Well, they’ve done it again, once again ACTION  have made a complete mess of a change to their service.
ACTION have just recently changed their timetables. The good news is that they finally accounted for the extra time it takes the Buses to get through the Canberra Centre bus stop, the bad news is that they forgot that it takes longer to get along Bullumbir Street than Bunda Street and haven’t accounted for that…so the buses are still late.
ACTION also modified the morning services of the 38 bus in a very bizzare way. Previously the 38 was running at 8:25, 8:40 & 8:53 along Ainslie Avenue, and if I managed to miss the 8:53, I could catch a 36 at 8:55ish. The new arrangement sees two 38’s arriving around 8:30 (they both arrive at the same time due to the traffic light delays on Bullumbir Street) and there isn’t another one until 8:55 (which never arrives until 9:00 or later). The 36 timetable has also been modified in such a way that it is earlie than the 8:30 buses, and later than the 8:55 bus.
My grumble here is that the 38 used to be relatively predictable, it was every 15 minutes, and I could catch a 36 if I missed the 38. Now due to the insanity of the new bus timetable, I have to be ready for the bus before 8:30 (previously 8:40 or 8:53 would be acceptable), or I will not be able to catch one until at least 9am, which makes me rather late.
I do have a theory about this bus timetable change. ACTION knew that I catch a 38 (or 36) from Ainslie avenue in the morning to get to Dickson College. They knew this, because I was a person who made a lot of noise about safety issues at the Canberra Centre bus stop, most of which remain unaddressed, and I eventually got tired of making noise after it became clear that they had no intention of ever doing anything to fix the problem. I could just be paranoid, but there is a chance that ACTION have decided that I am a nuisance, and therefore don’t deserve a decent bus service. I can see no other such bizzare changes to other timetables in Canberra, only the Ainslie Avenue routes. If ACTION think that it was a good idea to do this, they should expect some angry correspondence. I am certain that they will do nothing to fix the problems, but they do deserve an amount of angry noise.
On the plus side, ACTION have moved their fleet of horrible new green buses over to the 300 series intertown buses, meaning that I don’t have to catch them. Those things were never designed for suburban roads, they are too low to the ground, and have very little suspension. They are still pretty dreadful on the major roads, but at least they don’t have to rattle, clatter & bang as much. The Green buses continue to service the 34 (Hospital run).
Naturally ACTION have taken their policy of “It doesn’t work, so we’ll give it to everyone” and applied it to the Weston Creek area services. They were designed to make the buses act like Taxi’s at night. People would ring the ACTION phone number and say that they wanted to catch a bus from wherever they were. This service simply wasn’t working in Weston Creek, some people were waiting more than an hour for a bus. ACTION in their infinite wisdom have decided that this is a great system and expanded it to all of Canberra (except certain parts of Yarrulumla, which currently have high nightime patronage of buses) and called it Flexibus. “Buses are not Taxi’s” is my quote, if you need to get somewhere after 7PM, get a lift or ring a Taxi, you’ll be waiting all night for a Flexibus.