I’ve droned on and on about the importance of frequency in public transport services. I recently pondered why Metro don’t promote their every-10-minutes service from Newport via the City to Frankston.
Some of the operators do understand that waiting time is critical, and do advertise when they put on extra services, and/or run frequent services.
I recently participated at a session at the Wheeler Centre on transport. As you’ll see from the video (specifically from the 5:30 mark), I make an example of (err, that might not be the right phrase) my friend Tony, who lives close to Deer Park station, but never catches the train from there to the football, not even when his team is playing at Etihad… even though the train is (almost) express, they’re comfortable V/Line trains with nice seats and better customer service than Metro (conductors), and it’s a bargain at $3.30 return on weekends and public holidays.
The problem is the timetable is hopeless, making it unusable. V/Line has frequencies of roughly one train per hour, and every second one doesn’t stop at Deer Park. Arrivals in the City don’t suit game times, so you either arrive hopelessly early, or late for the first bounce.
The infrastructure, the fleet, they’re all there, but the frequency isn’t. It’s crap.
And alas, the instances of high-frequency services worth promoting are in the minority. But where they exist, they’re worth shouting about, to help ensure they succeed.