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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
By 'True Public Transport Commuter network' I mean public transport which has extra demand during peak hour for people going to work. For instance in Brisbane there are more trains/buses going to/from the CBD during peak hour, and they are more crowded than during the day. These trains/buses tend to be crowded with office workers.

In contrast on the Sunshine Coast 10 years ago I used to catch the odd peak hour bus, and they were no more crowded than later in the day, and there were no extra buses scheduled during peak hours. Bus use seemed to be dominated by shoppers, students and poorer people unable to afford cars.
 

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A true "commuter" system only operates during peak hours.

http://www.trains.com/Content/Dynamic/Articles/000/000/001/012gnaag.asp
http://www.trains.com/Content/Dynamic/Articles/000/000/000/995vikbv.asp
http://www.trains.com/Content/Dynamic/Articles/000/000/001/018qsiiu.asp
http://www.trains.com/Content/Dynamic/Articles/000/000/000/998nneke.asp
http://www.trains.com/Content/Dynamic/Articles/000/000/001/009tbpex.asp
http://www.trains.com/Content/Dynamic/Articles/000/000/001/014vypdt.asp
http://www.trains.com/Content/Dynamic/Articles/000/000/001/016armxs.asp

The PT systems in most Australian capitals are a jack of all trades (master of none) style amalgam of commuter rail, regional rail, metro rail, streetcars/trams, light rail (Sydney/Adelaide), metro buses, feeder buses, but most bus services (especially in Melbourne) could be described as either randomly scheduled seemingly useless buses or perhaps glorified paratransit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Oh ok, change my question to 'which Australian cities have a public transport system with a peak hour dominated by passengers going to work. I forgot that 'Commuter Rail' was already a recognised term.

I was more interested in Ausralian cities, and kind of curious as to where the borderline is at which cities become big enough to sustain such a network. Bigger than Townsville and smaller than Brisbane evidently.
 

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Even then with Buses, its still crap, the City Loop Bus is the only good one really, but though in the mornings you do see alot of people going to work in the city and so on.
 

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jellyman said:
In contrast on the Sunshine Coast 10 years ago I used to catch the odd peak hour bus, and they were no more crowded than later in the day, and there were no extra buses scheduled during peak hours. Bus use seemed to be dominated by shoppers, students and poorer people unable to afford cars.
If you ever checked out the Sunshine Coast's PT when you're next up here, it has improved slightly with increased off-peak frequency on the main routes between Noosa and Maroochydore to 30 mins, and between Caloundra and Maroochydore to 15 mins. There are also co-ordinated rail-buses to Nambour and Landsborough stations timed to connect with the majority of trains.

However there are still probs with traffic congestion in peak periods which can easily delay the buses. However it is still students, shoppers, daytrippers, shopping centre workers and low income earners that still mainly use the buses.

Patronage is only slightly more (not a huge difference) during peak periods, but the increased frequency throughout the day had led to a increase in patronage throughout.
 

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I myself can't believe how well Sunbus is doing now Translink is in place. Frequencies are quite good for the area (Route 600 runs at 15min frequencies) and most services run quite late into the evening and even early morning on Fridays. Buses are always packed around the main centres (especially Maroochydore).

However, the terrible traffic, long routes (which cannot be avoided seeing as the Sunshine Coast is so spread out), lack of weekend service and no coverage in some of the outer areas leave some room for improvment.
 

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Melbourne does.
Trams on the majority of routes run every 10minutes in peak - minimum. Some routes as much as every 3-4mins, eg 109 Box Hill - Port Melbourne

The train network shoves on extra trains in peak, but its constrained by the lack of infrastructure.
The Belgrave/Lilydale line in peak hour has trains that run express from Box Hill to the City Loop and only stop at about 4 stations tops on the way. These run every 5minutes or so.
Stopping all stations trains run every 10mins or so from Box Hill to the City.
From Camberwell inwards, its more frequent, as the Alamein line joins the party.
Other lines have expresses, but not as frequent.
Some lines, such as Alamein and Upfield, have a 20minute frequency all day.
 

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MelbourneCity said:
The train network shoves on extra trains in peak, but its constrained by the lack of infrastructure.
Melbourne's rail network is constrained by a lack of brains, not a lack of infrastructure. Have a look what we managed to run in 1929 prior to the construction of 3rd tracks from Moorabbin or Blackburn, with manual crossing gates and mechanical interlocking, with 6 platforms instead of 10 at Richmond, or the City Loop:



Back on topic, yes, most of Melbourne's system counts as Commuter, with the exception of the Upfield and Altona lines. As for the Alamein line, it's basically used off peak and by school kiddies more so than workers.
 

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The infrastructure on the far side of Oakleigh is very similar to that on the city side. Double track (except for the cranbourne branch), comparable signalling, passing options at Dandenong. What more could a competent planner want?

Anyway, there wasn't a great deal of anything beyond Oakleigh in 1929. D'ya think a service every 3-6 minutes would have been warranted at the time?
 

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MrPC, you are completely ignorant.

You can't compare today's network to 1929's network, as passengers' expectations are completely different these days.

People (particularly in the middle and outer suburbs) don't care about frequency in particular these days, they care about how fast the service will get them to where they're going (meaning they want an express train if they can get one). So please, think before you speak....
 

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Jarf, have you got any evidence whatsoever to suggest that more people will use a rail service when they can't even find a park near the station and there aren't (m)any feeder buses? If you can't improve station access, then patronage will not go up no matter how fast the services might at some date (presumably 10 years in the future) become.

Or are you talking out of your arse? Or worse, out of the arse of someone at Connex? (what a horrifying thought)

Besides, by the time any such trackage were built, we'd be stuck in an economic depression as a result of Peak Oil and there'd be few or no jobs left to take people towards at high speeds. Or we'd be very close to it. One or the other.
 

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Perth has express trains and trains that run every 5 minutes during peak but every 15 during normal hours, well they did 3 years ago anyway.
 

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MrPC said:
Jarf, have you got any evidence whatsoever to suggest that more people will use a rail service when they can't even find a park near the station and there aren't (m)any feeder buses?
Yes, I am in fact one of them. On Sundays, I (regularly) walk 3.5km to my nearest station (Keilor Plains)...I'm not sure exactly how many people do it, but I know I'm not the only person.

You are right that no improvements to station access will limit possible patronage, however you may find that an increase in speed will result in at least a small patronage gain, especially from people who live within moderate (ie. 1-1.5km or 20 minutes perhaps) walking distance of a station.

(Oh and by the way, no I don't work for Connex)
 

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MrPC said:
Besides, by the time any such trackage were built, we'd be stuck in an economic depression as a result of Peak Oil and there'd be few or no jobs left to take people towards at high speeds. Or we'd be very close to it. One or the other.
That delightful little scenario (Peak Oil) is much closer (or already) than you think. On a side note, $80 USD pb for 4 months would really do the trick, particularly if Western governments were forced to up interest rates to try and counter wicked inflation.

It's just around the corner.

js (btw - I'm an Economist & Equities Trader)
 

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ryan79 said:
Perth has express trains and trains that run every 5 minutes during peak but every 15 during normal hours, well they did 3 years ago anyway.
They still do.
 

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I was being conservative. If the peak was last year and the crash is later this year, then it'd still be long before any 3rd trackage was built.

And I stand by the assertion that there'd be few jobs left to shuttle people towards at higher speeds or higher volumes than the system is presently capable of.
 
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