(This post adapted from a Twitter thread posted yesterday)
Rail replacements on the Caulfield line are not the only major disruptions to public transport at the moment.
Bus routes from the eastern suburbs into the CBD are some of the busiest in Melbourne.
All of them are currently terminating on the edge of the CBD for five weeks due to power upgrade works.
Bus passengers are asked to make their own way to/from Exhibition/Lonsdale Streets.
From the western end of the CBD, it’s a long walk to Exhibition Street, or a ride in a very packed tram.
Caulfield rail replacements also drop people on the edge of the CBD, though the frequency of north-south Swanston Street trams connecting to Federation Square and the Arts Centre is far better than the east-west trams along Bourke and La Trobe Streets.
Making it even worse for bus passengers: more roadworks elsewhere this week resulting in more delays even once you’re on the bus.
Back to the signage. Kudos to them for programming the Smartbus sign to say the County Court stop is closed.
But some other routes from the western suburbs continue to serve this section of Lonsdale Street as far as Queen Street. Confusing much?
At least those routes don’t generally pick up passengers along here – because they terminate in Queen Street.
Also baffling: remember how some 232/235/237 buses from Port Melbourne are diverting away from Collins St due to heavy traffic?
Some of them are choosing to join the congestion in Lonsdale St. This doesn’t seem like the best idea.
Anyway, it’s understandable that Transdev didn’t get want their eastern suburbs buses getting stuck in heavy traffic every day during the works. This caused lots of problems during the William Street works in November.
Rather than just leaving people to walk (fun this morning in the heavy rain) or catch a packed tram that doesn’t really connect to where the buses run, there are things they could have done.
Maybe they should have set up a shuttle bus service along Lonsdale Street to Exhibition St to help people connect with their service?
It probably makes sense to do these works in school holidays, but it’s a myth that everyone’s on holiday for all of January.
Better co-ordination/staggering of works, and some kind of provision for passengers who can’t walk the length of Lonsdale Street certainly wouldn’t go astray.
The Doncaster area may never get a rail line to the City. It’s important that their bus services run as smoothly as possible.