Jun 20, 2011

Metrobus Route 20

As I and other Councillors move around the City many and varied issues are raised with us.  One that has come up in recent weeks concerns the operation of the Metrobus Route 20.  The service, which runs between Botany and Gore Hill via North Sydney and Crows Nest, is, according to the State Government’s State Transit, a popular service with over 1,000 passengers a week of whom 800 begin their journey in our City.

The benefits of Metrobus are, again according to State Transit, several fold:

  • No timetable required – high-frequency service running seven days a week, with a 10-minute frequency during peak periods, every 15 minutes during the weekday off-peak, and 20 minutes in the evening and on weekends.
  • Easy to follow route - simple bus stop numbering and on-bus next stop displays and audio announcements make travelling on Metrobus an easy alternative.
  • Easy connections - Metrobus services stop at major bus and rail interchanges.
  • Safe and comfortable - all Metrobus buses are air-conditioned and feature digital CCTV for enhanced security.
  • Wheelchair-friendly - low-floor entry and priority seating make Metrobus very accessible for wheelchair users, less mobile passengers and parents with prams.
  • Greener way to travel - each bus features the latest environmental controls to minimise greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Those are the benefits, but for some people in Banskia, Edward and Daniel Streets in Botany, there are some problems, mainly caused by the actual size of the buses.  The Metrobus is a “bendy” bus and, as such, can only do a complete turnaround in a few spots – and it is certainly not able to do a “U” turn on Botany Road.

The problem is that to begin its return journey, the Metrobus goes around Edward Street, Daniel Street and Banksia Street to get back onto Botany Road at the set of traffic lights at the Botany Road and Banksia Street intersection.

Adhering to the State Transit high frequency service does, however, means that the buses park for a while.  They have been parked in Botany Road and on some of the other streets.  This has caused inconvenience to some residents, who have advised us that sometimes their driveways are blocked by the buses. Such a situation needs, obviously, to be avoided.

When the issue has been raised with Council there seems to have been some confusion about actually which organisation is responsible for determining the Metrobus route. In some instances, Council has been described as the route determiner.  This is simply not the case.

In view of the concerns being raised with me, I have asked for the Metrobus route to be put before the Local Traffic Committee so that the views of the Botany residents can be examined.  As everyone is aware, the Local Traffic Committee is comprised of representatives of the Roads and Traffic Authority, NSW Police, State Transit, our two local members of State Parliament as well as Council. In this way we can get the community views before State Transit along with requests for reconsideration of the route.

After the Local Traffic Committee has examined the issue I propose that Council make representations to the Minister for Transport, the Hon Gladys Berejiklian, as well as formally to the Member for Maroubra, Michael Daley.

This is not a Council issue and we have neither the jurisdiction nor responsibility for determining bus routes.  What we can do, however, is put the views of our residents before those who actually determine the routes.

No comments:

Post a Comment