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Old February 20th, 2016, 08:40 PM   #1
fieldsofdreams
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MISC | 24/7 Buses

Given that there is a thread dedicated to round-the-clock subways and railways, I will open this thread dedicated to overnight bus services. It will be more focused, though, on the urban and suburban networks rather than the intercity variant because the latter does not necessarily provide localized service for passengers and instead focuses on point-to-point (or hub-to-hub) operations via freeways and highways.

Possible discussions here include:

- Issues faced on board buses during the overnight hours
- Differing fare structure and/or policies between the night bus lines and its daytime counterparts
- Connectivity between buses and different modes
- Ridership levels and popular attractions served on them
- Line proposals, additions, and deletions

Let's hangout on the Owl Bus and save the hassles of impaired driving!
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Old February 20th, 2016, 08:49 PM   #2
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Great idea, FoD. I'll kick off the discussion with Stockholm.

First there is one thing to note here, there is no difference in fare structure between daytime and nighttime buses. Each of them are available for use with standard tickets and if you have a monthly pass you can use all of them.

Night buses do run 24/7 here. There are also two forms - some routes run all day 24/7 so are not dedicated night buses, but are standard buses that just happen to run all the time. Then you have dedicated night buses. These tend to be like the day buses, but with slightly altered routes to cut down double-running. All night buses contain a 9 as the second digit of their numbering system.
In the inner city, buses consist of either a single digit (1, 2, 3, 4) or two digits (77 etc). This means that inner city buses have their first digit as a 9 if they are night buses.
In the suburbs, most routes consist of three digits, and therefore if the second digit is a 9, then it is a dedicated night bus
Nearly all night buses in Stockholm run 24/7, with increased frequencies at the weekend. Often you'll find buses running every 15 minutes at the weekend throughout the night, but usually you'll find 30 minute running for other routes. Some very far-flung routes have service once per hour during weekdays, but often you'll have a more frequent route.

Here is an example of a night bus route in the inner city:
http://sl.se/ficktid/vinter/V96.pdf


Here are a few examples of a night bus route in the outer city:
http://sl.se/ficktid/vinter/V191.pdf (this route doesn't run at weekends as the subway is running 24 hours)
http://sl.se/ficktid/vinter/v592.pdf (this bus goes to the airport)
http://sl.se/ficktid/vinter/v595.pdf (this connects some inner suburbs)

Hope that gives a flavour of some of the night bus routes in Stockholm. If you'd like to ask any questions I'm happy to answer.
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Old February 21st, 2016, 02:43 AM   #3
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Seoul, South Korea has 9 night bus routes. They run from about midnight to 4 or 5am. They run only every 40-60 minutes. I haven't had a chance to ride any myself since I live quite far from Seoul. "Normal" buses often start at 4 or 4:30am anyway and finish well after midnight or even 1am. So there isn't much time when there is no bus on the road. However, the metro doesn't start until about 5:10-5:30am.

Normal buses are a base fare of 1,300 won (price increases with distance) but night buses are a base fare of 2,150. There are people who are called "call drivers" that get called when someone knows they are too drunk to drive and the call driver goes to the bar and drives that person home. These people used to have to take taxis before or after their work, but now they can take the night bus to save a lot of money.

Since I haven't ridden the bus, I can't tell you the type of people who ride it. I suspect mostly young people ride them on weekends, but I have no statistics.
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Old February 21st, 2016, 03:37 AM   #4
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I always found it a bit strange how little night transport there is in East Asia. Japan and Korea seem to be particularly bad about providing transport late at night. Do you think that is due to the desire for profitability in their services (or at least for them to be more cost-effective) whereas in Europe it is seen as more of a social service?
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Old February 21st, 2016, 04:18 PM   #5
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Well, they're certainly not profitable. It could be that the taxi companies blocked them before. I'm not sure though.

Seoul started two night bus routes in April 2013 and then expanded in September 2013 I believe. So it's obviously working, or they would have cut some routes.
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Old February 21st, 2016, 07:40 PM   #6
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London's Night Bus network is fantastic to use, I use it at least a few times a month - we even have a TV programme about it! Only thing I hate is waiting at the stop, but then most have countdown indicators for reassurance it will eventually arrive.

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/the-night-bus
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Old February 21st, 2016, 09:02 PM   #7
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I believe that in East Asia, the night bus network faces limited success because of competition from taxis that drive all night (many even have 24-hour shifts, meaning those drivers drive for a full 24 hours then rest for a full day before returning). Beyond that, however, it also depends on the overall flow of people at night that will determine a night bus network's success. In Tokyo, I recall Toei experimenting one all-night bus line between Shibuya Station and Roppongi Metro Station, essentially on a straight road, in around 2012-13... it was then discontinued possibly because of low ridership.

Out here in San Francisco, we have an "All-Nighter" bus network wherein while the fares may be different by transit agency, those lines do their best to connect at "pulse hubs" throughout the region, not just in San Francisco. These lines emulate the daytime BART and Caltrain services, as well as doing the more popular daytime lines for some routes.

Here's my comprehensive list of all the All-Nighter services done here: (note that these are cash fares; Clipper fares may be different)

San Francisco Muni:
Adult fare is $2.25, youth and senior fare is $1.00; all routes operate every 30 minutes

- L-Taraval +
- N-Judah +
- 5-Fulton
- 14-Mission
- 22-Fillmore
- 24-Divisadero*
- 25-Treasure Island
- 38-Geary
- 44-O'Shaughnessy* (to begin 23 April 2016)
- 48-Quintara/24th Street* (to begin 23 April 2016)
- 90-San Bruno Owl^
- 91-Owl^

+ - bus service instead of Muni Metro. These buses run along Market Street, stopping on the center island stops (similar to the F-Market & Wharves). In addition, the routes diverge and converge at Haight & Market, in which the N-Judah emulates the 7-Haight/Noriega and 43-Masonic for part of the route before it resumes along Cole Street towards UCSF and Judah Street (buses cannot use the Duboce Tunnel used by the daytime N). The L-Taraval continues along Market to serve all Muni Metro stops on the surface. The L and the 91 are timed at West Portal Station for onward connections to those on the K, M, and T lines.

* - only part of the route operates 24/7:

- 24: between Jackson & Fillmore and Bayshore & Cortland
- 44: between Glen Park BART and Evans & 3rd
- 48: between 24th & Douglass and Third & 20th

^ - only operates nighttime (1am to 5am), and is a combination of several popular daytime lines:

- 90: 47-Van Ness, 49-Van Ness/Mission, 9 and 9R-San Bruno
- 91: 28 and 28R-19th Avenue, 30-Stockton, 8-Bayshore, KT-Ingleside/Third Street

AC Transit:
Local fares: $2.10 for adults, $1.05 discounted (youths and seniors)
Transbay fares: $4.20 for adults, $2.10 discounted - applicable only to the 800

- 376 (Del Norte BART-Contra Costa College via Richmond BART, with a one way loop doing Contra Costa College, Hilltop Mall, Pinole Vista, Richmond Pkwy TC, and Parkchester Village before returning to Contra Costa College)
- 800 (San Francisco-Richmond BART via Downtown Oakland, Berkeley BART, San Pablo Avenue)
- 801 (Downtown Oakland-Fremont BART via International Blvd, Fremont Blvd)
- 802 (Downtown Oakland-Berkeley Amtrak via San Pablo Avenue)
- 805 (Downtown Oakland-Oakland International Airport via MacArthur Blvd, Eastmont TC)
- 840 (Downtown Oakland-Eastmont TC via Foothill Blvd)
- 851 (Berkeley BART-Fruitvale BART via College Avenue, Santa Clara Avenue)

There used to be the 822, which did San Francisco to Pittsburg/Bay Point BART via Downtown Oakland and Walnut Creek BART; this was discontinued a few months ago.

SamTrans:
Local fares: $2.25 for adults, $1.10 discounted (youths and seniors)
Out of San Francisco only: $4.00 for adults, $1.10 discounted

- 297 (Redwood City TC-Palo Alto TC via Middlefield Rd, East Palo Alto) - essentially the short version of the 397, below
- 397 (San Francisco Transbay Terminal-Palo Alto TC via Potrero Avenue, SFO Airport, El Camino Real, East Palo Alto)

Santa Clara VTA:
Fares: $2.00 for adults, $1.75 for youths 5 to 18 y.o., $1 for seniors and handicapped

22 (Palo Alto TC-Eastridge TC via El Camino Real, Downtown San Jose)

Discontinued routes include:

- AC Transit 880 (Castro Valley BART-Bay Fair BART)
- County Connection 820 (Downtown Oakland-Pittsburg/Bay Point BART via Walnut Creek, Concord)
- Wheels 810 (Bay Fair BART-Livermore TC via Dublin/Pleasanton BART, Downtown Pleasanton)

While that is a comprehensive list, some vital connections are missing, including:

- Bay Fair BART-Dublin/Pleasanton BART
- Fremont BART-San Jose via Milpitas
- North of the Golden Gate Bridge
- North of Richmond Parkway TC
- East of Rockridge BART
- South of Downtown San Jose
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Last edited by fieldsofdreams; February 21st, 2016 at 10:59 PM.
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Old February 21st, 2016, 10:50 PM   #8
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And the All-Nighter map can be seen below, along with their corresponding BART and Caltrain stations that are close by.


Frequencies-wise, nearly all services run every 60 minutes weekdays. All Muni lines run every 30 minutes (to begin on the 25 in April 2016 from every 45 minutes today) daily. On the weekends, AC Transit Routes 800 and 801 run every 20 to 30 minutes (entire line on the 800, between Downtown Oakland and Bay Fair BART only on the 801; south of Bay Fair BART, service runs every 40 to 60 minutes).

Muni also operates special Owl trips very early in the morning on weekends (K, M) wherein those emulate the said lines before Muni Metro starts service (runs from around 4am to 6am Saturdays, 4am to 8am Sundays).
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Old February 22nd, 2016, 12:55 AM   #9
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In Vienna there are no 24/7 bus lines, but there are dedicated night lines during the night, for the same tariff as the day lines. On nights to Mo to Fr nightline busses operate in a 30 min frequency, on nights to Sa and Su the subway operates the whole day (15 min headway at night) but there are some additional bus nightlines as well. In far and large the busses cover the subway and selected tram corridors but not not in the same way as the day lines.

Overall I think the network is quite decent.


Weekday night lines (not all stops are marked):

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Old February 22nd, 2016, 01:04 AM   #10
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In Buenos Aires about the 80% of the buses operates at 24 hs.
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Old February 22nd, 2016, 03:18 AM   #11
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On September 22, 2014, Beijing's owl bus services doubled up from 15 routes to 34 routes. All owl bus routes begin with the prefix "ye" (夜), meaning night.



Shanghai has more than 40 owl routes, all begin with 3XX. Coincidentally Toronto's owl bus routes are also 3XX.
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Old February 22nd, 2016, 05:37 AM   #12
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Minneapolis/St. Paul has 3 Owl services. The first one is the Green Line, which is a light-rail and connects Minneapolis to St. Paul, with an overnight frequency of 60 minutes. The second is the #5 bus on Chicago Ave between Downtown and 38th St, on the south side of the Minneapolis with hourly service. On the north side, the 5 operates NB on Emerson, then WB on 44th, then becomes the #19 bus, SB on Penn, and EB on Olson, back to downtown, also with hourly frequencies.

Most of the urban bus routes operate from 5 am - 1 am otherwise.

Currently, Metro Transit is planning to add overnight service on a number of routes, like the 6, 10, 18, 21, 54, 64, 84, 515, and the Blue Line to provide overnight job access, but it seems unlikely. Recently, overnight dial-a-ride service was implemented for airport workers.
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Old February 22nd, 2016, 05:55 AM   #13
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Gov valadares has just 3 night bus routes.
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Old February 22nd, 2016, 07:43 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tcmetro View Post
Minneapolis/St. Paul has 3 Owl services. The first one is the Green Line, which is a light-rail and connects Minneapolis to St. Paul, with an overnight frequency of 60 minutes. The second is the #5 bus on Chicago Ave between Downtown and 38th St, on the south side of the Minneapolis with hourly service. On the north side, the 5 operates NB on Emerson, then WB on 44th, then becomes the #19 bus, SB on Penn, and EB on Olson, back to downtown, also with hourly frequencies.

Most of the urban bus routes operate from 5 am - 1 am otherwise.

Currently, Metro Transit is planning to add overnight service on a number of routes, like the 6, 10, 18, 21, 54, 64, 84, 515, and the Blue Line to provide overnight job access, but it seems unlikely. Recently, overnight dial-a-ride service was implemented for airport workers.
If it were me, I would prioritize making the 10 (Central Avenue) and 18 (Nicollet Avenue) to become 24/7 bus service since those two provide a near straight-shot north-south service. And those two are already high-frequency corridors to begin with that, if those run overnights, it will provide quality service for residents on the west side of I-35W and Columbia Heights.

As for the 54, it would also be a great line to do 24/7 service since it will become Saint Paul's first 24/7 bus line, sharing the wealth with Minneapolis.
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Old February 22nd, 2016, 08:15 AM   #15
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In Jakarta, TransJakarta BRT run a night service called Amari (Angkutan Malam Hari) and Andini (Angkutan Dini Hari) in lines 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 9, and 10





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Old February 26th, 2016, 05:49 PM   #16
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NYC has over 100 buses lines in service 24/7.
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Old February 26th, 2016, 05:58 PM   #17
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São Paulo has a night bus service called NOTURNO.






This service has 50 trunk lines (headway of 15 minutes) and 101 feeder lines (headway of 30 minutes) that operates from Midnight to 4 AM. Fare is R$ 3,80 (US$ 0,95) with three free transfers. NOTURNO lines operate during morning and evening too.
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Old March 1st, 2016, 11:19 PM   #18
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In The Netherlands most of all daily night buses are lines that drive only at night and although the fare structure is quite similar to daytime service (that opposed to many weekend night buses seen in many cities), the free student card is not valid. Almost all of the lines drive within (how surprisingly) Amsterdam and to/from Schiphol. I know twelve lines of which ten within the city of Amsterdam and two other lines going to Schiphol but also serving Amsterdam and one of them serving Haarlem. Frequency: sun-thu: 1x/hour, fridays and saturdays 2x mostly. The network is quite radial and serves most important districts bidirectional.

I have seen and heard about more comprehensive networks at night in mid-sized European (capital) cities, mostly in Scandinavia but we do it better than the Benelux counterpart capital of Brussels.

Last edited by The Polman; March 2nd, 2016 at 12:05 AM.
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Old March 2nd, 2016, 07:48 AM   #19
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I don't think New Jersey has any , but most run at least 20hrs a day...
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Old March 2nd, 2016, 08:24 AM   #20
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Quote:
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I don't think New Jersey has any , but most run at least 20hrs a day...
I think bus 62 runs 24/7.
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