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Author Topic: DRT coming to Gold Coast  (Read 754 times)

Offline achiruel

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DRT coming to Gold Coast
« on: November 05, 2020, 06:13:55 AM »

Public transport ride-sharing coming to Gold Coast, but will it help cut congestion?

A $2 million trial of the 'public transport version of Uber' on the Gold Coast is a step towards giving outer suburban residents a reliable alternative to cars, says a Griffith University researcher.

Griffith's Cities Research Institute's Benjamin Kaufman said demand responsive transport (DRT), or on-demand transit, provided options for people in outer suburbs who did not have regular bus routes.

"For most people, the bus stops aren't very convenient to get to and that means everyone really just wanted to drive their car," he said.

"The on-demand transit services that are planned now, they'll been feeding into … the major train lines or bus stations you might imagine being the backbone of the network."

Has it worked before?

Mr Kaufman said "you can imagine it [DRT] as a public transport version of Uber" with around 30 trials conducted nationally, including one in Logan.

"Some of the services have been very successful, others less so," he said.

"As these systems come on board, are used and then some of them are cancelled due to a lack of apparent success, we are learning and learning."

Logan's DRT trial had been operating for three years and had delivered almost 110,000 trips, according to a Transport and Main Roads spokesperson.

While destinations are fixed, routes and pick-up times vary depending on who books the service.

While some trials in New South Wales used small buses, Logan's trial has used 50 regular or maxi-cabs across three separate areas with customers charged between $1.50 and $3.00 per trip.

Mr Kaufman said using traditional cabs had been a "good way to test out a service" but that there were "some limitations".

"There's a lack of visibility, on-demand services already don't have any fixed stops so you lack advertising for a service like that," he said.

"If the vehicles aren't branded, then it may be that people in the community don't actually know the services are available."

Who uses it?

Mr Kaufman said, for many, purchasing a car was unaffordable or they may not have the physical ability to drive.

"Young people in our society who don't have their driver's licence yet or our ageing population," he said.

"We need to allow them to still go shopping, still gain access to the medical attention they need, and still be members of society."

Mr Kaufman said the Gold Coast trial sites were "well placed" for DRT.

"It might take you 10 or 15 minutes to drive to your destination, to catch a bus might take you 45 [minutes]," he said.

"They're in some suburban places that have some public transit right now but if you want to catch a bus from anywhere near your house, it's probably a bit of a walk."

Is DRT needed?

The State Government has committed $755 million to build a second M1 highway along the northern Gold Coast — funding matched by the Federal Government.

Mr Kaufman said emerging alternatives to traditional public transport were needed to reduce congestion, with an over-reliance on cars putting additional funding pressure on governments to widen or duplicate highways.

"People, for now, have a strong connection to the car because we've put so much into making it the easiest way to get around," he said.

"We've continued pouring millions and millions of dollars into road expansions, which inevitably leads to more congestion in the future, but it's kind of a stop gap."

Mr Kaufman said governments must "re-evaluate the underlining assumptions" about how transport could change when committing to future infrastructure projects.

"There is definitely going to be increased competition in this market," he said.

"There could be a constriction of operational viability for taxi companies and Uber."

Key points:
  • The State Government's demand responsive transport (DRT) or on-demand transit is coming to Nerang West, Highland Park and Pacific Pines next year
  • Residents pre-book cabs or maxis, and ride-share to selected destinations like shopping centres and train stations
  • It is offered as a flexible alternative to fixed bus routes or driving

Offline SurfRail

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Re: DRT coming to Gold Coast
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2020, 07:03:21 AM »
They trialled this nearly 10 years ago in Pac Pines - it was called "Yourbus" and ran every half-hour.  Eventually replaced with a fixed route service.

Patronage was good, cost outcomes were not. 

For a lot of these places, all you really need is a proper bus service with a decent span of hours and reasonable headways, and in particular (for the west of the Gold Coast) good connectivity with trains.
Ride the G:

Offline AnonymouslyBad

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Re: DRT coming to Gold Coast
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2020, 06:48:40 PM »
Ew. Ew ew ew ew ew.

Look, DRT has its place, but anywhere in suburbia ain't it chief.

Offline STB

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Re: DRT coming to Gold Coast
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2021, 04:06:36 PM »
My frank opinion on DRT is that it's simply a glorified taxi service, heavily subsidized and is simply like saying, we've failed to invest in public transport correctly with a decent bus network, so here's some taxis to fill in the gap since we can't be arsed to in funding more buses to run reasonably frequently and at a decent span of hours connecting with other services.

The only place DRT is good is getting into the nooks and crannies of suburban estates where traffic calming and narrow streets make buses impossible to provide with thanks to idiotic developers and even more idiotic urban planners.


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