It’s the end of the month, so here’s one of my regular posts of ten year old photos.
First posted at the time, here’s what happens when a garbage truck breaks down.
The big thing in transport in October 2010 was the launch of the new “DART” (Doncaster Area Rapid Transit, thankfully a name that has mostly fallen by the wayside) Smartbus services along Lonsdale Street. It was a revamp of existing Eastern Freeway bus routes, with real-time information at major stops, specially branded buses with automated stop announcements on-board, some bus priority, but most importantly, more frequent services.
The new “totem” bus stop signs were installed to help promote the Smartbus services by making them more prominent.
The placement of this new Smartbus sign in Lonsdale Street near Queen Street was not chosen well. It ended up some distance away from the stops (see the totems in the background) hidden behind shop signage.
Here’s how it looks from the stop:
Flagstaff station: With one escalator out of order, the remaining one was left operating upwards for exit out of the station, despite it being afternoon peak. The MX (free newspaper) guy had figured out that more people would be coming down than up, even if the station staff hadn’t.
The State Government had done thorough reviews of local bus services. One of the few recommendations they pursued was to extend route 626 through to Brighton, on an almost direct route along Union Street. But due to the road layout at Nepean Highway it needed to also run along Landcox, Lansdown and Milroy Streets. The locals were having none of it.
This idea that bus services every half-hour would cause traffic congestion is an odd one. Equally strange is the idea that buses driven by professional drivers are a danger for children – but private cars and 4WDs (some of them driven by untrained distracted idiots) are not.
It’s also short term thinking to believe that you and your family would never want to use the bus yourselves, and want it nearby. Many of us will one day have kids who are teenagers and want to travel about. Many of us will live to an age where one day driving ourselves is no longer a good idea.
The NIMBYs won this battle (from memory this was in part because the following month Labor lost power and the local Liberal MP was strongly against the bus route). Subsequrntly, route 626 to this day does a huge indirect circuit via North Road to get between Union Street and Bay Street.
There were similar arguments a few years later when the good burghers of McKinnon went into battle against local buses in McKinnon Road (that is, the section of McKinnon Road that didn’t already have buses), resulting in the new route 627 avoiding it, partly duplicating route 703 instead.
Out east, here’s Ringwood station, showing off its steep non-DDA-compliant ramps, before the 2015-16 renovation.
Finally, a photo from the campaign trail. In the run-up to the 2010 state election, the Victorian Greens announced their vision for public transport, which included returning it to be publicly run.