How could you solve bus overcrowding

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VTPreston_Tez

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Basically, there was mass overcrowding over two Optare midibuses earlier today on the Preston City Orbital Clockwise (Bus Station-Cottam via Rail Station, Docklands, Larches, Savick and Westleigh) and while on board one of the buses, I had an idea on how to solve the problem. This is a place where you can discuss how to solve your overcrowding problems.

For the Orbital:
The buses terminate in Cottam on Sundays and Bank Holidays, and the Lea area needs more coverage on Sundays by southern buses, so the idea is to scrap all Orbital services on Sunday and run the 30 (re-instated) and 89 as well as a selection of 31s. All 30s would divert to Lea over Cottam and a select few 31s would divert this way when the two buses head towards Lea down at Ainsdale Drive (left instead of right)
This would very much lower and spread out congestion, as well as extra buses.

As for the east, it is recommended to cancel the Orbital on this side too on Sundays and Bank Holidays and re-instate the 105 (Asda via Longsands), 6 (Brookfield), and 7 (Fulwood Row) which would pretty much leave the whole route more spread out and lower congestion while if the buses are timed right it will keep money issues the same, which would be an even bigger perk.

I don't know about other buses but I'm looking forward to hearing your suggestions and feedback on what is posted here. Maybe the bus companies will see but let's not get too excited yet...
 
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mbonwick

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Or alternatively, just get Preston to kick out a dart/MAN ALX300/Trident (delete as appropriate), instead of a tiny Solo?

Much simpler, and problem (probably) solved
 

VTPreston_Tez

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Or alternatively, just get Preston to kick out a dart/MAN ALX300/Trident (delete as appropriate), instead of a tiny Solo?

Much simpler, and problem (probably) solved
Yeah. Right.
The last "long bus" was a Lnyx a few years back on the orbital. You've got no chance.
 

MCW

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the fact is i really don't understand operators using midibuses like solo's in a busy urban situation, it's actually quite a stupid thing to do in my eyes. the cost of running a solo or similar on a route will be upto 75% if not more, of the cost of putting out a double decker on the same route (providing the route enviroment can allow a Double, ie. no low bridges or clearances etc.)

I'll give you an example:

I run the Leicester Better Bus Campaign, so I am used to hearing about complaints and questions. one of which was, 'why is a double decker used on the 87 route in Leicester when it is never full' that's because it is down to allocations sometimes, but mainly because the company aren't really losing out when operating a double decker compared to an overcrowded or very full dennis Dart Midi bus.

Drives me up the wall when the answer to overcrowding is in front of the Operator's eyes but they don't take up the solution....
 

VTPreston_Tez

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The same applies for the 23 and 35 in Preston. Some 35s have been shrunk for extra 23s but either way, they're never full.
The 88 routes do not support double deckers however when my school bus is double decker it goes via my road and south up Lea Road over North, so it can still access the church. It diverts up to around Clifton, where it takes country roads back onto the route. Why the 88s can't do that is ridiculous. It's why I would like some developments on Westleigh that actually are useful. I'd like a level crossing, modernized re-opening of Lea Road, and a parkway zone made in the process. It would work very well, if the costs can be met.
 

VTPreston_Tez

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Infact, PBT have boosted capacity on the 31 by using ex park and ride stock and where viable, current park and ride stock. They need sideways seating for max capacity now. I trust it can be done on the next bus order!
 

WestCoast

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I'd rather have it (over rear wheel arches, for instance) than rear facing seats, which never have adequate legroom and only really ever seem to be used as footrests.
I agree about rear facing seats on buses, one operator I know has such tatty seats at the back on the top deck of their buses as it's used as a footrest and "hangout place". I don't know why this is necessary as there are no wheel arches.
 

mbonwick

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I think it's purely aesthetic to make the rear row corner seats look more open and less 'boxed in' - plus it's nice for when there's 4 of you travelling together.
 

WestCoast

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I think it's purely aesthetic to make the rear row corner seats look more open and less 'boxed in' - plus it's nice for when there's 4 of you travelling together.
I won't divulge the operator (they use multi-coloured seating), but the top deck at the back is the scruffiest area I've ever seen on transport in the regions (threadbare seating, etching on the windows, cigarette marks), although the rest of their buses are quite well presented. I think it stems from school bus work.

Not quite as bad as I've seen on London Buses though.
 
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Greenback

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Does any passenger actually like this arrangement?
I don't!

I'd rather have it (over rear wheel arches, for instance) than rear facing seats, which never have adequate legroom and only really ever seem to be used as footrests.
I agree, I don't like rear facing or sideways seats at all. I think this is because when on an unfamiliar route i need to keep an eye on street and road signs to see when we will arrive at my destination. This is difficult when facing the inside or back of the bus!

As to the OP, I am not familiar with Preston or its buses, but it seems to me that if a route is severely overcrowded throughout the day (some overcrowding can always be expected at peak times) then either bigger buses or a more frequent service or even both must surely be justified?
 

anthony263

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I don't!



I agree, I don't like rear facing or sideways seats at all. I think this is because when on an unfamiliar route i need to keep an eye on street and road signs to see when we will arrive at my destination. This is difficult when facing the inside or back of the bus!

As to the OP, I am not familiar with Preston or its buses, but it seems to me that if a route is severely overcrowded throughout the day (some overcrowding can always be expected at peak times) then either bigger buses or a more frequent service or even both must surely be justified?
Yes and as we have seen with First Cymru a lot of their routes in Swansea could certainly do with dumble deckers being used but First always seem tto have an excuse although they do have the volvo Olympians which appear on service 120/125 from Swansea to Ystradgynlais and Neath college services.

They were supposed to be having new vehicles for some routes in Swansea which looks to be in doubt and the enviro 200 darts First cymru have were recently sent to Bath/Bristol/Devon although we got a few low floor Volvo's in return.

As for increasing frequencies they could do that but then you have the question of are there enough drivers and would you have to take some drivers/vehicles away from other routes.
 

cainebj

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The problem with the Preston Bus orbit services is the funding. It got brand new 33 seat Optare Solo M950's with government funding under the bus services Kickstart scheme back in 2006, and received funding to operate the route. Even today, Preston Bus are working in partnership with Preston City Council who part fund the service after it was declared as loss making, alongside the Park & Ride services that were scrapped last year by Preston Bus, but the council stepped in to fund them because they didn't want to lose the P&R scheme.
Unfortunately, a full bus doesn't mean it is a profitable one.
 

VTPreston_Tez

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I also haven't mentioned properly that all but about 3 buses a day turn up late, and at least 2 per day on the network that get cancelled (on the 31 there's at least one a day but sometimes more) and of course this leads to overcrowding.
PBT run TVs on nearly all of their buses-is it about time they were able to be sorted out to advise passengers where they are? And the electronic displays, get them back up!
 

150222

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If funding is an issue why not buy some old buses? (Like Halifax Joint Commitee and the Metrobuses). Has TFL sold all the bendy's yet?
 

mbonwick

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TfL never owned the bendibuses - either they were owned outright by the operators, or leased, eg. from Lombard Direct in the case of Stagecoach/ELBG.
 

150222

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TfL never owned the bendibuses - either they were owned outright by the operators, or leased, eg. from Lombard Direct in the case of Stagecoach/ELBG.
Well buy from whoever owns them then, my question was have they all been withdrawn & sold? The big companies are starting to withdraw low floor vehicule and these could be bought. Preston Bus is Stagecoach isn't it? Could they cascade low floor 'Magic Bus' veicules to Preston? Alternitively some of Teesides buses are getting tatty now, send these to Preston?
 

cainebj

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Preston Bus is owned by Rotala PLC. It is under Rotala that the routes were deemed loss making, after being operated commercially by Preston Bus (pre-Stagecoach buy out) and Stagecoach. Under Rotala each individual company has to manage its own finances, whereas under Stagecoach they had the overall company profits to fall back on to bump up a depot's revenue. Preston Bus was never really in a strong financial position, with a very large number of vehicles being heavilly financed (finance was reduced by a sizeable amount by Stagecoach), if it wasn't for the Stagecoach buy-out they'd have almost certainly went bankrupt or had their vehicles ceased for non-payment of finance.
I know it sounds odd, especially when a bus can be full, but even though Preston Bus do have bigger buses, and I'd assume they're available on a Sunday, if the routes don't pull the cash in, they won't put them out. The single deck Scania's are a bit more thirsty than the Optare Solo's are and the management aren't going to put the bigger buses out in service (unless in an emergency) to lose more money than they already were, unless the figures are there on paper to guarantee the running costs will be met (which in real management terms is the actual running costs + required profit margin set by top top level management). Then the next issue is drivers pay, I don't know how drivers are paid by Preston Bus under Rotala, but generally drivers are paid according to whether they drive a minibus or a standard size bus. The Solo's in the Preston Bus orbit route case fall under minibus classification being 33 seaters, but larger vehicles would require "big bus pay". It is doubtful a driver on a minibus wage would carry on accepting the minibus wage for driving a larger vehicle in service, even more so when the rostered Solo's would just be sat spare. Just like if you were a window cleaner, you wouldn't clean windows on the front and back of the house if you were only being paid to clean the windows on the front.
 

Schnellzug

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TfL never owned the bendibuses - either they were owned outright by the operators, or leased, eg. from Lombard Direct in the case of Stagecoach/ELBG.
which is a point worth thinking about when private companies are used as political footballs. They were expected to buy the things to satisfy a Politician's whim, and then had to try to find something to do with them when another Politician came along with a Whim of his own. There's a moral there, perhaps.

--- old post above --- --- new post below ---

* next!

Preston Bus is owned by Rotala PLC. It is under Rotala that the routes were deemed loss making, after being operated commercially by Preston Bus (pre-Stagecoach buy out) and Stagecoach. Under Rotala each individual company has to manage its own finances, whereas under Stagecoach they had the overall company profits to fall back on to bump up a depot's revenue. Preston Bus was never really in a strong financial position, with a very large number of vehicles being heavilly financed (finance was reduced by a sizeable amount by Stagecoach), if it wasn't for the Stagecoach buy-out they'd have almost certainly went bankrupt or had their vehicles ceased for non-payment of finance..
So why did Stagecoach have to sell them? To satisfy another whim, of a QUANGO this time? Do these organisations do anything in the interests of anyone other than the Bureaucrats that they provide job opportunities for? (unless one believes the "We must have Competition! The Market will decide!" Thatcherite dogma).

--- old post above --- --- new post below ---

Then the next issue is drivers pay, I don't know how drivers are paid by Preston Bus under Rotala, but generally drivers are paid according to whether they drive a minibus or a standard size bus. The Solo's in the Preston Bus orbit route case fall under minibus classification being 33 seaters, but larger vehicles would require "big bus pay". It is doubtful a driver on a minibus wage would carry on accepting the minibus wage for driving a larger vehicle in service, even more so when the rostered Solo's would just be sat spare. Just like if you were a window cleaner, you wouldn't clean windows on the front and back of the house if you were only being paid to clean the windows on the front.
And what an outrageous scam that is too. Treating drivers as second class citizens because they drive rattly little Minibuses. I know it's commonplace in the Bus industry, but that doesn't make it any more moral. For the discomfort of rattling around in those little things all day, they ought to be paid more.
 
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krisk

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I can only comment for my own area which is the Manchester - Oldham run

1. More peak time runs
2. Lower frequency 10.00-16.00
3. More limited stop services
4. Service enhanced upto 21.00 for those whom work in city centre
5. Improved turn round time in Manchester
6. Better information that other services run part of Oldham Rd to level out loadings
7. Bank holidays should not be a Sunday service
8. JPT to commence a Manchester to Oldham run
9. Introduce a smart card oyster style to speed up boarding
10. Have a week where the bosses at First have to go out and travel and make journeys that their paying customers make
 

cainebj

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Bit of a thread bump, but something rather relevant has came up regarding:

Basically, there was mass overcrowding over two Optare midibuses earlier today on the Preston City Orbital Clockwise (Bus Station-Cottam via Rail Station, Docklands, Larches, Savick and Westleigh) and while on board one of the buses, I had an idea on how to solve the problem. This is a place where you can discuss how to solve your overcrowding problems.

For the Orbital:
The buses terminate in Cottam on Sundays and Bank Holidays, and the Lea area needs more coverage on Sundays by southern buses, so the idea is to scrap all Orbital services on Sunday and run the 30 (re-instated) and 89 as well as a selection of 31s. All 30s would divert to Lea over Cottam and a select few 31s would divert this way when the two buses head towards Lea down at Ainsdale Drive (left instead of right)
This would very much lower and spread out congestion, as well as extra buses.

As for the east, it is recommended to cancel the Orbital on this side too on Sundays and Bank Holidays and re-instate the 105 (Asda via Longsands), 6 (Brookfield), and 7 (Fulwood Row) which would pretty much leave the whole route more spread out and lower congestion while if the buses are timed right it will keep money issues the same, which would be an even bigger perk.

I don't know about other buses but I'm looking forward to hearing your suggestions and feedback on what is posted here. Maybe the bus companies will see but let's not get too excited yet...
Taken from the service changes being implemented by Preston Bus from 21st May:

"The Sunday daytime service 88A/88C between Preston and Cottam will be withdrawn and replaced by additional Service 89 journeys between Preston and Larches only.

Lancashire County Council are assessing whether a replacement Sunday service to Cottam would be sustainable."
 

HowMuch?

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A "no-new-equipment" solution

Prevent bunching. Not only does bunching lead to longer expected waiting times for passengers, it also results in more crowded buses.

Once a bus (or even two) buses catch up to the one in front, the front bus gets packed with all the people from the queues, and the buses behind pick up only the stragglers who ran up too late to get on the first one.

I'm sure a BSc in "Buses and Stuff" goes into the theories of preventing bunching. But my candidate for a simple solution would be for Managers to require drivers not to lurk behind to get an easy shift, but to overtake to get the next stop.

Where two companies run a route, bunching is for opposite reason The bus in front actively SEEKS to get all the pax and leave the other company's bus as empty as possible. So they'll do all they can NOT to get too far ahead, and (a reckless minority) will even try to stop the bus behind from overtaking. In some cases, one company will even engineer this by timetabling its buses one minute ahead of the other. Infuriating to see a timetable with intervals of 1min, 19mins, 1min, 19mins instead of 10,10,10... i've no idea, in these deregulated days, who can stop companies doing this.
 

Tramfan

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Infuriating to see a timetable with intervals of 1min, 19mins, 1min, 19mins instead of 10,10,10... i've no idea, in these deregulated days, who can stop companies doing this.
That's a pet hate of mine at the minute as well. To give an example, the new trams in Blackpool and the number 1 bus service (same company 'Blackpool Transport') both terminate at the same location "Starr Gate." In the evenings, they each run at 30 minute intervals, so you would expect they'd be evenly spaced 15 minutes apart, but instead they both leave at exactly the same time! So you have 2 vehicles departing at the same time then a 30 minute gap until the next 2. They both run to the same destination at the other end as well, so they run side by side for the whole journey!

Quite simply, I'd either run them at evenly spaced intervals, or scrap the number 1 bus altogether. This would free up 7 double deckers for use on other routes, leaving the trams to run the main service on Blackpool's promenade and north to Fleetwood.
 
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