Thursday, June 30, 2011

Current Results of Blacktown City Council's Bus shelter for Bus Stop Number 2770 149

The Traffic Committee of the Blacktown City Council has approved funding for a anew bush shelter at the new Whalan Shops bus stop number 2770 149 - the problem is that where it currently stops.

Due to bus top funding costing approximately $13,000 per bus stop - funds have been used up for this financial year, so we will have to wait for next years one. I have lobbied  BCC for one tonight and opened up a few eyes will now refer to local press for support - because this could end up to be a political football.

Finally, Another Happy Bus Driver: Surprised! - Number 34

Yes, bus driver GS4373  had a situation where a commuter thought she purchased a combined train and bus ticket at Blacktown Train Station and it turned out it was a rail ticket from Seven Hills to Mountain. So she had to pay for a concession fare to Shalvey.
I provide my minor world of knowledge of ticketing and advised the commuter the bus driver was correct and she correctly paid her fare.The bus driver was very pleasant, cool calm and relaxed and I have decided to nominate hi as a 'Happy Bus Driver!'

The bus driver quietly advised me that this has been happening for the last couple weeks from Blacktown train station  but I made a statement to him it could also be depending what the commuters ask for as tickets - commuters can change their mind! He sort of agreed.

Here is the original Happy Bus Drivers Register:

A New Mount Druitt Commuter!

Kevin, who I met yesterday is so new he has just placed a deposit on his new home and after speaking to him advising of our group and what we are doing.

He stated he will think seriously of joining our group,once he settles down in his new house and provided positive feedback. He asked myself questions of Mount Druitt like any new person moving into Mount Druitt, how is Mount Druitt really?

I answered him the way I was answered by a real estate agent over 21 years ago when I asked  a similar question, 'If you and you wife move in the area that means there are more good people in the area!' Well he smiled and I got his attention. He is a hard working person in his occupation and it would be heart-warming to have him join our group.

Blacktown City Council Is Listening Re-Free Mount Druitt Bus Shuttle

Although Councillor Jacqueline Donaldson from Blacktown City Council has raised the issue of a Mount Druitt Free Bus Shuttle Service 2 meetings ago and it had apparently fallen on deaf ears.

Tonight, I was the only community member speaking tonight at Council as it had been over a year that I had attended Blacktown City Council Ordinary Meeting. Last time, I was the Chairperson of Save Our Bus Services, Mount Druitt And Surrounding Suburbs now President, Mount Druitt Commuters Improvement Group. How times change, what is amazing is people have heard us and listened, wanted us to change and  become bigger and here we are!

There are many reasons why Mount Druitt needs a free bus shuttle run and one of them is that there is one in Penrith, Parramatta, Blacktown - major shopping hubs on west of Western Sydney. Between Blacktown and Penrith there is one and needs one.

Secondly, the free  bus shuttle service provides a vital local transport link to commuters who can reach local amenities in a much better and easier way, every day. thus making it more accessible for everyone, a reward to a community that deserves it!

Now the  the Mayor from Blacktown, Allan Pendleton,  and his Councillors can now see the point of having one in Mount Druitt and are now moving their back seat forward starting to listen to the community!

Here is the original blog from Blake regarding the free bus shuttle:

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Bus Driver Not Happy Where I Stand!

This  morning like yesterday, I was catching a bus to work from Anzac Parade, Kingsford ( Opposite the University of NSW), to the City. This is 5.30 am in the morning and as I have my own personal choice of which bus I catch.

I actually stand in the middle of 2 bus strops waiting for the first bus to come they are about 30-40 metres apart. Here it, as I entered t of he front the bus, the bus driver on 302/3 abused me for standing in the middle of 2 bus stops. He actually said that no bus driver would pick me up, with myself standing there. I advised him I was in  do is the correct position as far as I was concerned - with loaded luggage and he kept on saying that he is doing his job - I sort of understand.

What I didn't tell him is, who I was and if he knew, he may have reacted differently.He wouldn't stop  talking saying I should know the times of buses and contact 131500 remembering all the buses that come at that bus stop. I think drivers should be compassionate - I might look like a current easterner and posh - but I'm not!

So I will take this further and ask for an apology through Transport NSW 131500.

Rehabilitating Train Tracks - Interesting Procedure! I Wonder If We Do The Same!

Here are interesting links to train track rehabilitation in Australia - I wonder if we use the same type of train track rehabilitation system as well? Please enjoy them!

This was supplied courtesy from Councillor Jacqueline Donaldson, Council - it is good to see that local councillors are interested!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Late Start To Replacement Buses on Saturday Mornings For Express Services

Apparently, when you catch a train early in the morning, you have to get the 'Slow' motion train to reach your destination from Mount until 7 am. This is when the the express bus starts. That means when the buses replace trains that you can get a small nap on the bus (just wake up at every stopped station to ensure that you are getting closer to your destination station), read back to front newspapers, listen to approximately ten songs on your radio or IPod.

Commuters need essential services to get to work, visit or reach important network shopping centers. That means provide at least a 20 minute express service stopping Blacktown, Parramatta & Granville, early in mornings to cater for the necessary demand prior to 7 am.

Maybe someone will listen!

North St Marys Group Looking For Results! Solution Is There!

E-mail received from Patricia Guy letter sent to Barry O'Farrell:

From: Patricia Guy
Subject: Re: re buses or rather lack of
Date: Sat, 18 Jun 2011 17:30:01 +1000

Hi John,

This is the letter I sent to Barry O'Farrell:
Dear Mr O'Farrell,

Yesterday morning on 2UE a caller rang complaining about buses in the Penrith - Richmond area.  Shortly after this call John Stanley said that you had heard the caller and were going to pass the caller's complaint on to Gladys Berejiklian.  We, the residents of north St Marys, are asking for your help too.

I live in the north St Marys area and this area used to be serviced by route 782 between St Marys and Penrith stations.  When the current timetable began (11.10.09)  the bus service through our area was stopped and the 782 now terminates at Werrington station 25 times a day.  Route 745 (St Marys to Casle Hill) was diverted to service a part of this area, but residents who are able to use the 745 will tell you that they don't want the 745.  Everyone wants the 782 back, even with a reduced number of buses. 

Apparently it was claimed that the north St Marys leg of the 782 route was not profitable enough so the decision was made to cancel buses through our area.  What kind of saving would the then Government have expected to make when at the same time as cancelling the north St Marys leg of the 782 a 10 minute service (102 buses daily Monday to Friday) is introduced between St Marys and Penrith stations on the south side of the railway line. Three routes are providing this number of buses, 774, 775 and 776, all doing an identical route.  Other services here provide either a half-hourly or hourly service through the day Monday to Friday.  It's easy enough to see that this excessive number of departures is created as the result of a very  badly planned timetable.  Look at the Sunday timetable.  Other routes have an hourly service but there is a 20 minute service from St Marys  to Penrith provided by these three routes. This has to be corrected now.  

What's so special about this route?  It does pass the Nepean hospital, but a 10 minute service is not needed for anyone wishing to go there.  There has never been a 10 minute service previously.  It does pass the university but students there are screaming out for more car parking spaces and there is a free shuttle bus between Kingswood station and the university, so it is not needed for the university.  Kingswood station is also a lot closer to the university than St Marys station.  It does pass the TAFE and there again the number of students using the service is extremely poor.  A 10 MNUTE SERVICE IS JUST NOT NEEDED AND IS A WASTE OF MONEY SUBSIDISING THIS NUMBER OF BUSES. 

It just doesn't make sense to cancel buses in one area and over-service in another area.  Any savings made by cancelling the 782 through north St Marys was wiped out by the introduction  of the 10 minute service provided by 774, 775 and 776.  The subsidy for the 774, 775 and 776 is, I'm sure, a lot more than the subsidy for a service through North St Marys be.

Residents from here have been in touch with Bart Bassett.  We met him on 19 May and as yet we have had no word.  I've written to Gladys Berejilkian on behalf of the residents and her last response said "We will consider your comments during the next timetable review."  That's what David Campbell used to tell me.  He would say  "The matters raised by you are presently receiving attention" or  "Your comments have been referred for consideration in future reviews of services in Region 1."

There are two ways this number of buses can be reduced and I've passed them on to Gladys Berijiklian.  Reduce this number of buses now, don't wait for the 'next timetablereview'.  The subsidy paid to Westbus to keep this number of buses running is robbing other areas of their right to a bus service. I've lived here since 1985 and one of the reasons for buying here, apart from affordability,  was that there was a bus service.  I don' t drive.  Others who have lived here longer than me have known a bus service for longer.  It doesn't make sense to take away a service at a time when residents are more likely to need it compared to  26 plus years ago.

We are not asking for the return of the 22 buses a day we used to have - we are asking for the return of some kind of service.  What should have been done was to reduce the number of buses not cancel them altogether.
The red metro buses don't run every 10 minutes through the day.  They run every 15 or 20 minutes.   Even if a red metro bus runs every 15 minutes over a 16 hour period (6.30 am to 10.30 pm) that would be 64 buses a day which is a lot less than the 102 buses a day between St Marys and Penrith which is a lot less populated than where the red buses run.  The number of red buses a day I've suggested  would be close to the actual number of red metro buses a day even taking into account that they run more frequently in peak hours and less frequently after 8.30 pm if they do happen to run after 8.30 pm.    Yet here in St Marys/Penrith there is a  10 minute service (102 buses) all through the day.  IT DOES NOT MAKE SENSE.
I know that walking is good for you, but there is a difference between walking for pleasure, which I like to do, and walking when you shouldn't have to because there is no bus.  Many residents here are pensioners and taxi rides are not the answer.

I've also spoken to Tanya Davies and Stuart Ayres about the ridiculous number of buses between their electorates.  We've pursued other avenues and now we're asking for your help.

Thanking you.
Yours sincerely,
The reply I had from Gladys Berejiklian was, I would say, a standard reply as it didn't refer to anything I had mentioned.

We Support Any Protection For Bus Drivers/Commuters - Which Lessens Anti Social Behaviours!

On Friday night a few of our group members were contacted by Tens News reporter Lachlan Kennedy, who required our views on the new Westbus guards/gates that have been apparently devised by a bus driver and are on trial with 5 buses around the Mount Druitt St Marys area.

Our group members fully support any preventative measures used to make a commuters life safer in all of day, especially if it protects the primary transport officer on buses: bus drivers. This is giant turn in the right direction by bus operators, and we can now see that' improvements are being made for all involved. The word is that  once this trial period is completed, then the guard/gate will be placed  on 35-40 buses and so on. It appears that all bus operators and the New South Wales government bus drivers may need to have the same safety measures installed.

We believe as a group it takes quite a few safety and community learning measures to make the overall community that essential services and transport officers of public transport should not be denied of the respected job and threatened by any one in any way. We also believe it is up to each one of us to  present this to the community members we speak too.

We believe the Ten News story was on the evening news on Friday, 24th June 2011. Unable to find any links on it so far - but will endeavor to get one for all of you to see!

Thank you to Ten News and their library for the following video:

Friday, June 24, 2011

Whalan Commuter Provides Some Past History On Buses

I know from Joan, one of our loyal supporters that the first bus that came to Mount Druitt was serviced by Rowes Bus Service now called Busways. According to another lady from Whalan has advised me that the bus service we  had 40 years ago was only an hourly service, so if you missed it - it was a very long wait. Yet the train connections were good,once you reached Mount Druitt Train Station:

Here are former Rowes Buses

Here is an old Westbus Bus:

And Here was when Mount Druitt Train Station was opened:

Official opening of the first electric train to Mt Druitt 
8th October 1955
Mr Cahill, then NSW Premier standing by the ribbon on right

Update on TCA constructing Mount Druitt Commuter Car Park

Mount Druitt Commuter Car Park

The project involves the construction of a new multi-storey commuter car park, north-east of Mount Druitt Station on the corner of North Parade and Mount Street, providing approximately 220 car park spaces.

Project profile

The project includes:
  • demolition of the existing partly demolished building on the site 
  • construction of a new two-storey car park with approximately 220 commuter car spaces
  • provision of additional disabled parking within the existing commuter car park adjacent to the station
  • provision of an entry and exit for the commuter car park off North Parade
  • ancillary works including stairs, lifts, power and lighting, CCTV surveillance cameras, security fencing
  • drainage, utilities, line-marking, signage, road works, footpath works on Mount Street and North Parade and urban design and landscaping works.
The car park has been designed to allow for future expansion.
Site establishment is occurring in late April/early May and the project is scheduled to finish in approximately 12 months.

Current works

Construction activities in May and June 2011 include:
  • worksite establishment, including installing site fencing and environmental protection controls
  • demolition of the existing structure on the site and establishment of site sheds
  • installation of piled footings for new structure
  • construction of columns to support level 1. 


In addition to this website, there are a number of ways in which TCA keeps the community informed.

Up-to-date information is provided via regular newsletters to the local community. Advertisements are also placed in local newspapers to advise about issues relevant to the wider community. Where appropriate, signage will be erected to advise the local community and commuters about changes in the area such as traffic or access.
The Project Infoline (1800 684 490) is available for any enquiries regarding TCA projects. Please subscribe to our RSS feed or sign up for our mailing list to receive updates as they become available.

Community notifications

Residents and businesses nearby construction areas will be given at least seven days advance notification of any construction related impacts which may affect them, including changed traffic arrangements, noisy work activities and work required outside standard working hours.
The latest community notification is available here.

Site Information

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Missing Public Transport Costs $300 Dental Appointment - Fair Share Small Business!

Can you believe it! I couldn't and wouldn't believe it!

More nice young people I spoke too today. Young Natalie and Jack and Natalie had the travel problem this morning that could not be true! Her story is believable but unbelievable for the end result!

Here it is: She arrived at her bus stop at St Claire 9.15am about 10 minutes earlier to catch the Westbus 775 (which is around about what I preach commuters should do 5-10 minutes before the transport is due), and waited and waited. She was due to go to a dental appointment that was due at 11am half an hour walk from Parramatta train station. Arriving at 9.28am the bus arrived (as she checked her time on her phone) and travelled 20-30 minutes to Mount Druitt bus interchange.

By the time  they caught the Train to Parramatta, it was way past 11am and they had a half an hour walk to reach the dentist who will charge her $300 for missing an appointment that she wasn't about 2 days before and also for today's one - her mother called them up this morning to advise she will be late. That's right $300 for missing an appointment and being late for one! I believe in small business bit not small business making money out of nothing maybe they could have  tried to contact her and asked if she was coming 2-3 hours before the appointment!!!!!

Save Our Bus Services

Read our story on how we made it our priority to ensure bus services are re-instated from services taken away in 2009.