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The Importance of Frequency

Started by #Metro, November 04, 2014, 08:10:25 AM

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Bus takes 15 minutes - great right? But frequency is 60 minutes, so actual time is around 75 minutes...

Similar thing happens in Rosalie, Paddington. 3km to CBD and 15 minute ride but wait time is 1 hour. So 75 mins to travel 3 km...

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Low frequency services mean that you have to build your life around the timetable. Nobody experiences an average trip, in the same way that an average household has 1.2 children. There is no house in Australia that has 0.2 of a child. One also has to consider the worst possible scenario as well.

In addition to this, one must look at the reliability/variation. Low frequency services also mean that total journey times are harder to predict as your trip could be as short as 15 minutes (catch the bus right there) or as long as 75 minutes(just missed it) - that's a very wide range of possibilities (+/- one hour) for what is a very small difference (a few seconds difference between catch the bus right there and just missed it).
Negative people... have a problem for every solution. Posts are commentary and are not necessarily endorsed by RAIL Back on Track or its members.


Quote from: rtt_rules on November 04, 2014, 18:43:55 PM
When I catch a flight to Brisbane and I just miss the plane the 30min frequency is clearly added to the travel time as I have little choice to adjust the flight time, however this doesn't apply for all trips, but yes you maybe adapting to the timetable as few would sit at the bus stop for 59min. I think to be fair you say with a 15min bus trip and a 60min frequency, the average trip is basically 45min.


Average journey times aren't really about the likelihood of missing the bus.  If you use a low frequency service you plan better.  Average journey times are about how early you will arrive at your end point.  If an hourly bus arrives in the CBD at ten minutes past the hour, every hour, then passengers needing to be there on the hour will have to arrive 50 minutes early, while passengers needing to be there at quarter past will only wait 5 minutes.  Obviously there are winners and losers, but on average, you need to add half the headway to your journey time (that is 15min journey becomes 45min with 60min frequency).


Average journey times are of little use to the general person trying to get to their destination however. Its more a tool for planners. The public transport user are more concerned about the worst-case scenario, since as LD mentioned, the difference between a 15 min trip and a 75 minute trip can be a few seconds if your bus only comes every hour.

The advantage of high-frequency vs low-frequency is that you don't have to plan your life around the timetable. You can be more spontaneous in your use of public transport, and therefore you are more likely to use it for more journeys, like going to the shops or to a mate's place, etc, as opposed to just your commute into work and back home. As the saying goes, "Frequency is Freedom"


high frequency is good.........i however have an issue when a buz route builds up its patronage over time due to the high frequncy but the planners then see fit to shaft the service and put in a replacement service at reduced frequency....compare LDT and translink proposals for the 120 buz and see which one makes sense...LDT has come up with a "how it should be done" plan by retaining current buz services as best can be ...but then rationalising other parts of the network to fund EXTRA high frequncy services....translink just played musical chairs....."you dont get high frequency anymore"...."here u go you can have some".


It happens all the time all over the place.  If there isn't a case for high frequency then spend the resources elsewhere.

Net effect of a review should be to increase the proportion of the network served by high frequency, and that does not necessarily mean everything is sacrosanct.  This is meant to be one of the main advantages of buses over fixed guideway forms of transport, you can up sticks and move it where it is needed and only have to worry about some bus stops.
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