Introduction of a simplified frequent timetable with the ambition of being timetable free
Our plan is for a simplified timetable and bus network that is easy to use and requires limited need for understanding timetables. Our tiered network of Rapid, Express and Local services will offer bus users great options for where they need to go. Rapid services will operate every 7 to 15 minutes for the Very Frequent Blue and Red Rapids and every 10 to 20 minutes for the Frequent Bronze, Green, Purple, Pink, Gold and Silver Rapid routes. Customers will simply turn up and go to bus stations for these Rapid services. Our Express routes will operate during peak hours and important times of the day where direct city and Parliamentary Triangle access is required and our local bus routes will operate as frequently as possible to fill in the gaps where the Rapid network does not operate.
Real time upgrade: create ‘moving dots’ to see actual location of buses
We want your journey to be as easy as possible so we plan to introduce new initiatives to show where buses are along the routes when you are inside the bus and also provide more real time information at bus stops so you know when a bus is approaching your stop. We plan to put a higher emphasis on pushing information to customers across the network using onboard information systems, at stops using real time displays and audio equipment, our transport websites, as well as to their personal devices through apps and social media.
More recharge locations and faster reloads
We will increase the number of places where MyWay cards can be quickly and easily topped-up with funds, for example, at newsagents and electronic kiosks.
100% accessible and air-conditioned bus fleet
We will prioritise upgrades to the bus fleet and infrastructure to make ACTION’s services fully compliant with the Disability Discrimination Act 1992. We will ensure, as quickly as possible, that timetables and real time displays are accurate and that all advertised accessible services actually operate with accessible buses. It is unacceptable for the network to mislead customers by advertising accessible services which are not delivered.
The upgrade will also mean the bus fleet will become 100% air-conditioned, an important feature for our hot summers.
We will frequently publish information about our compliance with the Act and the accuracy of our advertised accessible services until such time that the fleet becomes 100% accessible.
We will seek to upgrade bus infrastructure at Canberra Stadium and Manuka Oval to make travelling to major events more convenient. At Canberra Stadium, this will include exploring priority measures for buses entering and exiting the stadium.
A great customer experience
We will facilitate a walk-in Customer Service Centre in Canberra City that will provide face to face customer interaction including ticket sales, MyWay recharges, assistance with trip planning, complaint handling and self-serve timetable information. The aim of the centre will be to bring back that personal touch to using Canberra’s transport services.
Additionally, we will deploy roving customer experience ambassadors across the bus network at key locations during high patronage times to assist customers with enquiries and assistance on using the many services on offer.
Colour coded routes and buses
How easy would it be to know your bus route and see when it was coming if it used colour coding? Our proposal will see a fleet of new Rapid buses colour coded in bright, attractive colours that reflect the routes they operate including colour matching the bus stations, signage, wayfinding and printed timetable information. Our network of Express and Local feeder bus routes would remain in a corporate colour scheme to ensure that the bus fleet is flexible and buses can be used on as many different routes as possible.
Additional cashless buses
Quite a bit of time is taken at bus stops for loading and unloading passengers. We propose to implement more cashless buses across the network, including the Rapid Bus Network, so that passengers can reduce boarding delays where interaction with the driver for cash fares is required. We don’t want to hinder new passengers using services but we do want to help our bus network speed up and run on time and provide truly express services that will compete with cars. Our aim will be to try what’s needed to get you where you need to go as quickly as possible.
‘Friday free’ for nine rides or more in a week
We will reward loyal customers who travel with us all week by offering free travel after eight paid journeys are completed.
Enable MyWay for other purchases
We will look to make MyWay cards available for the purchase of other items. Consultation with convenience stores, cafes and other interested parties will be undertaken to see if they are interested in accepting MyWay cards as a form of payment. We will also happily negotiate with cafes or other merchants who seek to offer discounts or packages for bus passengers, e.g. ‘coffee and ride for $5.’
Prioritise the bus network
We will bring about confidence in our bus network. It is unacceptable for bus services to be treated as an after-thought for major events and festivals. For example, the decision to close the City Bus Station for the duration of the multicultural festival is counter-productive to the need for the mass transport needs of the event. Public transport will play an important part of any major Canberra community event to reduce parking and traffic congestion and encourage attendance.
We will implement a way-finding system to help passengers navigate our public spaces and find the closest transport services.