Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

Public transport timetables finally in GTFS format

Information is power, so they say. So it follows that good accurate information on public transport services is needed to make the most of them. Back in 2005, before the first wave of Real smartphones prompted by the iPhone, Google launched Google Transit. The idea is simple: with access to all of a region's public transport timetables, people can easily find out how they get from A to B --

Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

Detailed Metro train stats revealed

This morning The Age published more detailed train service data than we usually get to see. Some information is routinely published, but we rarely get an insight into the breakdown between AM, PM and off-peak punctuality, for instance. In some ways the data was no great surprise -- in the first week of March, hundreds of services were altered, including 71 Loop bypasses (City and Altona), and 3

Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

Tram changes: Some make sense. Some, it seems, less so.

Via a couple of stories in the last few days, The Age has revealed proposed changes to the tram network, probably to take place from mid-year with the next big round of timetable changes. Some context First, some context. All the changes need to be seen in light of fleet changes, and growing patronage. The load surveys for trams track crowding on trams at the pressure points, specifically

Bentleigh, transport

Southland station: now expected to open 2017

I remember when Labor and the Coalition both pledged to build Southland station. It was 2010. I told my kids, who were excited. They were 15 and 12 at the time, just the ages when they were looking forward to exploring the city and suburbs on their own, going to places like Southland with friends. Of course it was the Coalition who won the 2010 election. In 2012 I looked back at progress

Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

Track conditions causing carriages to bump together like this can’t be good

One of the advantages of rail over road transport is the ride quality. Well, that's in theory. If enough care and funding goes in, trains can be extremely smooth. In practice on a rail network like Melbourne's, with aging infrastructure, it can be a bumpy ride. Now, I don't have a major problem with a less than totally smooth ride, particularly around the many junctions on the system. A bit

transport

#Myki Monthly and Weekly Pass fares: more expensive than ever compared to daily fares

On many public transport systems, they go out of their way to encourage what we in Melbourne call Passes -- sometimes called Season Passes, Periodicals, Monthly or Yearly tickets: a fixed price for unlimited travel for a period. For the system, the benefits include reduced transaction costs, getting a bunch of money up front, and the promise of customer loyalty, at least for the Pass duration,

Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

Now mostly no monetary benefit from touching-off your #Myki

As far as I can see, since the January zone changes, there is now no monetary benefit to touching-off your Myki for trips in zone 1, or zone 1+2. This is because the Myki Money Default fare (the fare it assumes you should be charged if you touched-on, but never touched-off) is normally the same as the fare incurred for those trips anyway: $3.76 full fare, or $1.88 for concession. This means

transport

Another glitch with #Myki: It pays you $1.52 to travel further

Over the years there have been various problems with the Myki ticketing system. Some have been self-inflicted, such as the lack of a single use ticket, which was the result of a Coalition decision in 2011. Others are down to poor implementation, such as the slow and inconsistent read times for cards, or the difficulty that trams and buses have in detecting which of Melbourne's two gigantic zones t

transport

Comparing public transport smartcards around Australia

Brisbane and Perth had got their smartcard systems before the Myki system started in Melbourne (just on 5 years ago). Other cities have followed, and now all Australian capital cities have public transport smartcards. Every single one of those other cities has a paper or single use ticket alongside the smartcards. And every single one of these other systems has been provided by a supplier wi

transport

Today marks five years of #Myki in Melbourne

Five years ago today, the government unexpectedly announced that Myki was valid for travel in Melbourne, from 3pm that day. It followed the rollout in regional centres earlier that year, and the installation of numerous card vending machines and reader devices around Melbourne. The government had foolishly promised it would be switched-on in Melbourne by the end of 2009, and just about met t