With the shiny new PTV website now up and running, it has been made a lot easier to find bus improvement projects. These two in particular caught my eye.
Kiss n’ Ride on Thompsons Road
There is this proposal for the tiny Thompsons Road bus carpark next to the Eastern Freeway (here). It is proposed to construct a ‘Kiss n’ Ride’ facility to supplement the existing infrastructure, as well as bicycle cages and what looks like an extra bus stopping bay. This basically means that rather than create large asphalt carparks for cars to park all or most of the day, a drop-off point is created to operate during the morning peak (until 10:30am).
(Image source: PTV website)
13 parking spaces will still be available, and the four spaces for drop-off will be used as general parking spaces after 10:30am. This project is a much better solution to that already in place, given the limited space available. The current setup only caters for a very small number of people using the numerous bus routes that pass along here (200, 203, 905, etc.)
For possible future infrastructure, there is a curiously empty and rather large expanse of grass to the north of the freeway on-ramp, which could feasibly be used for a much larger facility – just an observation.
More information here.
Hoddle St/Victoria Pde bus lanes
I only came across this webpage today, but I swear that the original proposal, as I saw in some promotional material from VicRoads, was for full-time bus lanes along Hoddle Street and Victoria Parade (maybe it’s just wishful thinking). In any case, the current proposal is to extend the current part-time bus lanes along the aforementioned roads in a number of areas (PDF map).
While this is a step in the right direction, full-time bus lanes along the parts of these two roads would be a much better solution. Sure, there are many buses operating during peak times, but there are also plenty of buses operating during other times also being held up by traffic. The problems that PTV cite are not unique to buses operating in peak.
As Daniel Bowen said in a PTUA media release in 2009: “There is no reason why travel times should increase for off-peak travel, and there is no reason why peak-hour commuters should be penalised for choosing to travel by bus…the morning southbound bus lane moves more people per hour than the four lanes of gridlock next to it, so there is no reason to delay the introduction of full-time bus lanes”.
Alan Davies quotes information from an earlier VicRoads report: “It shows that 10,000 vehicles per hour travel on Hoddle Street in the middle of the day, only a little more than the 9,700 per hour that use it in the morning peak. And as the accompanying graphic of traffic volumes across the Punt Rd bridge shows, traffic on Saturday and Sunday is higher than on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday”.
Even the RACV are in favour of it, so given the increasing patronage on DART and other high-frequency Hoddle St routes, full-time bus lanes should be a no-brainer.
There was also this interesting quote from the section on T2 lanes: “A T2 lane is for vehicles with two or more passengers. Research shows that around half of the drivers using this lane do so unlawfully.” More enforcement of transit lanes (especially on the Eastern Freeway) and of clearway restrictions in the inner-city is certainly needed.
More information here.