How much would trains every ten minutes cost?

One of the gaping holes in Melbourne's public transport system is the lack of an all-day every day frequent service on the backbone: the Metro suburban train network. Melbourne is one of the few cities in the world, outside North America, which doesn't have frequent all day trains. Other Australian cities are moving towards this. Perth has now trains every 15 minutes to most stations until


Big changes proposed for the City Loop

A Metro (MTM) proposal has emerged for big changes to the operation of the City Loop for trains running through the Caulfield and Burnley tunnels. The page below is from a document discussing CBD station capacity implications from the introduction of the High Capacity Metro Trains. I'm told the document is genuine. It reveals that the Caulfield Loop will be required to run anti-clockwise al


Bus stop stripes

Sometimes I notice tiny things, and wonder what they're about. Have you noticed that some bus stops have a small colourful stripy bit of tape? Intriguingly, many of them seem to match the colours of the logo of the bus operator for that route - even if the buses themselves are now all in the standard PTV orange livery. Here's on


Why the Frankston line should come out of the Loop until 2025

I'm sorry to go all Neville Shunt on you and drone on about railway timetables again, but I'm going to do it anyway. In an ideal metro system, that is a rail network designed to maximise capacity and frequency, one of the key things is to separate the busiest lines so they don't share tracks. Melbourne has been making that transition, but it's time for the next step. With that in mind, l


Metro’s paper timetables mess

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that fewer people use paper train timetables than used to. The proliferation of departure information via the official web sites, Google Maps and the official Journey Planner, as well as the official app (with its real time information) and many other apps, means people can get that information far more readily than they used to. Some stations also

The week in transport, Toxic Custard newsletter

New timetables on 27th August, as Southland Station nears completion

New public transport timetables kick in on August 27th. Last week (or maybe it was the week before), PTV released details, including full timetables for the routes affected: Metro: More trains at peak times V/Line: More choice with more services Altona Loop users rejoice! (A bit) There will be no more Altona Loop shuttles. Weekday Altona Loop services will run through to Flinders St.


Melbourne buses: many less frequent than 25 years ago

The Public Transport Not Traffic campaign organised a story in this week's local paper, via campaigners Tony, Danita and Oscar setting up a fake bus stop to call for better bus services. Among the quotes in the story from locals is this one from me: "Bentleigh has less frequent buses than it did 25 years ago." I've been (quite reasonably) asked if this is actually true. Yep, it is


How to print your own personalised train/bus/tram timetable

One side of my fridge has my local train and bus timetables on it. It's very handy, and pretty easy to do. Method one (quicker for trains, a little haphazard for buses and trams) 1. Go to 2. In the right hand side Station / Stop search, type the name of your station (or street for trams and buses) and click Go. 3. If more than one option comes up, cl


Timetable Mastermind: confusion on the Frankston line 6pm-7pm

One of the things planners should be aiming for in making public transport easy to use is ensuring that the choices are few. The new Frankston line timetable does this in the off-peak (and evenings) with a consistent pattern: Frankston to Flinders Street (direct), stopping all stations. In peak, in theory, there are two patterns: Frankston to Cheltenham, then express to Caulfield, to South Y


Changing trains is not evil

There's intense interest in the new train timetable, which technically started today, but has its first actual changes tomorrow. The level of interest should be a reminder to politicians that public transport is still very much a live issue. It should (hopefully) bring some genuine benefits in helping to fix punctuality and overcrowding. There are some genuine cases where people at indiv