Monday, January 31, 2011

Well, Another Happy Bus Driver! And.... Very Understanding! (Number 10)

Travelling on the Westbus 764 ( for my first time), I was in a spot of bother trying to get to home as quick as possible from Mount Druitt Interchange at approximately 5.10pm. I always had a choice of 3 buses to catch to and from Mount Druitt ; Busways 755, 758 and Westbus 780. Yet what I forgot I had a another choice was the Westbus 764 (as a fourth backup).

After contemplating what bus service I wanted to use, I entered onto the Westbus 764, asked the Driver GR 7218 what time he was departing? I knew it was a limited service and the  driver said so kindly and politely that as soon as I enter the bus and sit he will leave. Well that was great service so far.  We then carried on a conversation that made us mutual short time friends - the driver advised he drives around the Windsor area and only seldom drives around the area - when advised of our group and of our 'Happy Bus Drivers Register' - he just laughed, he didn't realise what we are doing is actually true.

Then he started saying that if he makes a mistake let him know and that the initiative we have is such a good thing it inspires all people and bodies working together: commuters,bus drivers, bus operators and Transport New South Wales. He even dropped myself in the corner of Gasmatta Crescent and Luxford Roads - enabling myself to get home in time for what I wanted to do. He  will be placed in our 'Happy Bus Drivers Register!'

Click here for Happy Bus Drivers Register:
http://mountdruittcommuters.blogspot.com/2010/12/happy-bus-drivers-register.html

Friday, January 28, 2011

Another happy Westbus Driver - last week! (Number 9)

Forgot to place thison the blog last week:

Another Westbus driver has made to the list by smiling and saying he enjoys his job and made me laugh when he said he is working until midnight but it is better in an hour as it is quieter! It was around 4.45pm. This was bus driver number GP 9369.

Sometime these drivers make me laugh!

Another Happy Driver - Excited! (Number 8)

Well, our Happy Bus Drivers  Register is increasing. Tonight I was on the 758 and the lady bus driver GS 1336, at first she looked like it was her last trip and when I  prompted her she advised that she had one more trip to go 750 and then home around 10pm.

As I spoke to she advised that she had a  day where young kids let her down and that was around St Marys where a couple of kids stopped the bus on a bus stop, got on the bus and asked questions about the bus water or water. They had  no reason to actually get on the bus and travel - they kept asking ridiculous questions and waisted not only her time but the time of other passengers. Other passengers suggested to the driver to just close the door and she hesitated due to OH&S of these children, until they went off the bus.

I said to her don't worry there are other children that will make her smile. She smiled and agreed, also told her to be positive, polite, say 'Hello' and 'Good bye' to each passenger. She then explained she was excited about her job - liked being a bus driver, working within the community. I advised her will add her to our, 'Happy Bus Drivers Register,' gave her our contact details and she said something like, 'This is real'! Maybe she thought I was on drugs before.....

Check our Happy Bus Driver Story - click here: http://mountdruittcommuters.blogspot.com/2010/12/happy-bus-drivers-register.html

Amazing Happy Bus Driver! (Number 7)

Well, tonight  I was on the Busways 758 at Mount Druitt Bus interchange when approximately at 8.45pm the bus driver GR 7601, made me laugh when he asked myself which ticket did I have? I explained I had a Multi three ticket 2 sections - he explained that he left his reading glasses at home and that he had little troubling in reading.

So I was curious to find out if he was capable of driving the rest of the 758 route! I so then asked him. He advised he had a little trouble in reading tickets and also the GPS system on the bus. I then offered him my  reading glasses (As I had spare ones on myself). he finished collecting more fares and as he started to drive off he replied with a generous laugh, he may have trouble seeing with my glasses and I also agreed. This was such a pleasant driver to talk too.


We will add this driver to our happy Bus Drivers Register! Click here:
http://www.blogger.com/post-edit.g?blogID=9119267016632766236&postID=6407914804718857441

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Mount Druitt Concourse Needs Electronic Changes To The Indicator Board.

Mount Druitt  as I speak to people that commute at Mount Druitt train station, we discover there seems to be an overwhelming support for dramatic changes We look at one area where we seem to be left in the dark ages and this is the old indicator boards.

When we analyse this area  I first think of the age of  the old indicator boards and surprisingly it may be older than the average commuter that travels on each platforms. Even older than me ( I'll keep you guessing!). I know  from talking to numerous Station Masters  in my last 20 years or so that each Station is graded according to importance of   most likely patronage on each station. Comparatively ( for example), Parramatta train Station  may be grade higher than Blacktown Station, which is most probably  graded more than Mount Druitt Station and that leaving Mount Druitt train station may have a higher grading than Rooty Hill and Doonside train Stations.

That seems to be the order of hierarchy and this will determine which trains stations may get treated in priority in preference to doing all in one hit. Anyway, getting to the point we would like to see the old indicator board changed to the new electronic ones. One thing is, it releases the station staff in doing this duty at the barriers as that is one of their duties to watch us for safety and ticketing reasons. So the following Videos are for your viewing and comments. One is  showing what Mount Druitt has and the second one is what we want  (filmed at Parramatta):

Video 1 video

video
Video 2

What this also shows is how we require dual escalators going up and down and these are in other train stations like Parramatta.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Mount Druitt Misses Out Again On Free Shuttle Buses!

We seem to promote again and again a free shuttle bus service that is require to cater for the commuters of Mount Druitt. Yet we do not seem to get the great support required from all of our Blacktown City Councillors (As they focus on Blacktown first, Mount Druitt Second), Officers from BCC, local MP's,  Ministers for Western Sydney and Transport. So lack of... means that we do not get it! We're not that important!

All we ask for is what other commuters have around Western Sydney have or are in the process of getting. It is quite simple: Even our young Blake Bardowski has got him as part of his bus plans! He has incorporated this idea as part of his plans.

Our  suggestion is quite simple; Leaves Mount Druitt Interchange, goes out on North Parade, out past Rooty Hill RSL, through Mount Druitt Hospital, into Zoe Place out  past The RTA and then  the police Station and finally left on Carlisle Avenue back into North Parade and into the interchange

Look at other major suburbs like mount Druitt that have it or are getting the free shuttle service:

Parramatta has one - view it here (Council bus bus service):
http://www.parracity.nsw.gov.au/your_council/news/media/media_releases2/2008/june_2008/parramatta_shuttle_bus_named
Blacktown has one - view it here:
http://www.busways.com.au/index.php?q=node/1169

Liverpool is coming - view it here:
http://www.131500.com.au/tickets/upload/docs/110114%20A4_map_Liverpool_Shuttle%20FINAL.pdf

Campbelltown is coming- view it here:
http://www.131500.com.au/tickets/upload/docs/110114%20A4_map_Campbelltown_Shuttle%20FINAL.pdf

Re: Fares May Go Up - Not Yet!

I had done a post on Train fares  may be going up on the 20th December 2010, under the heading "Rumours Train Fares Maybe Going Up", click here: http://mountdruittcommuters.blogspot.com/2010/12/rumours-trains-fares-maybe-going-up.html .

I would like to say that although it was rumours it did not come to fruition.  As I discovered my weekly ticket has been charged as the same amount I paid last year. So I would like to quash this rumour ( obviously the 2011 has started)! In doing so, I would also like us to keep in mind that because there is a New South Wales State Election coming up on 26th March 2010, thus this maybe the reason why we didn't get a New Years present as we normally do!

I personally hope that fares do not go up for a while but I do not operate the NSW State Treasury Chests!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Mount Druitt Escalators Go Up But Not Down!

For quite a few years we have had  the comfort of escalators at the Mount Druitt Interchange taking you up to the walkway that reaches the concourse of the Mount Druitt Train Station. there is also 2 other walkways - one takes you  to the 2 separate bus stands  (One for Busways and the other for Westbus) and the other  is a historical walkway which I have been told can not be demolished it takes you  back down again!

Although this is good for commuters, there is the missing escalators going down the opposite way. I have produced a video showing you this and you can make your own judgment from here: video





The Happy Bus Driver - That's Happier! (Number 6)

Today, I got onto a Busways 755 to Mount Druitt and  had one of the nominated happy Bus Driver on board. He smiled and made a comment to me something like 'I was a God send! because he had an issue a minor issue at work and because he was on the 'Happy Bus Drivers Register' - he was let off!

It seems like this could be a back up for bus drivers for any issues complaints they receive. We have to understand we live in a society that generally people like to provide complaints and  in return provide little necessary compliments to people and companies/government bodies that deserve it!

So before you consider providing a fronting an argument to an individual that doesn't deserve it, maybe consider a polite compliment at least to that person!

This Is the Bus Stop Where It All Started: Corner Of Ellengowan Crescent And Bulolo Drive Whalan - To Me This Is A Historical Bus Stop!

Yes, that's right this is where it all happened unbeknown to myself. What I mean, This is is where i spoke to one senior lady in the community - never before and suddenly it was like she lit a mtach that blew up colorful fireworks for our transport around our area. I do not regret anything  I have done or haven't done and  wholeheartedly would do it again it history was to be repeated - see the wonderful bus stop as it is:

video

Sunday, January 23, 2011

One Of Many Reasons Why 755 Bus Services Should Be Increased?

I have produced a couple videos on one of many reasons why the 755 bus services should be increased. The IGA/Foodworks store in the middle of construction at Whalan shops, will require bus services to be increased so that community members can get to these shops. This shop will be complimentary as it will also include 2 or 3 other shops - now bringing more competition to the local shopping centre. The  new store will also supply alcohol to the community as well as advised by one of the builders
Enjoy the video:



video

Poll Predicts Transport As Unsatisfactory In Sydney

A story from the Sunday Telegraph 23rd January has advise us of a poll done by Auspoll (website provided)
- 600 Sydneysiders  polled on 17 issues and that that transport was  not up to satisfaction, quoted,'Public transport was labelled unsatisfactory or very poor by almost half the city's population (45 per cent).'

What we need to ask ourselves is what was the 600 polled were part of Western Sydneysiders- is not stated. If we assume 200 - this is only a small proportionate for a poll to be taken. On the bigger picture transport wherever you go is  not an easy area to make it work and be successful for everyone.

First of all, we have thousands upon thousands of one driver passenger vehicles going to work, shop and visiting family and friends as well as many other daily chores. I'm sure the cost of travelling private passenger vehicles outweighs the cost of public transport.

Second of all, if every second person travelling in private passenger vehicles, left their car at home for the short trips and destinations as long as there is efficient and reliable transport then and only then will be successful.

Thirdly, I remember when Westbus had like half the size of their normal buses before and they seemed to be more economical. If both bus operators were using this type of buses - we might be looking to employ more bus drivers and  at the same time have provide more efficient bus service - like every 20 minutes in peak time and off-peak 15  minutes, based on increased the last 2 points raised. With trains, obviously more services would be provided even if there was double the amount of commuters using the current system - we might be looking at 15 minutes service in mount Druitt in Peak times both fast trains and all stops!

Even if we had light rail around the area this could be  such a great tourist attraction.  Fares would not need to go up and not only are services increased, the amount of commuters are increased would compensate for this.

We need to understand that transport is a multi million dollar industry and very important to our local, state and national economy - there's always  who pays for what - but public transport should be there for the community as vital part of getting to places on want and interest!

Here is the article from the Sunday Telegraph: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/property/sydneys-just-great-out-of-a-traffic-jam/story-e6freztr-1225992939420

And there is the website on Auspoll: http://www.auspoll.com.au/

Proposal For Bus Stop - Bulolo Drive & Luxford Road Whalan

I have  produced a video - which you will see bus tops may be placed in awkward spots and where 2 bus services  connect - previously there was 2 bus stops -(one sheltered one). Due to a 18 year old youth crashing into the bus shelter a month or two - there has been no replace bus shelter. Now there is no sheltered bus stop in this corner.

Due to the medical  surgery on the corner -  commuters will need it to catch the 755 bus to Mount Druitt. My proposal will be a simplified way of waiting for 2  buses on one bus stop! This would definitely improve service on the 755.The Electricity pole on the left hand side of the video ( in the beginning), is the 780 bus stop. Sometimes there 3-4  commuters waiting for the bus. Watch the video and see if you agree?

video

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Thumbs up on our MDCIG Stories!

One of the City Rail Station Managers has placed thumbs up for our blog stories - his actual words were 'fantastic and very informative' - well I can see we are entertain the all readers of our blog and although most stories are serious others can be entertaining in a way that it is hard to present public transport in a way that is acceptable to the general pubic.

To me, I enjoy what I am doing and hope this is reflected within the community members of Mount Druitt. I love Mount Druitt and the people that live around me - it is only for them that I am doing this work voluntary. Yet there are many of us that are looking at the importance of our transport future!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Rumours: Bus Drivers Want To Be On 'Happy Bus Drivers Register'!

One of our community members has advised of some bus drivers must be talking to themselves about being on the register, finding bus drivers being courteous and friendly. She thinks that the word is going around and being spreading through the bus driver ranks and they are itching to get on the list.

She is not used to 2 bus drivers being courteous in 2 trips (to and from Mount Druitt), still thinks it is not out of the ordinary of their service, yet will provide a nomination for this register when she finds a bus driver is going out of his/her way to make customers travel more comforting!

Mount Druitt Commuters Carpark Potential Site Video!

Here are some videos on  where the Mount Druitt commuters car park potential site is - we hope you enjoy them!

With these 2 videos it does give thought to walking distance to train station. If you try to walk briskly like myself it could take 5 minutes, then 5 minutes purchasing ticket and have you made it to catch the train?? Penny for your thoughts!!!


video

video

Thursday, January 20, 2011

We Have A Westbus Happy Driver! (Number 5)

Today as I was travelling to Mount Drutitt via Westbus 780 and bus driver licence number EM 1738 was very polite to me as I boarded on the corner of Waikanda Crescent and Luxford Roads Whalan.

That was normal but what I found was very pleasing was behind was about 5 people that was  running along the park then crossing the road - the driver could have taken off no but he kindly waited for all of them and let them board on the bus. Then at the corner of Samarai and Luxford Roads, a seated lady had her  mind completely away form the view of the oncoming bus and not focussing on the arrival of the bus. So the bus driver horned gently to alarm her and she woke up from her daydream and immediately got on the bus..

We tend to complain about bus drivers but there is a lot of bus drivers around the area - and a growing amount of them!

We will add this to the Happy Bus Drivers Register:
http://mountdruittcommuters.blogspot.com/2010/12/happy-bus-drivers-register.html


Videos of New Bus Stops along Carlisle Avenue, Mount Druitt

video
video video
video
We provide some real video footage, some videos of how the new bus stops are looking along Carlisle Avenue, Mount Druitt. Great idea but still no buses in Bidwill Sundays and not much on Saturdays (above).

You will note that the new bus stop numbering system is being implemented and is self-explanatory!

These new bus stop signs are being trialled and if success full will be  all over Mount Druitt over a period of time. So any feedback would be appreciated!

Possibly Costs on Blacktown CC Sheltering All Bus Stops

A spokesperson at Blacktown City Council  has provided an estimate cost of  completing sheltered bus stops within Blacktown City Council s being over $750,000. Theses costs were estimated over 4 years ago and i believe funding doesn't allow to cover these costs, of which I can understand.

Estimate received from Mayor of Blacktown City Council that Blacktown L.G.A.has 1675 bus stops which 34 percent are sheltered. If we hthat would leave approximately 1106 unsheltered bus stops - that would mean that the total cost to construct a bus stop would be to the nearest dollar (without adding inflationary costs since the last four years being $678.00.

My personal thoughts (and everyone of us may have a different point of view) is one out of every two bus stops should be sheltered. What do you thunk?

Have provided the other stories links  


http://mountdruittcommuters.blogspot.com/2011/01/we-need-to-know-bus-stop-shelter-real.html
http://mountdruittcommuters.blogspot.com/2011/01/response-from-bcc-mayor-alan-pendleton.html

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

More Of What We Learn.....

After speaking to Mr. Richard Amery, Member for Mount Druitt today, he agrees with me that 'Transport' around Mount Druitt  is one of three important issues that is a very important, with the up and coming State Election. We also agree on looking forward into the future on how important it is that Improvement in all forms of transport provided to the commuters of Mount Druitt.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Was It Prepay Or Not?

Yesterday when I came back home from the South-Eastern suburbs by bus I caught a Sydney bus that had no signs it was a prepaid bus, was blue and white coloured bus. As soon as I entered the bus, the driver said that I needed to pay for the bus fair at the shop outside the bus.

I was a bit shocked, being a humble person I didn't want to cause any issues (although I had 2 heavy bags I was carrying home), so I got off the bus as well as another lady as well and we were confronted with the bus departing without  because we didn't have tickets. On a personal note, I had to travel  a few days ago to this area so I couldn't purchase a same day ticket!

What was more surprising in a well patronised bus stop, there was  no similar bus for at least 45 minutes.  This lady who I spoke too was disgusted with the service that was provided and shocked why tickets had to bought in shops.

Although, I understand  the purpose behind Sydney  buses doing this is to provide more efficient bus services and they probably do - when it comes to the community not understanding or being aware of this and not being prepared, it can cause a little disharmony  to one's planned journeys. Also I understand there are coloured coloured Pre-pay buses around that are advertised as that - it may need Transport NSW to do  major television and radio promotions  in educating the travelling community.

I purchased the ticket at the shop like the other lady and caught the next bus about 45 minutes later (or so it seemed)!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

While We Are Thinking Of Our Improvements In Our Transport Services......

Australia is a sun burnt country and it is also met with flooded plains when it rains. We are in summer and this is supposed to be the silly hot season. We sometimes get extreme fires, moving communities from to dangerous living conditions, with emergency services use to the fullest to cater for these instances.

Yet in today's  time we face  different catastrophic casualties in the southern eastern parts of Queensland, Victorian North Towns and in Tasmania ( where cities and towns have been built in low lying plains). These areas have been inundated with  huge quantities of powerful running water -  making recorded flooding records. Most of the population that has been affected - have been affected with raining floods in or more many ways before. It has dampened there lifestyles and created total hardship and dismay as what can happen to these communities. On behalf of our group we feel for these communities that have lost lives, their every living clothes and belongings, their ruined houses or for even some to return to no houses.

While we are thinking of our improvements in our transport services we need to ponder more than the transport services these flooded victims have and all dig deep to assist all these wonderful Australians regain their normal standard of life.

Rooty Hill Trains Station Needs To Be More Accessible!!!!

Today, a gentleman will a disability was advising  me ( whist handing out more information of our group ), that  Rooty Hill train station definitely requires wheelchair access.

In saying this he told me that Penrith had closed it's ten pin bowling alleys, the nearest next one was the new one at Rooty Hill ( next to Rooty Hill R.S.L. ). Now disabled commuters living around the Penrith communities have to leave Penrith train station and Commute to Mount Druitt, then getting a bus from mount Druitt to Rooty Hill R.S.L. Already traveling a bit further to enjoy entertainment is a struggle it self - but to commute by multiple transport ways to get to a destination when if you had accessible transport and make only one mode of transport to use, would be more sensible.

We will lobby for a more accessible trains station especially at Rooty Hill as well as Doonside and keep all you commuters informed as we go along.

We have recently published a story regarding  a similar request of Rooty Hill train station. Click here for the story:
ttp://www.blogger.com/post-edit.g?blogID=9119267016632766236&postID=6912237688537595480

Saturday, January 15, 2011

New Ideas Provided To Us For Bus Services

It was  provide to me by a  community member from Eastern Suburbs that in reference to bus having 'PTIPS' regarding commuters able to contact 131510  by SMS then understanding where their bus is, if it is running late. There is another technology that could be used to better that.

Under the bus stop can be cabling so that Voip can be used though Internet on mobile phone ( most mobile phones have it) and then through the Internet 131510 could be contacted at a price of around 5 cents a call which will then let you know where the bus service is. It may even be called 'Moip' ( Letter 'M' referring to Mobile).

Maybe Transport New South Wales can look into this for the future!

Here are other technologies being used on buses:
http://mountdruittcommuters.blogspot.com/2010/12/wireless-internet-on-m10-sydney-buses.html

'Save Our Bus Services......' Nominated As Outstanding Voluntary Group' For Zest Awards, Western Sydney

Yes it is true our former group has been nominated for 'Oustanding Voluntary Group/Organisation' within Western Sydney. This is the list for the award as seen on the website of: http://www.gwsawards.org.au/

Outstanding Voluntary group/organisation

  • Save Our Bus Services
  • Living in Communities
  • CAFAG Sleep Apnoea Support Group
  • Pepper's Place
  • Australian Afghan Hassanian Youth Association
  • Western Sydney Suicide Support Group
  • Auburn Small Community Organisation Network
  • NSW Network of Women with Disability
  • Holroyd City Council Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Consultative Committee
And there has been other nominations as well:

Outstanding Community Leader

  •  Jim Tiberi, University of the Third Age Nepean
  • John Svoboda, Save Our Bus Services
  • Penny Kearney, Disability Enterprises
  • Stephanie Brennan, Wentworth Community Housing
  • Noal Annabel, Mt Druitt Koori Toastmasters
  • Amanda Annabel, Mt Druitt Koori Toastmasters
  • Chris Bertinshaw, Parramatta Mission
  • Beatrice Sesay, Sierra Leone Community Council

Friday, January 14, 2011

Polite Bus Drivers in Sydney Buses As Well As Ours!

This morning I had to travel to Kingsford to visit my mother and went using the CityRail trains from Mount Druitt and changed for a 393 Sydney bus service at Eddy Avenue Central.

I was loaded with heavy bags as I was  walking across Eddy Avenue when I had reach the bus stop close to the 393 bus service. I mounted onto the 393 La Perouse Bus and the driver made a quick comment about my speed as how I made it onto the bus. In other words he wasn't happy that I didn't rush faster than I could.

Explaining that I had left from Mount Druitt and my bags were heavy and that I am not younger any more - he politely apoligised stating that he didn't realise this and  was happy - I thought this was comforting. So to Sydney Buses I would like to commend to them his exceptional customer service that he provided and would consider him as a 'Happy Bus Driver' at the end of the day. His Bus Drivers Licence Number is CQ 7300.

Maxi-Cabs - Good Idea For Groups Of Commuters!

We are enclosing a link to assist you with 'Community-cabbing' as I would call it but the New South Wales Taxi Council calls it "Maxi-Cabs' - great if your going out with a group of your friends and you all live in the same round about area. You all want to go out to the same place at night and then decide to return home at the same time. One set fare to make it fair for all.

Also the same group of friends, you all work in the same suburb and you all leave  to and from work approximately the same time.

A  group of your friends go out shopping and return the same time the Maxi-Cab could be good for you!

Here is the link for you to enjoy - a brochure advising of these maxi-cabs:-

http://www.nswtaxi.org.au/user_files/file/122434%20Flexible%20taxi%20Guide7.pdf

Thursday, January 13, 2011

What We Learn As We Hand Out More Info?

One lady from the community informed myself, as I was handling out our  information sheets on our new group: that there are no lift facilities on Doonside and Rooty Hill Station and inconveniences commuters that live in that area - she was wondering if our group could lobby for this for the  individual communities.  She advise some of these people can use the public transport trains because of this.

after receiving the letter from the Mayor Allan Pendleton yesterday ( click her fore story: http://www.blogger.com/post-edit.g?blogID=9119267016632766236&postID=4460194665165830380 ), Rooty Hill falls within our LGA suburbs of Mount Druitt. Yet is saying this we can also cater for Doonside so that we can kill birds with 2 stones.

When our group meets we will consider the request for these 2 train stations  to be accessible for the disabled commuters and provide further comments.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Response From BCC Mayor - Alan Pendleton - Bustop Ratios Of Sheltered & Seated (unsheltered) Bus Stops Within Mount Druitt

This is fantastic news that we are  getting a reasonably quick response from the mayor of Blacktown City Council regarding the ratio of sheltered, seated bus stops. We thank the Mayor Pendleton for responding and providing fantastic figures that is within the Mount Druitt suburbs and surrounding:

Firstly here is the original e-mail sent to the mayor of Blacktown City Council:

From: mountdruitt_cig@hotmail.com
To: alan.pendleton@blacktown.nsw.gov.au
Subject: Bus Shelters
Date: Fri, 24 Dec 2010 00:01:37 +1100

Dear Mr Alan Pendleton,
Mayor Blacktown City Council,

We are writing to you in relation to an understanding of what is Blacktown's City Council's policy is in relation to ratio's of sheltered bus stops to seated (unsheltered) bus stops to the overall amount of bus stops that are withing the Black City Council Boundaries. Our Special interest is within Mount Druitt.

On behalf of our group, we also understand that Federal/State funds have been provided to Blacktown City Council this year for new bus stops - can you provide a further update on this matter to us as soon as possible.

Please note our group is a new Transport lobby group within Mount Druitt and we are looking towards improving transport for all commuters in and around Mount Druitt. We were formerly called 'Save Our Bus Services, Mount Druitt And Surrounding Suburbs'.

Your feedback would be very much appreciated.

Yours sincerely,

John Svoboda
Mount Druitt Commuters Improvement Group
Web address: http://mountdruittcommuters.blogspot.com/


The general response from the mayor dated today was pretty informative. Claims The total Blacktown LGA (lLocal Goverment Area), has 1675 bus stops. Suburbs classified under Mount Druitt have 565 bus stops, Bidwill, Blackett, Dean Park, Dharruk, Emerton, Eastern Creek, Glendinning, Hassall Grove, Hebersham, Lethbridge Park,Minchinbury. Mount Druitt, Oakhurst, Rooty Hill, Plumpton, Shalvey, Shanes Park, Tregear,Walgrove, Whalan and Willmot.

We have been advised that 34 percent of bus stops are sheltered to seated (unsheltered). So since Mount Druitt has 21 suburbs ( based on on supplied BCC information) that means that on average each suburb has 26.9 bus stops, leaving 9.1 bus stops are sheltered completed to seated (unsheltered). For a bus stop to be considered sheltered, involves investigation of each site on its own merit under a selection criteria, which includes patronage, potential use of the  bus shelter and determination of  a need for bus shelter.It then will be listed for funding in Council's Future Works Improvement Programmes.

Also from Federal/State grants  for reallocation of bus stops due to reorganisation of bus services in 6 sites around Mount Druitt:
1) Yarramundi Drive, Dean Park
2) Sherbrooke Street, Rooty Hill
3) Jersey Road, Plumpton
4 & 5) Emerson Street, Shavley
6) Palmyra Avenue, Willmot

Well after all that I more of a learned man. Yes there are suburbs I wouldn't consider to be in Mount Druitt - but that is alright!

 Now we understand a little of the process if a commuter/community member would like to have a sheltered bus stop, what can be done to get it, if you have reasonably good patronage. I suppose if one patron gets on the same bus stop all day compared to 10-12 on one other bus stop per day - you can work out which one deserves the  bus shelter.

We also understand that there may some bus stops that may require bus shelters and will assist commuters in assisting them in whatever way to try to get their bus stop, as long as it is reasonable.

You may also check our previous story  on the same subject:http://mountdruittcommuters.blogspot.com/2011/01/we-need-to-know-bus-stop-shelter-real.html

St Marys-Mt Druitt Star - Compliments 'Happy Bus Driver Register'

Here is the story from St Marys-Mt Druitt Star regarding the 'Happy Bus Drivers Register!':

Top service recognised

BY KYLIE STEVENS
11 Jan, 2011 09:25 AM
Every time we read or hear about a bus driver giving the industry a bad name, we should remember that most do the right thing.  
Mt Druitt Commuters Improvement Group is on track to move the focus on the overwhelming majority of drivers who deserve a long overdue pat on the back.
 
Formerly known as Save our Bus Services, the community group was renamed to cover all public transport matters in St Marys-Mt Druitt.
 
Spokesman John Svoboda recently set up the Happy Bus Driver Register on his group’s website where everyone is invited to give positive feedback when they receive friendly service from a bus driver.
 
The Whalan resident is a frequent passenger who commutes to work.
 
‘‘I want to install goodwill in the community,’’ Mr Svoboda said.
 
‘‘A simple hello or ‘have a nice day’ are important. Overall, the drivers in this area are good. I try to make conversation with drivers and find very rarely do they not converse.’’
 
Anyone can dob in a driver to be recognised on the website.
 
They need to provide the bus operator, the driver’s licence number (usually displayed on the front window) and why the driver should be recognised.
 
The initiative may extend to taxi drivers and CityRail staff if successful.
 
Busways operations manager Stephen Harper, who’s in charge of 160 drivers at the Blacktown depot welcomed the group’s initiative.
 
Busways gives complimentary letters to drivers who receive praise from passengers.
 
‘‘We receive more complaints than we do compliments,’’ Mr Harper told the Star.
 
‘‘The website is a way of showing there are drivers out there who are doing a good job and enjoy what they do. Bus drivers have a hard job which involves a lot of concentration.’’
 
He and Mr Svoboda believe passengers can play their part in making their trips more pleasant.
 
‘‘I always thank the driver when I leave the bus for bringing me to my destination safely,’’ Mr Svoboda said.

Details: http://mountdruittcommuters.blogs pot.com/.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

State Member Of Parliament - Supports "Happy Bus Drivers Register" inniative!

Today was extremely pleasing to get a positive response on the 'Happy Bus Drivers Register'! from the Allan Shearan, Hon. State member of Londonderry today. This news may be reach the right people who listen and care - no matter what side of government you are on. I find it comforting that our positive group is sending out positive messages and receiving positive vibes not just from the community from Members of Parliament that carry a better voice than ours in the New South Wales parliament . Here is Mr. Shearan's e-mail:
Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2011 11:41:00 +1100
From: Allan.Shearan@parliament.nsw.gov.au
To: mountdruitt_cig@hotmail.com
Subject: Happy Bus Driver Register

John
Just read the St Marys Star 11 January edition reporting on your Group's "Happy Bus Driver Register".
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Group on this initiative.
Generally, most  workers employed in the service industry, whether it be public or private, do not expect to receive thanks for doing their job.
However, a simple acknowledgement of courtesy and good service certainly does not hurt. In fact, in this respect I am sure your Group would agree this is a two way street, recognition goes a long way to making the experience of the job of drivers and the travelling commuter more appreciative.
Well done. Please pass on my congratulations to your members.
regards
Allan   



Dean Park Residents Find It Difficult To Get To Rooty Hill.

Some residents use to have no problems getting to Rooty Hill - they used to have a bus service taking them to Rooty Hill  754/5/6 now catch 754 to Mount Druitt bus to reach Rooty Hill or 750 to Blacktown and train to Rooty Hill.

I believe that in certain areas of Dean Park - there is approximately 40 minutes wait. in the future there seems to be lobby group rising up over there - we will advise in the future any feedback from the community will be appreciated.

Monday, January 10, 2011

We Need To Know Bus Stop Shelter Real Ratios!

In Western Sydney alone there are over 10,000 bus tops - I could not name each and every one of them nor determine where they are! Yet if we were to lookaround the area of Mount Druitt (Pending the boundaries wthat you claim is Mount Druitt), you may find there would be approximately 800-1000 bus stops. This is  a very rough estimate and maybe out in our community someone might have better and most up-to-date figures.

Now if we look at the lower estimated figure of 800 -  we can now ask ourselves how many of these bus stops are covered (sheltered) stops and then seated bus stops only. My estimate is we might be lucky to reach twenty percent. Maybe my estimate is wrong. When all our bus tops are technically all numbered in the future then we might be able to get a statistic as to the answers to sheltered and seated bus stops.

I look at it this way if there is anywhere between 4-5 commuters waiting for a bus - then this is where a sheltered bus stop should be built. What I don't understand is where is there policy put in place for sheltered bus stops  as opposed to unsheltered bus tops - what is the  real ratio!

After speaking to one of the bus operaters, advice given to us is that this is left with the local councils as their responsibility. After speaking to one of the Council operaters this is done with the approval on New South Wales Transport - So we will clarify who does what and what does who?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

No Time Table Available On Buses

A community member  I spoke to on the 5th January 2010, advised me that he had been trying for months to request a bus time table and they didn't have it - since that period of time.

I remember a while ago that a local bus driver had told me that his company only prints them when they need too. Well we know that when the new time tables come out that the bus operaters have to print and distribute the new time tables and I know one bus operator will  deliver to your letter box the updated new time table - although you can look up each time table on each of their website - refer to our links.

Besides bus drivers having them and distributing them  at their  mobile office desk to commuters if they run out of them - we suggest ring the the Transport Info Line on 131510 and report that you are not getting the timetable that you will want - obtain an incident number and go from there. You may contact each bus operater but we suggest contacting the 131510 phone number first. Bear in mind that if you require it to be posted to your residential address - this can be arranged.

In The Pipeline!!!

I have been advised by a Blacktown City Councillor that the good news Blacktown City Council is looking at electronic sign/indicators  placed  in the Mount Druitt Interchange for buses.

This will in turn advise each commuter when the next bus is arriving and keep the community informed. We will advise you of further details as it comes to hand!

Another good initiative for the community!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Community Members Suggestion To New Mount Druitt Carpark

It makes my day when others think of ideas to improve the transport infrastructure that is being proposed with the Mount Druitt Car park on the old ascot theartre site. Refer to our story as advised:
http://www.blogger.com/post-edit.g?blogID=9119267016632766236&postID=1142350325227240901

So the idea is to have an covered awning that is on the promenade going from the car park leading up to the awning when the escalators appear. - somewhat 300 metres approximately. The reason being is commuters that park their car at the car park will have to walk to the Mount Druitt Train Station  with rain, getting wet if there is no cover. Let's hope the New South Wales Transport Construction Authority has taken this into account!!!!

It Is Amazing What I Have Learnt Of Our Local Transport

When we think and talk of transport: complain about services provided, pricing and re-evaluate and request more efficient services - what we don't realise  is that there such amazing costs that have to be paid. Further costs when we get more services.

I will provide an estimate figure of how much the New South Wales Government may be providing to supply one single bus on the road approx *$3M  - now this figure was provided to me as the early 1990's so given inflation rates it could mean about $5M  compared to today's 'Cost Of Living'. If we can imagine that in may take approximately 300 to run bus services from Blacktown to Mount Druitt - you can see how the figures build up.

Now see how we every day average commuters spend on public transport - not even in one lifetime would our total expenditure on everyday public transport reach a cost of supplying  a single bus. So should we complain about the supply of buses? Should we complain when a new  fleet of  buses are used for bus services that enhance or improve the quality of life of a commuter?

So this I do find amazing? Yes, I do!

*This is a figure quoted to me by a respectable member of our Mount Druitt community - which I have full faith and trust in. Thus I do believe these around about cost!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

We Have Funny Requests From The Community

Two days ago, I was promoting our group and providing handouts - when a a middle aged man came up to me  and politely asked if our 'Transport Group' could help move house for a lady he knows from Seven Hills to the Blue Mountains - something about have an apprehended violent order against somebody else and was getting evicted.

I nearly burst into laugh but held back - I advised him we were a community transport group looking after public transport. Finally I advised him that he would need  to speak to a removalist who can assist her. I think he thought we were a transport group providing transport directly to the community inclusive of removaling. Actually I think he thought the perception of our group was we were a community group of revivalist's!

Happy Bus Drivers Register Feedback - Mount Druitt- St Marys Standard

Out of the blue I was told today of a story that the Mount Druitt St Marys Standard News paper this week Page 3.

I can just feel that this idea that I have created may be such a good community initiative, giving community members something to do and bus drivers something to be proud of.  We will promote this idea and ensure that any bus divers licence number provided to us is on the list and kept there!

Someone asked me will be promote a 'Sad Bus Drivers Register' - the simple answer is no and there is no need for it. If a bus driver is sad and not happy that is up to him/her - this just lets down commuters who may have been happy until they meed the sad driver. Anyway, I think that bus drivers will all want to be happy so that they appear on our list.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

We May Need To Have Happy City Rail Staff & Taxi Driver Registers As Well As A Happy Bus Drivers Register!

We have had a lots of positive feedback from all areas of the community in relation to the "Happy Bus Drivers Register!'  that was written on 11/12/2010 by us - here is the story:
http://www.blogger.com/post-edit.g?blogID=9119267016632766236&postID=6407914804718857441

For a simple idea that I just thought about - being that we are a transport improvement group - I thought where do we start and then came the idea of bus drivers are customer service representatives as well as bus drivers. They need to be happy so others are happy especially commuters - there is real no thumb rule to what generates a 'Happy Bus Driver!' but I'm sure we don't face grumpy, upset, fast driving,  unsafe driving rude and crude bus drivers every day of our lives. We do not want to promote these drivers, we want to promote the bus drivers that could say the simple ' Hello, Good day,' or ' How was your day, how are you?'

I am a personal speaker - I actually like speaking to drivers - like to make the opening comment, 'How was your day! You're shift must be finishing now!'  or 'You must be on your last trip! It is funny as to what response you get and I seem to get  a lot of positive responses. This is my idea - to a every day commuter a simple work of encouragement could mean the difference of enjoying a days adventure either work, shopping or visiting . IT is 'Making A difference' within our Transport Community. Yes a lot of commuters seem to be very quiet commuters - yet when I reach the end of my bus journey safely - I thank the bus driver no matter who it is - they provided a safe journey. It is being polite, shows respect and then in return the bus driver enjoys his or her day.

So if we move on from here, we as a community can also extend awards to Happy Taxi Drivers and Happy CityRail Staff  based on similar criteria as the 'Happy Drivers Register!' And then we can all be 'Happy'

Happiness generates rays of warmth, individual feelings of being proud, emotions of complete excitedness, moods of endless positiveness, signs of absolute deserved recognition and finaly a communal sense of well being to all.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Do Cyclists Follow Road Rules?

This is what seems to worry myself with cyclists! I don't have any gripes regarding cyclists, in fact I have been a part time cyclist (and I mean part-time cyclist) and have taken bikes on roads or park with full head gear.

Cyclists do not have to have a licence nor are they required to study the road rules - yet they just ride on the roads and sometimes think they rule the road. We even have children riding bikes on roads, criss-crossing, driving on the wrong side of the road and most importantly wrong not wearing the appropriate helmet head gear to protect cyclists with head injuries. This has been confirmed by the New South Wales Roads & Traffic Authority: http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/roadsafety/bicycles/index.html .

Laws and penalties are also provided via this website: http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/roadsafety/bicycles/cyclingrules.html#top Fines are applicable yet very hard to police and catch them!

I think our group needs to promote and provide public safety awareness to ensure we care of our cyclists as well they care of the community and of other transport.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Comparison Brings Costs Down Conviently To Public Transport!

A majority of us  have at least a private car that we use to transport ourselves to required destinations like: visiting friends, shopping or going on picnics and country drives.

We all agree it is convenient for us to use a privately owned vehicle that you can leave and arrive at your own time - but then comes the added costs - you have to purchase your vehicle or it maybe under a car loan (which is normally charged at a high rate of interest), then you have insurance costs  (the choices of comprehensive insurance or third party). and finally the ongoing running cost of the car. I cannot calculate this right now as there are many factors involved.Factors like purchasing cheap cars to expensive cars, filling up your tank on a weekly basis, maintenance of a car depending on the model of the car.

Here we come to public transport - where we have to prepare ourselves to reach our pick up point most likely ( unless the transport picks you up at your front door). Before you decide to leave home you have to pre-check your times that the public transport will pick you up, allow plenty of walking time before it arrives and then hopefully wait for it to arrive. It is then a matter of time until your mode of transport arrives. With the difficult part done once you pay your fare and you compare it to what you would be paying if you were using a privately owned car - the costs are comparatively cheaper with public transport costs for the time you travel and you do not have to do the driving - all you do is relax!

For example: if you spent up to $2500 on public transport on an annual basis your costs are  definitely cheaper than purchasing a new car at say $30,000, fuel costs of say  $60w, insurance costs of say $60w and maintenance costs at say $60w - which is  the cheapest mode of transport?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Year Brings New Ideas

What we don't realise is that there is a lot of backgrond technological work being done - which Transport New South Wales is looking to bring to our community. The older we are the more we don't like to accept changes,especially changes that can be dramatical and affect our lives. We discussed changed as 'Save Our Bus Services' '- changes that occured to reduced services around the community. We now need to look to the future chnages that you wouldn't expect would happen in any bus services.

A lot of the bus services in Mount Druit have been modernised to bring comforts to public transport commuters, such as great air condition for summer and heating for winter, disabled seating and seating that fold allowing parents with prams, high tech cameras keeping an eye on everyone commuter, synchronised voice talking of cautioning when leaving buses  as well as GPS system that allows bus drivers to follow the route the way it should follow. On the negative - the back seating of a bus makes it a hazard when leaving the bus - as  you enter the back end you step into different choices of seating - yet the roof of the bus remains the same height.

In the Modern age are the 'Transponders' and 'PTIPS' which were mentioned on the follow story we provided you will be the start of others to come:
http://www.blogger.com/post-edit.g?blogID=9119267016632766236&postID=2217163745681714042

Not to mention on (not in Mount Druitt as yet) in Sydney Metro buses trials are being made in supplying free wireless Internet. If this is successful this will be introduced on a majority of bus trips.

Save Our Bus Services

Read our story on how we made it our priority to ensure bus services are re-instated from services taken away in 2009.