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Author Topic: 543 Browns Plains to Heritage Park  (Read 2393 times)

Offline triplethree

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543 Browns Plains to Heritage Park
« on: December 17, 2012, 07:02:25 PM »
I caught the 543 from Browns Plains to Heritage Park on the weekend. Outbound on Saturday afternoon to a friend's place for a party, inbound on Sunday afternoon.

I think it's fair to say that I now belong to a rather elite group. I believe that more people have climbed Mount Everest than have caught the 543. I'm lucky I achieved this magnificent feat before TransLink axe the service and merge it into the 542.

Outbound there were five passengers (including myself). Inbound, only two (including myself). All other passengers appeared to be under 25.

But this is predictable. Heritage Park is a broadly middle-class area consisting of nuclear families where all but 12 households live in a detached house, where very few households don't have a car (1.6% at the 2011 Census, to be exact) and where the overwhelming majority of households having two or more cars (74%). The area has lowish density so there aren't too many people who live within walking distance of each stop, a fact that discourages frequent service. And because frequent service is discouraged you can't attract the discretionary passengers who have a car who will make a service viable. A vicious circle, if you will.

So it didn't surprise me that the 543 is essentially a very empty and large taxi for unruly teenagers who don't yet have a licence or a car.

Then there's the fact that the 543 only services one trip attractor - Grand Plaza. Whereas if there was a way to extend it to some other trip attractor like one of the stations on the Beenleigh Line or another shopping centre it might have performed better in the recent network review. When my friend and I went to uni he used to drive to one of the Beenleigh Line stations and park there. I can't say I blame him.

So the low patronage and terrible frequency didn't surprise me. What surprised me were the bloated running times. They were more bloated than corpses floating on the Ganges at Varanasi. Honestly, doesn't anybody from TransLink check running times once in a while to make sure that buses aren't running habitually early so they can identify where to speed the timetables up and improve efficiency? The outbound trip was timetabled to take 18 minutes; it was more like 12 and the driver was dawdling the entire way. The inbound trip was different, the driver would stop for lengthy periods at each timing point so the clock could catch up, even then he was back at Browns Plains three minutes early. Running buses faster means you can run them more often, perhaps every 40 minutes instead of every 60 minutes? Or use the time saved to run extra services on busier routes?
This is the Night Mail, crossing the border
Bringing the cheque and the postal order
Letters for the rich, letters for the poor
The shop at the corner and the girl next door
--"Night Mail", W.H. Auden

Offline HappyTrainGuy

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Re: 543 Browns Plains to Heritage Park
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2012, 10:24:38 PM »
Nah. Translink don't do stuff like that. Catch a off peak 680. The amount of time that can be wasted sitting at North Lakes, Petrie Station and Strathpine is a joke - sometimes up to 10-15 minutes all up :hg

Offline SurfRail

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Re: 543 Browns Plains to Heritage Park
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2012, 10:44:44 PM »
Nah. Translink don't do stuff like that. Catch a off peak 680. The amount of time that can be wasted sitting at North Lakes, Petrie Station and Strathpine is a joke - sometimes up to 10-15 minutes all up :hg

And yet there are 680s which are leaving people behind and they won't do anything about it.  Go figure...
Ride the G:

Offline HappyTrainGuy

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Re: 543 Browns Plains to Heritage Park
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2012, 11:38:25 PM »
Nah. Translink don't do stuff like that. Catch a off peak 680. The amount of time that can be wasted sitting at North Lakes, Petrie Station and Strathpine is a joke - sometimes up to 10-15 minutes all up :hg

And yet there are 680s which are leaving people behind and they won't do anything about it.  Go figure...

Sums up SEQPT in one neat little package  :is-

Offline triplethree

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Re: 543 Browns Plains to Heritage Park
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2012, 11:47:23 PM »
Nah. Translink don't do stuff like that. Catch a off peak 680. The amount of time that can be wasted sitting at North Lakes, Petrie Station and Strathpine is a joke - sometimes up to 10-15 minutes all up :hg

With "spine" routes like the 250 and the 680, I believe the emphasis is on having very regular clockface timetables that don't vary at all, to facilitate easier pulse timetabling, where feeder routes meet the spine route at interchanges like the three you've mentioned, Capalaba, Victoria Point, etc. That way you have regular clockface timetables on the feeders as well. That's the only explanation that makes sense IMO.

Here's an even stupider example though for which I can not think of a single plausible explanation. Check out the 599 (clockwise Great Circle Line), the service which arrives at Brookside at 3:29pm and leaves at 3:33pm. It's scheduled to arrive at Enoggera at 3:05pm.

It does NOT take 24 minutes to get from Enoggera to Brookside. That's not much faster than walking. It's usually more like 10. Maybe 15 in extremely heavy traffic. Most of the other services are timetabled to take 10 to 15 minutes. A few weeks ago I wanted to go to Everton Park and made the mistake of catching this service. It got to Brookside at about 3:15pm where it just sat there for 18 minutes. I actually got out and prepared to catch the 369 but none appeared.

Honestly, the entire Great Circle Line timetable needs a rewrite. 16 minutes to get from Ashgrove to Toowong? Seriously? You'd struggle to go that fast in a car. What procedures does TransLink have in place to review running times and bus timetables? You'd think with all the GPS data from the Go Card system that they'd have barrels of fun trying to maximise efficiency and get services running to time without having to send inspectors out with pencils and notepads.
This is the Night Mail, crossing the border
Bringing the cheque and the postal order
Letters for the rich, letters for the poor
The shop at the corner and the girl next door
--"Night Mail", W.H. Auden

Offline HappyTrainGuy

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Re: 543 Browns Plains to Heritage Park
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2012, 01:37:59 AM »
Spine..... after someone had jumped off the 10m board into an empty pool :P I understand that and its a given for such a route but the added fat has just blown out way too much. Even with the bridge repair works and associated traffic congestion south of Petrie they still run well ahead of time Petrie-Strathpine. Its about a 6-8 minute drive by car. Train services are schedulled to run it in 8 minutes but can do it in about 6:30-7 mins. The bus is schedulled for something like 13-14 minutes off peak but schedulled for 10 minutes in peak. In peak hour traffic yes it can take that long but off peak... Add the 25 or so minutes for Petrie-North Lakes section and the time just builds up. 15-20 mins by car but 35 mins by bus off peak and 30 mins during peak...  :dntk

That being said onboard top ups and congestion can easily delay the 680.

Offline nathandavid88

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Re: 543 Browns Plains to Heritage Park
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2012, 09:29:57 AM »
The 543 is a route that really makes no sense, terminating in the middle of no where and carrying largely air! At least the 542 has a second trip generator bookending the route (Park Ridge P'n'R) and personally I'd like to see the 541 permanently run its occasional journey, and then extend it up to the P'n'R as well.

 

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“You can't understand a city without using its public transportation system.” -- Erol Ozan