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Free City Loop

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Offline The Love Guru

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Free City Loop
« on: June 07, 2016, 11:04:09 AM »
As for the City Loop, good idea on paper, but only stopping at City Bus Station once per loop reduces its usefulness.

The route they have chosen has a minimal number of stops and goes through the worst of the traffic congestion and traffic lights in the Braddon area. Using Girrawheen is a bad idea and the demand will be next to zero up there (already gets a bunch of services that aren't really used)

If they want to give people a free option for Northbourne, how about a Free Transit Zone from say Macarthur Av to Rimmer St/Regatta Pt/Ried CIT/Ainslie Ave. Available on all services to Myway card holders only.

Offline Sylvan Loves Buses

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Re: Free City Loop
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2016, 09:33:26 PM »
Well, I just had a look at the city shuttle thing, and it looks like a waste of time and money, esp as it doesn't even have a stop for City West

Route 100 outranks it by a long shot (i miss route 100 :'( - and I still wouldn't have minded paying for the trips that I rode on it)
« Last Edit: June 07, 2016, 09:41:16 PM by Sylvan Loves Buses »

Offline Barry Drive

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Re: Free City Loop
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2016, 12:29:10 PM »
Some more detail about the City Loop have appeared on ACTION's webpage.

Quote
The free City Loop will run from 7am 7pm, Monday to Friday with buses as frequent as every 15 minutes or better.

OK, maybe "detail" is the wrong word. No timetable has been published, nor has the GTFS been updated.

Way back in the olden days, the 301 loop run every 10 minutes but during lunch time (12pm-2pm) a second bus was added making it every 5 minutes.

Offline The Love Guru

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Re: Free City Loop
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2016, 02:59:13 PM »
Some more detail about the City Loop have appeared on ACTION's webpage.

OK, maybe "detail" is the wrong word. No timetable has been published, nor has the GTFS been updated.

Way back in the olden days, the 301 loop run every 10 minutes but during lunch time (12pm-2pm) a second bus was added making it every 5 minutes.

They are too cheap to do it properly this time around.

A 15 minute frequency is pretty much useless, particularly if you want to use the service at lunchtime instead of driving. The service doesn't pass a lot of the major buildings in the city which have huge public service work forces. It is destined to become a granny express type service with poor patronage allowing it to be canned in a years time once the election has passed. Call me cynical, but services like this erode any confidence the public may have in ACTION/ACT Govt in the planning of services. Zero community consultation, conveniently placed 3 months out from the election and designed to fail. The sooner privatisation comes to public transport management in the ACT the better.

Offline Barry Drive

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Re: Free City Loop
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2016, 03:30:58 PM »
"15 minutes or better" suggests there may be increased frequency at some point, just no detail about when.

But they will have to make sure their timings are correct during peak.

Yes, there are Government offices at City West / Marcus Clarke - but even so this bus would take too long to be useful if you wanted to go to Braddon for lunch, for example.

And as a connector to the Capital Metro terminus, the stop's in the wrong place.

But maybe some sanity will prevail and the route will be adjusted.

(Also agree re FTZ - shouldn't be too hard to achieve, since Perth has one. )
« Last Edit: June 08, 2016, 03:32:25 PM by Barry Drive »

Offline Barry Drive

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Re: Free City Loop
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2016, 09:56:25 PM »
A new timetable update has been released on Tripmate, but not yet on TransitTimes.

There is a new loop route 101 listed, but can't view the route or timetable detail (because the app isn't as good as TT).

Update: can view via Google Transit. Trip starts at Pl 10 and loop takes 20 minutes, terminating at London Circuit  (before East Row). There is a departure every 15 minutes from 0700 to 1900. No timing allowance has been made for peak hour. All trips are shown as wheelchair accessible.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2016, 11:26:07 PM by Barry Drive »

Offline Sylvan Loves Buses

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Re: Free City Loop
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2016, 04:48:03 AM »
So no ACTION pamphlet hard copies yet I would imagine?

Offline Sylvan Loves Buses

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Re: Free City Loop
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2016, 10:17:11 AM »
I've been noticing the ads on the bus screens lately, and I had a query. Even though the picture shows an artic, I would presume that it won't be artics used, but just standard buses E5s/E6s/(maybe P2s). But as it's a 'free' service, shouldn't they use the darts - like they did with the 100?

Offline Barry Drive

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Re: Free City Loop
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2016, 12:38:33 PM »
Maybe you should send ACTION an email telling them what they're doing wrong before they go and remove artics from school runs to operate this route.

Offline Sylvan Loves Buses

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Re: Free City Loop
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2016, 09:21:07 PM »
Maybe I will 8)

Offline Northside

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Re: Free City Loop
« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2016, 10:48:50 PM »
So, I've been thinking, surely there is a better free loop service that serve more passengers and more destinations. So here is my proposal (Loop runs clockwise):



It links the majority of the tourist attractions, including Parliament, Old Parliament House, Memorials, Galleries (from Kings Ave), Questacon (from Comm Ave), Canberra Theatre, Floriade/Comm Park/Acton Container Village, restaurant areas in Civic, Braddon and New Acton, most of the inner city hotels including those in New Acton, Braddon, Parkes, Forrest and Barton, the employment areas of City West, East, Barton and Russell, ANU, CIT, Canberra Centre (from London cct), Convention Centre, Casino and all city bus routes from actually within the bus station (plus the Blue Rapid from both ANU and Comm Ave).

The route will take approx 30 mins (it's tight, but definitely doable outside of peak), so can achieve 15/10 min freq with 2/3 buses. So will be similar to current route but provide much greater benefits.

Any suggestions for improvement?
« Last Edit: June 29, 2016, 10:52:18 PM by Northside »

Offline Bus 503

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Re: Free City Loop
« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2016, 06:54:39 AM »
It links the majority of the tourist attractions

It's not a tourist loop though.

I think that the route you've made is well thought out and very good, but if the route covers too much area, ACTION lose money because people won't have to pay for a service to where they work like they normally do because this free route will cover it.

I think ACTION should buy some Optare Solo buses to replace the Darts and run on the City Loop. There are many Optare Solo buses around Australia and they give a comfortable, smooth ride.

Offline Sylvan Loves Buses

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Re: Free City Loop
« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2016, 07:18:44 AM »
Clockwise would definetely be better, cause one stop (city west interchange) is one I would've though was important somewhat.

on the other hand, they should just bring back the 100, it was a very good route, darts or not.

Offline Busfanatic101

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Re: Free City Loop
« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2016, 05:51:19 PM »
The latest news article on the ACTION website states every 10 minutes

Offline Barry Drive

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Re: Free City Loop
« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2016, 08:06:45 PM »
Yep. What is showing on Google Transit and apps is not correct.

So until a new GTFS is released, you may only be able to track the buses through NXTBUS directly.

Other than to visit the layover, I'm not sure what the benefit would be of running via City West. There are already 4 routes which run from there to the Interchange - but the loop route would take 3 times as long to get there anyway.

Offline Northside

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Re: Free City Loop
« Reply #15 on: July 01, 2016, 10:26:40 PM »
It's not a tourist loop though.

That's my point. The current loop really serves no one well. Who are they expecting to use this service? City West or ANU to Canberra Centre and the interchange, you'd be better off walking than taking this route!

Offline Busfanatic101

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Re: Free City Loop
« Reply #16 on: July 01, 2016, 10:51:44 PM »
But it is claimed to be "convenient".
Maybe they have some surprises up their sleeve to ensure this...like canning it one week after commencing!
« Last Edit: July 02, 2016, 07:35:45 AM by Busfanatic101 »

Offline The Love Guru

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Re: Free City Loop
« Reply #17 on: July 01, 2016, 10:59:58 PM »
Election coming up, it's a great thing to talk about as doing something for the community etc. Once election is over they'll use poor patronage to can it. Hence have to make the route inconvenient and unpopular so it can be easily removed.

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Offline 743

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Re: Free City Loop
« Reply #18 on: July 04, 2016, 07:45:26 AM »




I think it's an attractive livery. 147 ran the first and 148 the second.

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Offline Sylvan Loves Buses

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Re: Free City Loop
« Reply #19 on: July 04, 2016, 08:45:20 AM »
Yeah, that's quite nice (less trippy as the 100 one at least)

So is that where it'll be leaving from, or does the 101 have a designated platform? (I did get the email, but i don't remember reading a platform no.)
The stops on the back there give me the impression that it goes Clockwise, is that definitely confirmed now?
« Last Edit: July 04, 2016, 08:52:37 AM by Sylvan Loves Buses »

Offline 743

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Re: Free City Loop
« Reply #20 on: July 04, 2016, 01:16:21 PM »
Yeah, that's the City stop - Sydney Building on London Cct, so no platform number. It's an anti-clockwise route.

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Offline Barry Drive

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Re: Free City Loop
« Reply #21 on: July 04, 2016, 11:37:33 PM »
Yep. What is showing on Google Transit and apps is not correct.

So until a new GTFS is released, you may only be able to track the buses through NXTBUS directly.
New GTFS was released last week - has been loaded onto Transit Times and Trip Mate (maybe others). So you can track how early or late the services are running, but no GPS location is available (possibly due to it not being set up correctly).

Anyway, based on Transit Times, 151 replaced 148 during the day.

Offline Sylvan Loves Buses

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Re: Free City Loop
« Reply #22 on: July 05, 2016, 12:33:59 AM »
Never mind, I found out everything I needed to know when I changed my plans to day and rode 101 a few times

(including what a driver mentioned during a quick discussion during one of the driver swaps - "we're draining the batteries out of the darts" aka, the 101 service is designed to kill off the darts, and then the 2s or Euros come in and continue afterwords). 

Offline King of Buses

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Re: Free City Loop
« Reply #23 on: July 05, 2016, 09:33:44 AM »
Never mind, I found out everything I needed to know when I changed my plans to day and rode 101 a few times

(including what a driver mentioned during a quick discussion during one of the driver swaps - "we're draining the batteries out of the darts" aka, the 101 service is designed to kill off the darts, and then the 2s or Euros come in and continue afterwords).

PR100.2's will not appear on the 101 (except perhaps covering breakdowns) due to the fact that they are not easy access buses.

Offline Buzz Killington

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Re: Free City Loop
« Reply #24 on: July 05, 2016, 12:53:58 PM »
If they wanted to "kill the Darts" they'd withdraw them from service rather than set up a free service that requires the costs associated with drivers, fuel, and maintenance to create the chance of mechanical failure.

Offline Sylvan Loves Buses

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Re: Free City Loop
« Reply #25 on: July 05, 2016, 05:33:33 PM »
If they wanted to "kill the Darts" they'd withdraw them from service rather than set up a free service that requires the costs associated with drivers, fuel, and maintenance to create the chance of mechanical failure.

I'm only repeating what the driver said.

PR100.2's will not appear on the 101 (except perhaps covering breakdowns) due to the fact that they are not easy access buses.

yes, of course, makes sence

Offline The Love Guru

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Re: Free City Loop
« Reply #26 on: July 05, 2016, 07:30:42 PM »
Never mind, I found out everything I needed to know when I changed my plans to day and rode 101 a few times

(including what a driver mentioned during a quick discussion during one of the driver swaps - "we're draining the batteries out of the darts" aka, the 101 service is designed to kill off the darts, and then the 2s or Euros come in and continue afterwords).
Wow, Sylvan you continue to amaze me with your observations. Are the darts electric? I thought they were petrol ones and so should charge the battery when driven instead of killing them. Obviously you heard it from the driver so it must be true.
I'll have to email ACTION and see if they can change battery supplier.
Do you have a contract there that could help me?

« Last Edit: July 05, 2016, 07:31:39 PM by The Love Guru »

Offline triumph

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Re: Free City Loop
« Reply #27 on: July 06, 2016, 10:26:26 PM »
Today I noted Darts 151 and 148 operating free City loop. Departed Sydney Building, after driver change, on Dart 151 at 3.54pm, arrived back 4.13pm. So round trip is approximately 20min, which equals 2 buses to maintain the 'around 10min' advertised frequency. If heavy usage ever eventuates, then time would increase and a 3rd Dart would be needed. Same drivers swapped again when 151 arrived back again at 4.33pm. So assume a driver was on a break. Buses carry placards stuck to front and kerb side windows, 148 had B1 and 151 had B2. The MYWAY validator for passenger use has been removed from these two Darts, but notices re Concessions and Exact Fare remain. This indicates no intention to use loop Darts as backup for other services. Only a few users on the trip I did, but included were 2 young Asian ladies also making round trip. 

Offline Sylvan Loves Buses

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Re: Free City Loop
« Reply #28 on: July 07, 2016, 12:29:16 AM »
Yeah, 135 and (i think it was) 147 are also doing it too (saw them on Monday). and it's more the issue atm with peak traffic holding up the buses more than the actual patronage. I was discussing that with one of the drivers, and he told me in the morning just after peak, both buses were 15 or so minutes late, and took up till midday just to get back on time. And due to the route being 20 minutes, if one of them is late, (esp when riding a dart) it feels rather rushed.
Strange shifts too, I think there's like 4-8 drivers a day or something, circulating around different hours at a time. some times it'll be 2 loops between swaps,  up to 7-ish loops.

Offline 743

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Re: Free City Loop
« Reply #29 on: February 07, 2017, 07:31:00 PM »
Canberra Times review of the Free City Loop:

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/canberra-life/we-tried-catching-the-free-canberra-city-loop-bus-20170131-gu2qoq.html

Glad to know it's air-conditioned 😉

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