Prefered bus operators

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psr85 Chief Commissioner

Location: Sandringham Line, Melbourne
mjja, I have had pretty much no troubles with MBL. Especially since it split into 600/922/923, because it made it easier for me when I was at school. And now I hardly ever catch one, but if I have to, they for me are always on time, and you can pretty much get one pretty quickly once you get out at Sandringham.

I was particulary friendly with a couple of their drivers. Funny story, once me and my mate were waiting at a bus stop. And two busses(scheduled at the same time coz of the school crush) are heading towards us, the first one doesn't stop, thinks the 2nd one will get us.. but they both drive past. We weren't happy. But then a school bus, (ran by MBL) pulled up and dropped at us Sandy, we managed to get on to one of the busses, the other two original drivers didn't seem to notice we had. And one came onto the others bus and said something like: "Hey I thought you would have seen those guys? Why didn't you pick them up?" "I couldn't see them, you flew right past them" haha was quite funny, lucky we got picked up, otherwise I wouldn't like MBL at all Very Happy

As I said, I don't ride busses that much so am probably not in a position to judge.
 
Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
Cranbourne Transit may not have the biggest fleet or operating area but I find few issues with what they actually run.  Sure they could run a lot more, but they only cover what they are contracted for.

The Cranbourne - Frankston buses (including the short trips to Langwarrin) are among the busiest on the network in terms of passengers per bus run.  They are usually within a minute or two of right time and make advertised connections where ever possible.

I can think of less professional operators, and Moreland Bus Lines comes to mind, along with the already-discussed Driver, and I also have had problems with the former Bell Street Bus Lines, now part of the Dyson empire.
 
Kerpal Deputy Commissioner

Westrans do an OK job of taking me (almost) home from Werribee station.  It's a shame they only run a bus every 40 minutes (whereas the trains run every 20) and there is no service after 19:20 or at all on a Sunday.  If there was a bus meeting every train, I wouldn't need to drive on Monday to Friday at all!
 
mercedes143 Train Controller

If MBL were to get central district what happens to National? after all they run 80% of the city services. And also being in the north east and east MBL I dont think would be suited to this sector.
 
Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
There should be nothing to stop another operator running to the adjacent areas.  Otherwise we could end up with the farcical situation of all bus routes terminating at artifical territorial boundaries rather than sensible customer-driven destinations.

And what of Tullamarine Bus Lines 479 trips into the City on weekends?
 
Metlink Chief Commissioner

Location: Camberwell Station or on Tram 109 or bus 302
Im a nation bus user, i think its a great service since Venture took over. They are really good on route 302 which is use all the time and 291. They are much better from what they used to be when it was national. Im sorry but i had westrans. my girlfriend lives out west and they serivce her route. Its never on time and there isnt enough services. I like melbourne bus company, i have never had troubles with them but Westrans in my opinion are the worst.
 
red-hood Station Master

Location: on the sydenham line
I think ventura/national is the best.
For MBL i use it at least 5 days a week and they run late a lot.sometimes 40minslate Evil or Very Mad .
 
jarf Chief Commissioner

Location: Bunzelling!
Since it seems this topic has been revived, I may as well add something. Razz

I think the system should be like this:
5 Regions:
- Central: Melbourne Bus Link
- South-east: [???]
- East: Ventura
- North: [???]
- West: [???]
- EvanC

I'd go for:

West: Westrans (incorporating MBL's Footscray depot routes, Ventura's Port Melb/Fishermans Bend routes, Sita, Sunbury, all of Tullamarine except route 477, Ryans, Kastoria)

North/North East: Dysons (incorporating route 477 ex Tullamarine, Hope St, Ivanhoe, Moreland, Northern, Reservoir, East-West, Broadmeadows, Panorama)

Inner East: Ventura (incorporating Driver, Eastrans)

Outer East: Invicta (incorporating all of Ventura's Knoxfield depot routes except those shared with South Oakleigh, US, Martyr's, McKenzie's)

South East: Grenda (incorporating MBL's Sandringham depot routes, Cranbourne)

Routes that travel across operator "boundaries" should be split at a logical point, though this would mostly apply to Ventura/Invicta - so split them at Knox City. Wink
 
dimsimtim22 Beginner

Location: on the Stair way to heaven
I think Ventura is the best because they're usually on time and have comfy seats. Smile
 
SpeedyC Locomotive Fireman

I don't mind Dysons. Since they took over Bell Street/ Bell Transit around here the service has improved. The majority of drivers are friendly and the busses run prety well on time
 
MTA Train Controller

Location: Somewhere near Box Hill, missing the 4D
The worst company I have ever riden on is Driver. Their service is appalling, buses are always late, drivers are rude, and the routes taken by the bus is shocking.
- Nexas

I've never had much of a problem with Driver. When I was little, there were some that never came because the gates were stuck down at Surrey Hills, but in general, I've found their busses to be clean, drivers friendly, and not too late.

I assume they have a huge subsidy, because the routes are supposed to be shocking, and during the day, when I use them mostly, have only ever had one other person on them.
 

Location: Banned
The last time I tried to catch Driver, was on a route 624 service from East Kew to Oakleigh on a weekday. According to the timetable, both at the stop and the timetable on Driver's website, the bus runs through to Oakleigh, yet the driver set the desto only to "Chadstone" ConfusedShocked

The bus carried less than 10 people for the whole East Kew to Chadstone section. At Chadstone, there was another bus pulling out as we were pulling in with the destination "Oakleigh via Holmesglen" Confused. At Chadstone, the Driver driver told me it was the last stop, and no he didn't go through to Oakleigh Confused.

It's a pretty dodgy service if its really two seperate runs, but listed as one on the timetable, and if its impossible to connect between the two MadRolling Eyes
 
wongm GEEWONG

Location: Geelong, Victoria
I assume they have a huge subsidy, because the routes are supposed to be shocking, and during the day, when I use them mostly, have only ever had one other person on them.
- MTA

Every bus route is subsdised. The operator gets paid to run a service by the DoI, and all of the collected revenue goes to Metlink / DoI / whoever is in charge.
 
red-hood Station Master

Location: on the sydenham line
The last time I tried to catch Driver, was on a route 624 service from East Kew to Oakleigh on a weekday. According to the timetable, both at the stop and the timetable on Driver's website, the bus runs through to Oakleigh, yet the driver set the desto only to "Chadstone" ConfusedShocked

The bus carried less than 10 people for the whole East Kew to Chadstone section. At Chadstone, there was another bus pulling out as we were pulling in with the destination "Oakleigh via Holmesglen" Confused. At Chadstone, the Driver driver told me it was the last stop, and no he didn't go through to Oakleigh Confused.

It's a pretty dodgy service if its really two seperate runs, but listed as one on the timetable, and if its impossible to connect between the two MadRolling Eyes
- Somebody in the WWW

the reason the driver set it for chadstone because at Driver bus lines they have one driver per bus.so when the driver goes for his meal brake/or finishes his shift you have to change buses.so i say that the driver was going for meal brake.and the connecting bus left early.
 

Location: Banned
Thanks for that Redhood.. which other companies have that policy? Very Happy

Also, did you get my PM? Wink
 
red-hood Station Master

Location: on the sydenham line
most drivers at Drivers bus lines don't wait for the connecting bus
 

Location: Banned
A lot off drivers at Drivers don't what for the connecting bus
- Redhood

"A lot off?"
"Don't what?"

What do you mean? Confused
 
red-hood Station Master

Location: on the sydenham line
Other company that have this policy are Invicta,Kastroia,Sita,Tullamarine,and US bus lines.
At Panorama,Moreland,Ivanhoe,Ryans you have change buses but not as much because they don't have to drive the same bus.
 
Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
I prefer my bus to run on time and with a civil driver who is capable of performing their role in a fully comeptent and professional manner.

It is not entirely fair to pick on operators such as MBL and criticise them for runnig late when others manage to keep time.  MBL almost alone among Melbourne's operators not only have cross-CBD routes but had them artificiialy joined some years back to create very long routes with little hope of ever running reliably.

Few people would choose to travel between Brighton / Gardenvale and the CBD by bus when trains are available at the same fares; fewer still would ride through the CBD out to Footscray and beyond.  The routes criticised meet heavy traffic, many delays at traffic lights and yet are expected to provide a reliable and punctual service for, in the main, relatively short local journeys.  Even the 600 group suffers some of the same problems as buses weave their way from St Kilda to Southland

Many other operators are not faced with equivalent problems and find it easier to run to time.  The extreme other end of the scale would be Sangold's 509, a single vehicle trundling up and down Hope St every 20 minutes which is almost invariably right on time.

Drivers, driving standards and attitudes vary as widely as our population is diverse.  Most who have driven me are a little heavy on the pedals and typically less than warming and welcoming.  The same is true of many bus drivers in other countries in which I have travelled.  It can be a thankless and often frustrating job, for ever trying to catch up the lost minutes while often elderly passengers board at their own pace, require change, request a timetable or other information, and so on.

And the driver is never seen as "right".  Buses might be considered early or late (often the passenger's own watch is at fault here), too hot or cold, some passengers object to the radio being played, others complain that any ride is too bumpy or roughly driven.

Management of the various operators around Melbourne, and management styles and attitudes, also varies.  This gives rise to operators whose buses are always well presented, while others are not so.  Some have motivated drivers who are often talkative and welcoming while others appear to have a thoroughly demoralised workforce for whom almost anything - including the selling of tickets and keeping time - appears too much trouble.  

And given the overall system whereby no bus runs until it is contracted and paid for by Spring Street there is actually very little incentive for any operator to do anything at all.  If they received direct farebox income - even a percentage of it - there is then instantly the incentive to make every effort to run presentable vehicles with good quality staff.  Failure to do so would then result in direct financial loss.  This is not the case under the present regime.

Maintaining time is often outside the operator's control due to prevailing road conditions.  That said there are many drivers who make a good effort no matter what to run on time (or regain lost imte); there is an equally large number who don't bother and adopt the attitude of "I come when I arrive" and if delayed will happily continue to run late and calim overtime for it.

The service overall is not structured to run for the benefit of passengers - which it should be - but simply as a Government supplied facility for which the feeling gained at times is that we should be grateful to have it at all.  Many rural cities and townships, and country areas, would envy even the poor level of service most of suburban Melbourne is offerred.
 
lordofthesheep Train Controller

Location: Where facts are few and experts are many, Vic
Agreed, Driver is always late, except when you are late. I have no problems with the 612's route, as it is very convinient for where I live. Almost all of the buses are very well maintained and very clean, even if a bit dated. Most of the drivers aren't very nice though and the timetables on board are of poor quality and at least 4 years old, with slightly incorrect times. Also, the 612 bus only comes about once every 1/2 hour, which really sucks.  Evil or Very Mad

(come to think of it, the tram drivers at the Box Hill terminus seem to get some kind of pleasure departing just after the pedestrian lights go green, when the people are almost at the tram. Rolling Eyes)
 
ninthnotch Dr Beeching

Location: Not here. Try another castle.

Melbourne Bus Link is really reliable in terms of service delivery, but not in on time running. The MBL crosstown routes should be split into how they were before, 216, 219, 220, 601, 602.
- Nexas
No. I totally disagree there.  The bits on the south of Queen St would be cut/

I use Route 216/219 to occasionally commute to/from North Melbourne and Commercial Rd - this has to be one of the better services that allows connection between St. Kilda Rd and the western suburbs, as well as providing an alternative to the sardine packed snails pace YT St. Kilda Rd services.

Same with the Route 246 change at Clifton Hill - travelling from south/north and having a ~10 minute wait when the bus could just go to LaTRobe like every other one is a load of bollocks.
 

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