Vline Network Rationalisation

 
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Vinelander: The Glenelg Hwy bus still goes through to Mt Gambier during the week but I don't think there's a weekend option any longer.  I think there's quite a few on that list that saw cuts to the number or days of services but they still exist per se.
don_dunstan
Aaand there's a few that missed the list that were also scrapped.

Murtoa and Rupanyup to Horsham.

Most of the above were Labor government initiatives.

Mike.

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  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Murtoa and Rupanyup are still getting buses but just not as frequently.  I have used to the bus to Horsham in the past when friends of mine lived there for a few years; it's kinda annoying having to divert through those tiny towns but it's also a hangover from when the train used to stop at Murtoa.  People do actually use it though, I once saw an elderly bloke get on the bus at Rupanyup and then get off again at Murtoa and walk into straight into the TAB... obviously going one stop further to Horsham's bright lights might have killed the poor fellow!

I consider that we're still very lucky in this state, country Victorians get a fairly good deal from V/Line - I mean, wow, you can even catch a bus from Hamilton to Horsham and Mildura.  Most other states would kill for the sort of public transport coverage we take for granted here.  Compare us to South Australia where there's only really Stateliner and not much else - it's still much easier to get around Victoria without a car.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
I consider that we're still very lucky in this state, country Victorians get a fairly good deal from V/Line - I mean, wow, you can even catch a bus from Hamilton to Horsham and Mildura.  Most other states would kill for the sort of public transport coverage we take for granted here.  Compare us to South Australia where there's only really Stateliner and not much else - it's still much easier to get around Victoria without a car.
don_dunstan
I couldn't agree more...hence why I don't bother driving to Mildura anymore.

$90.00 return 1st class to/from Swan Hill is very economical for an 1100+Km journey home every few months.

Stateliner fares are way expensive compared to V/Line

Mike.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Agreed, it's $76 one way from Adelaide to Mt Gambier, quite pricey when you also consider how bloody slow it is (well over 7 hrs, not comparable with driving).
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
Orright then Railblogger, what sorts of ideas do you hold for the increased profitability/decreasing subsidy while maintaining most of the existing structure?
don_dunstan
*Rationalisation of network to eliminate indirect and very low patronage routes, and simplify structure
*Smarter trunk style operation (Mt Gambier via Ararat, Yea via Tallarook, etc.)
*Simplified timetabling and service standards, balancing attractiveness of service with potential patronage
*Increasing fares where financially viable (particularly commuter periodicals)
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
*Rationalisation of network to eliminate indirect and very low patronage routes, and simplify structure
*Smarter trunk style operation (Mt Gambier via Ararat, Yea via Tallarook, etc.)
*Simplified timetabling and service standards, balancing attractiveness of service with potential patronage
*Increasing fares where financially viable (particularly commuter periodicals)
ZH836301
I would implement 3/4.

I'm much more interested in making money and turning a profit than I am in saving money.

I rest my case.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
It's a political footy, it gets kicked around for a long time but ultimately I don't believe anything will happen.  Not substantial cuts anyway; they're busy trying to push through their truck sewer under Carlton and Parkville - cost recovery on V/Line will be the last thing Denis Napthine is thinking of right now.
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
It's a political footy, it gets kicked around for a long time but ultimately I don't believe anything will happen.  Not substantial cuts anyway; they're busy trying to push through their truck sewer under Carlton and Parkville - cost recovery on V/Line will be the last thing Denis Napthine is thinking of right now.
don_dunstan
Cost recovery on anything PT will be the last thing all expect maybe PTV would be thinking of.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
With petrol surging at the moment patronage on the buses will automatically rise.

If you are planning a day-trip from somewhere in country Vic the bus fare becomes much more competitive, especially if you are driving by yourself.  Admittedly the subsidy is very high but it should make a difference in the longer term.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
I'll be travelling on the Glenelg Hwy bus tomorrow night so I'll be sure and take more careful note of numbers from now on just out of interest!  Sunday night (in either direction) is usually quite full.

Incidentally, ZH mentioned the possibility of the Hamilton bus originating from Ararat.  I seem to recall in the 1980's that they did do it that way for a long time but they gave up for some reason - maybe not as viable as the Glenelg Hwy route?
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Just out of interest: There was about 30 people on the bus on Sunday night; the majority were going through to Hamilton (I guess).
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
And thus it would have made more sense to route them through Ararat.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
If you feel so passionately about it you should organise a Glenelg Hwy community meeting to explain to the other people using the bus at Skipton, Linton, Smythesdale and Scarsdale that you're arbitrarily cutting their bus service off because they're not important enough to warrant one.  I can assure you they won't take it lying down - especially with petrol due to hit $1.70+ in the next month.
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
How is that any different to all the other nothing towns without Vline services?
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
How is that any different to all the other nothing towns without Vline services?
ZH836301

These are not "nothing" towns.  Let's just focus on the ones close to Ballarat (as at 2011 census) to keep things simple.

Skipton: 927.  Linton: 591.  Scarsdale and Smythesdale: (they're basically the same town) 1612.

The last two towns are going gang-busters since mains sewerage from Ballarat was put in two years ago so I'd expect a big increase in the pipeline; there's lots of new houses being built. My question to you is: where are there similar towns in Victoria that DON'T have a bus service?  I'm especially interested in the ones that are over 1000 because I'm not sure that I can name any myself.
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
Those aren't town populations, they're locality populations.  That figure you've quoted for Skipton is for a region that extends almost to Beaufort.

The actual town populations are:

Skipton: 452
Linton: 358
Scarsdale: 772 (note - suburb area, township too small)
Smythesdale:493

Ie. nothing towns.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Those aren't town populations, they're locality populations.  That figure you've quoted for Skipton is for a region that extends almost to Beaufort.

The actual town populations are:

Skipton: 452
Linton: 358
Scarsdale: 772 (note - suburb area, township too small)
Smythesdale:493

Ie. nothing towns.
ZH836301

We're still talking about 2,000 or so people.  People frequently pick up or drop off at the bus stop that I use so I wouldn't preclude them on the basis that they're not walking distance even though that's how I use it myself; my friend's house is 2 minutes walk from the stop.  It seems really curious to me that you think these people are 'nothing' and therefore don't qualify for public transport of any sort.

Also, you didn't actually answer my question.
  Calgully Deputy Commissioner

Location:
mains sewerage from Ballarat was put in two years ago so I'd expect a big increase in the pipeline;
don_dunstan

Tell me that was a deliberate pun.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Tell me that was a deliberate pun.
Calgully

Hooray!  Gold star for you...

Truly though, there's a huge amount of growth in and around Ballarat.  In the eighties they were still talking about managed decline; now it's actually one of the fastest growing cities in Australia.  I can't fathom the idea that we should be removing bus services from those near-by towns, it doesn't make any sense.
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
We're still talking about 2,000 or so people.  People frequently pick up or drop off at the bus stop that I use so I wouldn't preclude them on the basis that they're not walking distance even though that's how I use it myself; my friend's house is 2 minutes walk from the stop.  It seems really curious to me that you think these people are 'nothing' and therefore don't qualify for public transport of any sort.

Also, you didn't actually answer my question.
don_dunstan
There are plenty of locations to the west, the ranges, and through the wheatbelt to the north where similar populations are not served.

Even if you run a local bus from Ballarat it still makes a lot more sense than forcing Hamilton users into a longer coach trip from Ballarat rather than from Ararat.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
There are plenty of locations to the west, the ranges, and through the wheatbelt to the north where similar populations are not served.

Even if you run a local bus from Ballarat it still makes a lot more sense than forcing Hamilton users into a longer coach trip from Ballarat rather than from Ararat.
ZH836301

Ballarat-Hamilton (via Glenelg Hwy) 2hr 14 mins + (average) 1h 20 mins Melbourne-Ballarat train = about 3 h 34 mins transit (not including transfers).

Ararat-Hamilton (via Pyrenees Hwy, Glenelg Hwy) 1hr 20 mins + 2h 30 mins Melbourne-Ararat train = 3 hours 50 mins transit (not including transfers).

It would be nice to make the Ararat train more viable by forcing Hamilton passengers to go via Ararat but it is longer in both distance and time, not shorter.
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
Ballarat to Glenthompson by coach is 1hr40min.

Ballarat to Ararat is less than an 1hr, and Ararat to Glenthompson by road is 40min.

Similar time, but one hour less travel on a coach and greater viability for Ararat services.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
One hour less on a coach - I'm not sure anyone who catches that bus will actually care given it's just over two hours from Ballarat anyway.  There is no gain in sending Hamilton services via Ararat.  The Pyrenees Hwy is also a worse road than the Glenelg Hwy (I'm speaking from experience in using it), I'm not sure you would want to be increasing traffic on it.

Also, I'm curious about the 'plenty of locations to the west, the ranges and through the wheatbelt' that don't have bus services.  Can you please name the towns of 1000+ that don't have bus services?  Even places like Goroke, Balmoral and Warracknabeal have regular buses, the earlier two are nowhere near 1000 people.
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
That's a bit of a strawman since none of those towns on the Glenelg Hwy are 1000+.

The gains are obvious:

-You increase patronage on the Ararat service
-You reduce coach travel for Hamilton users by one hour

In every other Vline related thread we hear ad nauseaum about how much people hate buses.  Why is it different now?
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
You aren't arguing properly for your case.

You were the one who claimed to have a basis for the removal of bus services - that there were lots of other places in Victoria of 1000+ that didn't have a bus service - and then you couldn't find any.  Then you try and cover your mistake by claiming that I've made a 'straw-man' argument.  It's the same as the previous page where you categorically stated a list of towns that supposedly didn't have bus services supporting your case that turned out to be wrong - I found out in less than 30 seconds that it was wrong.  

I could make it easier and lower the bar to 500 - 1000 but I still doubt that you will find any town in Victoria of this size not serviced by a bus.

With regards to the Ararat train, I suspected all along what you were really saying is that people should spend longer on a train and less time on a bus (which is fair enough) but I feel the current arrangement actually works better because there's a larger catchment of potential passengers along the Glenelg and almost none along the Pyrenees.  Fair enough to utilise the train better but the catchment is much larger along the Glenelg.


If you gave Hamilton passengers the choice between an hour extra on the train (but 15 minutes longer overall) and the current arrangement I have no doubt that a shorter transit time would win hands down.

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