Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Mystery Commuters required To Audit Transport Services -

We, as every day public transport commuters are self-critics as we travel to and from our destinations, getting to places and make our own judgment on everything and anything that can make our trip better?

Understanding that all transport officers will do their best, to ensure a safe journey for all commuters, whatever they are using to get to their destination. So as individual commuters, an unknown selective group of commuters could be chosen, to check the standard of service, timing, signage, ticketing, public transport connections, This would be done unknown to the transport officer  - known as "Mystery Commuter" - then a report can be made to the NSW Government, so that  we doe have the best public transport  system in the world. Let's see how this could be successful in the future!

Transport Puzzles Can Be Solved - Bus Reviews

What I have learnt is that with bus reviews once one area is not changed - the other areas with be changed, the areas where there would be little cry.

Thus in Penrith, Sue Day has has been lobbying for bus services in her area, since 2004 an knew of the bus reviews and this ensured that they wouldn't take them away in 2009 bus review - thus they then decided to take them away in Mount Druitt. For them, problem solved - take the bus services away from a different area that is what happened to us!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Good News Re - Yesterday: 755 Busways Services Goes Missing at 5.15pm Today

Yesterday we reported on a  Missing Busways 755 Bus Service. I was told by a female local commuter that had advised myself of the missing bus when I left her that the missing bus was found.

The Driver turned up 20 minutes later then designated and kindly apologise to all commuter. His explanation was that he had to fix up his ticketing machine. It appeared the Bus Driver was from outside the area and for the first time ever she thought the bus driver was so courteous that she would like to nominate him for the 'Happy Bus Driver Register', Fantastic! 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

755 Busways Services Goes Missing at 5.15pm Today

Yes this is true - I waited with other commuters for this bus & it never arrived - 5.15pm  and frustrated commuters were upset to see three Busways 758 services came past, since the previous 755 came, with no explanation. Even the the third Busways 758 driver had no reason for the 755 not to turn up.

We will check with the Busways manager of Blacktown to confirm, Cameron Webster and get back to you!

With trains we get announcements - with buses we get no comments - when it happens!

Resumption of 761 Bus Services - From Busways

Resumption of services through Chestnut Crescent

Thursday August 4, 2011
Busways would like to advise that Route 761 services have now resumed travelling through Chestnut Crescent Bidwill after a driver was recently assaulted.
Busways would like to thank the community for its support whilst. This issue was dealt with and encourage the local community to report any acts of antisocial behavior towards Busways and its drivers or customers immediately  by contacting Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or the Blacktown depot on 9625 4703.

Bus Reviews In Transport NSW!

Spotted in Transport NSW website:

Review and Revision of Service Plan by Operator

(a) On or before 31 March of each Contract Year in which there is to be a review of the Contract Service Plan in accordance with Clause 5.2 of this Contract (Relevant Contract Year), the Operator must prepare and refer to the Director-General a draft Contract Service Amendment Plan in accordance with Clause 5 of the Contract (including the information required under Clauses 5.2(c), (d) and (e)).

(b)The timeframes contained in this Schedule 15 for the review and approval of a Contract Service Amendment Plan will apply unless the Director-General notifies the Operator alternative timeframes.

2. Regional Planning Forum
(a) On receipt of the draft Contract Service Amendment Plan, the Director-General shall convene a Regional Planning Forum to review the plan.

(b) On or before 30 April in each Relevant Contract Year, the members of the Regional Planning Forum shall:
                (i) review the material provided by the Operator
                    (including the information provided under Clauses
                    5.2(c), (d) and (e) of the Contract);
               (ii) identify options to facilitate improvements in the
                    provision of Bus Services by the Operator; and
               (iii) provide advice and commentary on the plan.

(c) The Operator shall consider the Regional Planning Forum’s comments and modify the draft Contract Service Amendment Plan as the Operator considers necessary (including to take account of any comments in relation to the information provided under Clause 5.2(c), (d) and(e) of the Contract).

(d) The revised draft Contract Service Amendment Plan must comply with Clause 5.1 of the Contract.

3. Public Consultation and Public Hearing (a) When reasonably required to do so by the Director-General, or when the Operator considers it appropriate, having regard to the proposed changes, on or before 1 June in each Relevant Contract Year, the Operator must submit the revised draft Contract Service Amendment Plan to a process of public consultation, by:
                  (i) placing the revised draft Contract Service
                      Amendment Plan on public display, along with any
                      relevant documentation prepared by the Regional 
                      Planning Forum and the Ministry of
                  (ii) advertising the location or means of accessing the
                       revised draft Contract Service Amendment
                       Plan, and inviting public comment;
                  (iii) permitting the revised draft Contract Service 
                      Amendment Plan to remain on public display for
                     a period of one month; and
                  (iv) consulting with schools, students and parent groups 
                         affected by any proposed changes to Regular Bus 

4. Further Revised Service Plan by Operator
(a) Immediately following the public display period, the Operator shall:
                  (i) consider comments received on the exhibited draft
                       Contract Service Amendment Plan; and
                  (ii) make any amendments to the draft Contract Service
                       Amendment Plan as the operator considers necessary.

(a) The Operator may consult the Regional Planning Forum on any
      proposed revisions if the Operator considers this to be 
      necessary, or if reasonably required to do so by the Director-

(b) On or before 30 July in each Relevant Contract Year, the Operator shall:
                  (i) exhibit a revised draft Contract Service Amendment Plan; and
                  (ii) submit the revised draft Contract Service amendment Plan for approval to the Director-

(c) The revised draft Contract Service Amendment Plan must comply with clause 5.1 of this Contract.

5. Approval by Director-General
         (a) On or before 30 August of each Relevant Contract Year, 
               the Director-General must, either:
                 (i) approve the revised draft Contract Service 
                     Amendment Plan; or
                 (ii) reject the revised draft Contract Service Amendment
                      Plan, and provide reasons for this rejection (in which
                      case a reasonable period of time must be allowed to
                      address these reasons given for rejection). The 
                      Director-General may provide suggestions for 
                      improvement of or amendment to the revised draft
                     Contract Service Amendment Plan.

(b) When determining whether to approve the revised draft Contract Service Amendment Plan, the Director-General may consider any reports, submissions or other information provided by the Regional Planning Forum.

(c) The Operator shall consider the reasons given for rejection and shall modify the draft Contract Service Amendment Plan and resubmit a further revised draft Contract Service Amendment Plan approval. The Operator must provide reasons for not incorporating any suggested modification

(d) The parties shall work in good faith to ensure that the Contract Service Plan can be approved by 30 September in the Relevant Contract Year.

(e) On or before 1 January of the following year, the Operator shall implement the Contract Service Plan as amended by the approved Contract Service Amendment Plan for that calendar year.

(f) Once approved by the Director-General and implemented by the Operator, the Contract Service Plan as amended by the Contract Service Amendment Plan will constitute the then current Contract Service Plan for the purposes of this Contract.

Young Polite Man - Finds Proposed Mount Druitt Free Bus Shuttle Interesting!

Playing games as you normally do as a young man, on a train coming back home is what this commuter was doing (even while he was talking to me). Great happy young man.

While I was explaining how we in Mount Druitt are lobbying for a proposed Mount Druitt Free Bus Shuttle Service Loop, I was feeling that when he said he used to work in Mount Druitt - I read between the lines that he may have wanted one in Mount Druitt When he was working there.

He even said he will look at our blog and also refer it to his father who works in Mount Druitt. Fantastic more people spreading the word for us - we are lucky people in Mount Druitt, we should be lucky and always be lucky!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Blacktown City Council's Response To One Short Journey on Westbus 674

This is the e-mail received from Transport Officer from Blacktown City Council:

 Reyad Toufaili Blacktown Council                                                                                                                  22/8/2011
To mountdruitt_cig@hotmail.com


Reference is made to your email to Council dated 

20/06/2011 regarding bus issues for bus route 674.

Please be advised that your concerns have been refereed to 

Hillsbus/Westbus for their investigation.  Furthermore, 

Hillsbus/Westbus has provided Council with the following 


 Bus Route 674

Regarding the extracts from the residents correspondence:

1.  The diversion of route 674 services includes from Mt

Druitt and Windsor.  The number of services is uneven due

 to the trips timetabled on this route.

2.  We are creating and installing bus stop timetables for 

timing point bus stops in the Region 1 area.  We have now 

prioritised the creation of a bus stop timetable for this area.

3.  We currently provide customers a feedback service that

 caters for written and telephone cases.  Commendations for 

Drivers are provided to the Driver to encourage positive 

behaviour and inform our internal Driver of the month 

program.  We welcome positive driver feedback and 

witnesses to these events may provide this feedback to

 Westbus or 131500.

Should you require any further information regarding this 

matter, please contact me on 9839 6306 during office hours.

Reyad Toufaili

Traffic Management Officer

Blacktown City Council

This is the original e-mail sent to Westbus copied to Blacktown City Council Officer on 20/6/2011:

 John Svoboda
To Stephen Timbrell, Stephen Briant Blacktown CC, Wayne Lu
Dear Stephen,

Our group members noticed an error on the Westbus 674

timetable - one bus service less on the return trip during

the week. Maybe you can look into this as the original

suggestions for this timetable service would have come

from the Westbus Planning Department.

Also you may wish to talk to Blacktown City Council and

see if we can get time tables on the bus stop signs along

the Samarai and Gasmatta Roads. Moresby Crescent

appears there is no bus stop and there was one there.

Please respond and advise situation also what can be done

to provide  more further and better services in that area.


John Svoboda


Mount Druitt Commuters Group

PS: I spoke to you about promoting the Happy bus Drivers

register - I haven't heard any feedback from yourself yet -

 are you and Westbus in favor of this idea?

My comments are that the current response from Westbus is

'We are not saying no now  or even yes'!

I would've like a simple 'Yes, we will fix up our mistake and 

provide the correct service' or 'No,  the service  of 674 is

correctly timetabled!'

Is that hard to say?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Mount Druitt Proposed Free Bus Shuttle Loop Service Is On The Way To Running!

On Saturday, our group met to look at a new strategy suggested by Angie, to  further promote and gather local business and community groups interest and wanting to provide support the proposed Mount Druitt Free Bus Shuttle Loop Route.

It sounds like a simple strategy but we would like ton invite these interested business & groups along to the next Group Meeting opening our doors, so that everyone is given a chance to speak on it.

This is an extensive campaign that we are working on as we have so far confirmed the Hon. Member of Londonderry, Mr. Bart Bassett will be the guest at this meeting  We will also be extending an invitation to the member for Hawkesbury and Parliamentary Secretary Western Sydney, Mr. Ray Williams.

So this will be a good opportunity to express our  interest in in this Bus shuttle Proposal, bringing a better connection to local commuters making their every day living easier and thus leaving more  cars at home!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

More Support For Blake's Proposed Mount Druitt Free Bus Shuttle Run!

A  lady commuter who I see regular at nights on trains, finally had seen the proposed Blake's Mount Druitt Free Bus Shuttle Run. To her surprise she was proud of young 'Blake' for presenting this great concept and idea to the community. She could see how it provide fantastic linkage to main amenities around the area, even to important area like Rooty Hill RSL, Novotel Hotel and Hospital. She could see a lot of commuters leaving their cars at home and spreading the work of continually using this for of trans, which commuters of Mount Druitt Need.

A regular Busways bus driver has recently commented to me that a majority of bus drivers would like to see it as a benefit to the community and also providing more jobs for bus drivers.

While it is free to the commuter, it costs $650,000 per annum to fund 2 buses going around the loop. My idea als well as a few others is that this maybe be partly funded by Westfield , Rooty Hill RSL and any other businesses that wish to contribute. So far I have had a negative response from Westfield not saying they want to support it or not. I think they then think they will lose shoppers - but in actual fact they don't lose shoppers shoppers have  better chance to choose and decide on where they want to shop and it may promote more opportunities for community members to shop at Westfield as well - your thoughts are appreciated!

North St Marys Lift Upgrade Running Early To Schedule - Well Done CityRail!

I have received an e-mail from Susan Day, from  the South Penrith Residents Association, has forward myself this positive e-mail from Dwayne Purcell, City Rail -Western Line Manager:

Hi Sue,

Thought I would let you know the good news, the lift at St

Mary's currently under construction is now due to be 

completed 4 weeks earlier than programmed and will be

open for business from 5 September.


Dwayne Purcell

Customer Service Manager

Penrith - Blue Mountains

Customer Services/Service Delivery Group

New Commuter In Mount Druitt Claims Singapore Transport More Advanced Than Sydney!

A young lady today  whom has migrated with her husband to Mount Druitt from Singapore traveled on her first day on Western Sydney Trains today, commencing at Mount Druitt train Station. As a 'Virgin' commuter Western Sydney commuter - she  has noticed such a dramatic different between the two different transport systems are in place.

The main differences are that the transport costs are cheaper, trains run on platforms every 2 minutes, clear announcements made on trains for destinations and that Sydney platforms are not that safe for commuter.

She explained the costs of catching trains and buses is the same for one hours travel is about AUD $3,00 per one hour trip. Based on My Multi Three ticket that would average to $5.70 per hour. Check yours out.

Their trains are mostly on time and runs every 2 minutes to station platforms and the entire transport system is so efficient. Inside the trains they  have clear announcements of when and what the next train station is as well as which side of the train the doors will open. So this is important information that commuters need.

Then there is the platforms in Sydney, claiming they are not safe for commuters, no barriers on the side the platforms, prevent commuters falling off the edge.

This is a typical bus stop - you will see signs are high up and many signs read

 The Mass Rapid Transit or MRT is a rapid transit system that forms the backbone of the railway system in Singapore, spanning the entire city-state. The initial section of the MRT, between Yio Chu Kang Station and Toa Payoh Station, opened in 1987 establishing itself as the second-oldest metro system in Southeast Asia, after Manila's LRT System. The network has since grown rapidly as a result of Singapore's aim of developing a comprehensive rail network as the main backbone of the public transport system in Singapore with an average daily ridership of 1.564 million in FY07/08, about half of the bus network's 2.969 million in the same period. 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Ropes Crossing - Unbelievably Require Bus Shelters Shops On Both Sides Of The Road - Outside The Shops!

I was travelling last night on the Westbus 780 last night when the bus driver stopped for 7 minutes at Ropes Crossing Shops - came to the conclusion that bus shelter will be required at Ropes Crossing Shops, either side of the Road.

What fascinates me, is that one side has a bus stop and the other side of the road doesn't have one - will place recommendation a through to Jacqueline Donaldson. Essential bus shelter infrastructure is required to ;promote a new suburb within Mount Druitt - for the comfort of commuters.

I Met A Former South Mount Druitt Bus Lobbyist - Great Fellow - Wants Busways 737 Bus Service Extended On Sundays!

Yes, I meet great people every day and there are more and more great people in and around Mount Druitt (and they probably don't even know it). So I cam across a nice fellow called Chris who has been lobbying for extension of bus services services on Sunday for the Eastern Creek 737 Bus Service which would like to start
one hour before 8.47am for Sundays.

This allows for commuters to meet  train connections prior to 9am to reach other destinations earlier - he has lobbied Blacktown City Council and attended Blacktown City Forums (missed the last one) and handed out information to the community for the transport forums and found little support for this.

Great Fellow he is!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Another Happy Westbus Driver - Knows How To Handle Young Kids - Number 36!

Tonight  met an extremely pleasant Westbus bus driver number GR 8761who explained his kind nature towards handling simple situations with the general public. He doesn't believe all bus drivers may not have come from a customer service background like himself, this this has assisted with dealings with the youths, who seem to be always want to start argument. he will speak to the children with respect, he will not raise his voice

Thus this is why I have chosen him to be nominated as a Happy Driver!

Click her better links to original Happy Bus Drivers Register:

Thank You Stephen Harper - Busways Blacktown Has New Operations Manager: Welcome Cameron Webster

Mr. Stephen Harper former Operations Manager of Busways Blacktown, is hanging his shoe up and moving on to another transport area.

Personally, I would like to offer to him our special thanks for what he has done with us, which is one step closer towards having a great communication between us and Busways. We wish him well in his new role1

Mr. Harper has also confirmed the appointment of new Busways Blacktown Manager, Mr. Cameron Webster, starting his appointment as from 18/8/2011.

We will contact Mr. Webster to carry on our relationship with Busways Blacktown and make it stronger and binding, so we can work together to improve public transport!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Great Support From A Local Recognised Business!: Murray Douglas Real Estate

Murray DouglasI recently had a discussion of our  local transport lobby group with Reg Murray from Murray Douglas Real Estate and was told by Reg, ' What you guys are doing is great!'

This is very comforting, as we know if we have a better transport infrastructure then this can assist in  potential new commuters migrating into the area and also can improve property market prices for the Mount Druitt area. Some may say it has a slight insignificance towards the  property market but I feel opposite, if you have a below average transport facility -  you will not get people to move in the area that much! That an improved, go everywhere public transport system gets people to buy property and have a better lifestyle! Thank you Reg!

Here are their details:

Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm, Saturday 9am - 2pm
Sunday 10am - 2pm
Phone: (02) 9625 8088
Fax: (02) 9832 1547

We are located at
271 Beames Avenue,
Mt Druitt, NSW 2770

Another Blacktown Area Commuter - Unaware Of Free Bus Shuttles

Joey from Doonside, was amazed when I approached him at Parramatta Train station tonight, talking about current public transport.

He suddenly realized that after living a while at Doonside catches buses to Blacktown from Mount Druitt but unaware of what buses or type of Bus Services are in Mount Druitt and made him curious to find out more from today.

When I advised of the Free Bus Shuttle run in Blacktown - he knew nothing about it and said, 'I really read the local newspapers and there was nothing about it there.'

It goes to shows you that publicity has not been that great and there needs to be more!

Vision Impaired Commuter At Mount Druitt Train Station Trying To Listen!

Alfred, another wonderful person from Mount Druitt is vision impaired and was on his way to the Royal Blind Society and finds hard of hearing the announcements on  the speakers coming through.

Although, to me ( not having this disability), I find the speed of the voice recorded announcement normal. Yet if I was to close my eyes the female voice does sound quite fast as you are focusing on listening and I couldn't hear properly what was the announcement for the gentleman - it appeared that the train wasn't stopping at Strathfield and I later discovered it did. To the gentleman, I apologise as I advised you it may not be going to Strathfield - I now understand your issue.

On his very own mercy he relies on bus and trains to get to places daily, so concise, clear announcement slowed down a bit, may make like easier!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Western Sydney Public Transport Users - Transport Symposium Sparks Free Bus Shuttle And Shared Transport Interest!

Yesterday,  Western Sydney Public Transport Users 3rd Transport Symposium was held at Dooley Catholic Club, Lidcombe.

Three of the Mount Druitt Commuters Improvement Group were held up by a freight train derailment at Clyde - due to time factor and lengthy delays - they returned home.

Guests included: Corrine Mulley, Chair in Public Transport, showing us  that free bus shuttles are not 'free'  that  it is funded from  NSW Governments paid by everyone of us that pays Government Services Tax (GST). It was suggested that by providing free bus shuttle services to the community that it takes away other bus services that would be better utilized to improve bus infrastructure.

We had David Borger, former Western Sydney Minister and former mayor of Parramatta discussing the successful Parramatta bus shuttles He explained how  it was funded  through local business and also setting up parking meters and  car parks within Parramatta City,  to place limits on parking where some drivers were using parking all day - now allowing to park for smaller periods of time for vehicles and paying for the parking.

Yet on the flip side of the coin, commuters need to be rewarded by having an essential  free bus services that take commuters to destinations to meet their daily needs. Social capital should not override economic costs.
Every form of transport  is always cost-factored  and that is where the elimination process starts from decision makers - some people lose out.

The positives that come out of a free bus sis to the community are the following:

  • Better links for all community members
  • loading time is reduced
  • viable for economic land use
  • Make it easier for unemployed to go to job interviews
  • better access for the elderly  better to local places of importance
  • Community pride
  • If supported by businesses the benefits would be reaping the benefits by providing better access to local shops
  • Property markets see a free bus shuttle service as a  positive 
  • making the area more attractive to invest

 One thing that came out of this discussion is that the free bus shuttles have not been advertised properly. That is, not every commuter is aware of the bus shuttles, around their area.

There was introduction of the Sydney Alliance and where WSPTU fits in with Alliance - introduction by Amy Williams and Sue Day

Later in the afternoon we had  Stuart Palmer from Legion Cabs Public transport sharing, flexible transport: how it works and kind of tariffs available around $60 per hour - maxi-abs can take up to 11 commuters or two wheelchairs. Although this topic was a bit hard to sell to an audience that normally catches bus, trains  and sometimes taxis. It appeared a lot of  symposium participants were worried about  current services received by telephone operators for booked taxis.

Yet it turned out to be an eye opener for some who may not have heard of this type of public transport.

Now the next time we meet will be 13th September for the WSPTU Steering Committee Elections.

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.