and when it happens.

 

So, if you are waiting for one of those main spine buses at peak times then there won't be an exact scheduled arrival time but you won't need to wait for more than ten minutes. That's the theory anyway - let's see how it works in practice.


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  Reply # 2061479 24-Jul-2018 08:38
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alasta:

 

Last night the Island Bay Residents' Association had a visit from Darran Ponter from the Regional Council who answered a number of questions regarding the new bus network. One interesting comment he made is that they have decided to get rid of the timetable for the high frequency services so that they can space out the buses on the fly and hence react to the bus bunching problem as and when it happens.

 

So, if you are waiting for one of those main spine buses at peak times then there won't be an exact scheduled arrival time but you won't need to wait for more than ten minutes. That's the theory anyway - let's see how it works in practice.

 

 

I hope you're right because the wait is way more than this - yesterday while waiting I saw there were two buses - one was 19 minutes behind, another 10 minutes behind. My guess is people would end up waiting 30 minutes for something that should be 10 minutes:

 





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  Reply # 2061488 24-Jul-2018 08:49
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I use the airport flyer, which presumably has a high proportion of visitors. Even on that service, the majority of people boarding  use snapper.





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  Reply # 2061520 24-Jul-2018 09:33
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Plusses

 

The additional busses are nice.

 

The standard of the busses, lighting aside, seems nice.

 

Negatives

 

They seem to have made bizarre changes to the route mine follows, which now follows a convoluted series of small streets instead of main roads and pretty much doubles back on itself a couple of times, which has added about 20 min to my journey for no apparent reason. 

 

The intense blue light. It isn't bust blue, it is police-car light blue. Really unpleasant. Impossible to read. And both times I took the bus at night the bright blue light meant that by the time I got home I had a pounding headache.

 

The timetable seems more aspirational than a statement of intent, I suspect it could win a literary award as a work of fiction.

 

More training is needed. Twice so far, my driver has got lost and had to ask passengers for directions. Once he went up a wrong street where he heroically tried to turn but couldn't, and it took about 10 min to extract the bus.

 

Overall

 

Unless I will be drinking (AKA Friday), I have given up on the buses and am driving to the train station. The longer journey time, and above all the intense piercing blue light, makes it really unpleasant. I'm having a chat to work about the cost of a CBD carpark, and if my budget can stand the strain I may get one.




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  Reply # 2061551 24-Jul-2018 10:03
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alasta:

 

Last night the Island Bay Residents' Association had a visit from Darran Ponter from the Regional Council who answered a number of questions regarding the new bus network. One interesting comment he made is that they have decided to get rid of the timetable for the high frequency services so that they can space out the buses on the fly and hence react to the bus bunching problem as and when it happens.

 

So, if you are waiting for one of those main spine buses at peak times then there won't be an exact scheduled arrival time but you won't need to wait for more than ten minutes. That's the theory anyway - let's see how it works in practice.

 

 

 

 

So was Darran saying they will space buses out by altering the time they leave the route terminus or have they have implemented a version of Wellingtons Smart Motorway for buses to space them out via variable speeds
Sorry but without knowing the "how" specifics it sounds like a fingers crossed strategy to keep the masses quiet.

 

So far I have mostly seen No 1 double deckers for Island Bay stacked one behind the other and I wonder if this is due to the longer route.
The longer routes means there is more probability the buses will bunch even with staggered leaving times as they are not like trains that can maintain a consistent speed on our roads.

 

And if they are using variable speeds - i dont see how that can not impact they following buses on our narrow streets

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 2061616 24-Jul-2018 11:10
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I only get the bus a couple of times per week. From what I've seen, almost everyone uses snapper.

 

In my couple of weeks using the new buses (1 and 32 between Island Bay and town), my experience has been mixed.

 

Double deckers were a novelty and the kids enjoyed an adventure into town during the school holidays. I've also been astounded by the difference in perspective the additional height gives - I could see into almost everyone's front gardens, and often living rooms, along the way.

 

But, the buses definitely seem slower. I think this is a combination of less experienced (less gung-ho?) new drivers and additional height and weight of the buses, but also the length of time waiting at stops as more people get on and off and navigate the stairs. Bus bunching seems to be a real thing (this visual is cool) and it leads to the convoys of multiple buses that seem pretty common. I've seen enormous crowds at stops at it either takes forever for them to get on or get left behind... making it worse for the next bus.

 

Other problems are due to clearly poorly trained drivers. Last night's express bus stopped at every stop along the way. It then painstakingly slowed to a crawl as it had to deal with another bus coming the other way. And then had a massive crunch as it sideswiped a parked car just 20 meters down the street. So that was a mixed journey. I've also seen someone asking (in Island Bay) whether a bus went down Willis Street, to be told by the driver "Yes, all the way to Courtenay Place" (for non-Wellingtonians, Courtenay Place is well before Willis Street).

 

I've also yet to see the lesser-spotted electric bus.

 

This article summed it up pretty well for me (tongue in cheeck, URL shortener since there is a sweary word in the URL): "It’s been the worst kind of infrastructure change: the kind that inconvenienced me personally."

 

 


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  Reply # 2061618 24-Jul-2018 11:13
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Yes, I've noticed the double decker buses seem to go slower than the other ones. Going up the gorge yesterday a couple of buses managed to overtake the double-decker. It also goes slower around corners. It could be new drivers or just the way the buses must be driven - which again makes me think some things weren't taken in consideration during the planning stages.





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  Reply # 2061620 24-Jul-2018 11:18
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Anyone remember Top Gear racing a DD bus!

 

 





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  Reply # 2061730 24-Jul-2018 15:06
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D1023319:

 

So was Darran saying they will space buses out by altering the time they leave the route terminus or have they have implemented a version of Wellingtons Smart Motorway for buses to space them out via variable speeds
Sorry but without knowing the "how" specifics it sounds like a fingers crossed strategy to keep the masses quiet.

 

He didn't go into those specifics, so I can't provide any insight there, sorry.

 

So far I have mostly seen No 1 double deckers for Island Bay stacked one behind the other and I wonder if this is due to the longer route.

 

Darran acknowledged that the longer routes are a major factor in the bus bunching. Someone asked if the northern and southern halves of the #1 route could be split into seperate routes, but the answer was no. The removal of the timetable is their preferred solution.


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  Reply # 2061731 24-Jul-2018 15:10
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Below is what Darran said about these issues last night;

 

JimmyH:

 

The intense blue light. It isn't bust blue, it is police-car light blue. Really unpleasant. Impossible to read. And both times I took the bus at night the bright blue light meant that by the time I got home I had a pounding headache.

 

This is standard fitment on those particular buses which are also widely used in Auckland. Up there very few people have complained about the blue lighting but a lot of Wellington bus users are unhappy about it. Apparently potential solutions are being looked into.

 

More training is needed. Twice so far, my driver has got lost and had to ask passengers for directions. Once he went up a wrong street where he heroically tried to turn but couldn't, and it took about 10 min to extract the bus.

 

Navigation issues like this are expected to continue for a while because drivers have been brought in from outside of Wellington and will eventually return home, meaning that a whole lot of new drivers will then need to learn the routes. 


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  Reply # 2061744 24-Jul-2018 15:27
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alasta:

 

Darran acknowledged that the longer routes are a major factor in the bus bunching. Someone asked if the northern and southern halves of the #1 route could be split into seperate routes, but the answer was no. The removal of the timetable is their preferred solution.

 

 

The removal of timetables for #1s heading north could become a bigger problem, as they split at Johnsonville to all reach different final destinations (Churton park, Grenada, Johnsonville West)

 

You could actually  have over 30 mins between the particular #1 bus you want, (3*10 min) (30 mins is the grace given for snapper transfers)

 

going South is no probs as they all end in Island bay, the number 2 spine is the same all to the same destinations....

 

 

 

Although the biggest problem is that Metlink is not publicising any of this, its being done by councillors at local meetings and being drip fed out via forums like this.... general communication about what is going on is poor....


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  Reply # 2061779 24-Jul-2018 16:12
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AT (or perhaps it was ARTA then) suggested they would do variable headways (e.g. 10-15" between each bus rather than specifically scheduling buses 10-15" apart) for the Outer Link in Auckland. They eventually gave up on this as that approach created quite a few issues. For example the system that feeds real time info to their passenger info displays (I suspect) require a scheduled time for each service and doesn't support adding ad hoc services (or rescheduling exisiting services). They also use the same database to feed transit map apps like Google Maps so these ended up showing the scheduled times etc (which also helps the algorithm to figure out optimal connections and so on).

 

 

I think variable headways on buses in NZ is unrealistic. It only really makes sense on metros where the frequencies are less than 5min. For buses and/or frequencies higher than 10mins it makes more sense to try to stick to a schedule and revise that schedule regularly to ensure it's achievable. IMHO anyway. Agencies in NZ tend to be pretty poor at schedule planning. Worse they seem reluctant to admit fault when their schedules don't work out in real life—instead of just making an effort to revise schedules regularly (say every 6-12 months).

 

 

I must say I feel fortunate not to come across those issues in Auckland. We have switched over region by region (South, West, East, Central so far with North Shore coming soon) and this seem to have helped to keep issues to a minimum. Not 100% perfect but at least we didn't give new operators the contract to run the double deckers!

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  Reply # 2061965 24-Jul-2018 21:49
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I remember the old saying about London Buses hunt in pairs. Well it appears that the 24 bus hunts in pairs also. My 4.32 bus didn't arrive and then at 4:55 two arrived!

 

Then they have two buses going to Khandallah Village, 25 and 26 both arriving at the same time. One starts at Brandon Street, the other somewhere in Miramar. Seems like a pretty silly bus scheduling plan to me.





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