Monday, February 28, 2011

Which Smartbus to Greensborough from Templestowe? Smartbus 901 or 902?

I decided to check out the Smartbus 901 and Smartbus 902 which both go to Greensborough from Templestowe via Williamsons Road. Both of these buses pass through the section of Williamsons Road from  Foote Street via Fitzsimons Lane to Main Road Eltham.

On the way to Greensborough I decided to take the 902. The bus was running quite late. In Eltham all of the passengers had to get off at Eltham Lower Park and get onto the following bus which was largely empty. The second bus was uncomfortably cold, such that I had to move seats. The lower seats were slightly better than the higher seats in the back in terms of warmth. The traffic was quite slow going through Eltham but picked up after that. I got off in front of the Greensborough Plaza.

On the way back I decided to try the Smartbus 901. The 901 does not go to the Plaza so I had to walk to Greensborough station. One thing I find disconcerting about the buses is you don't know if the bus will stop at the stop. I get a feeling if the stop isn't marked as a Smartbus stop the bus could go sailing past you. I've even found with my local bus stop they moved the stop without telling anyone and it was only because the bus driver let me know the bus stop had been moved that I had any idea. The timetable stated the bus stopped at Greensborough station but as you can see from the attached picture there was no 901 or 902 listed. I checked all the surrounding stops but couldn't find a stop listing the 901. Luckily the 901 pulled up whilst I was standing near the station as I really had no idea where to get the bus.

If I was a tourist travelling around Melbourne being told to get off the bus and not being able to find the bus stop would have certainly been an issue. In fact I watched one couple walking around checking all the stops and getting onto the bus to ask for assistance. A major stop like Greensborough station should be clearly sign posted and I don't think there should be any need for confusion.

If you are travelling from Templestowe (Atkinson Street/Williamsons Road) to Greensborough Plaza the problem with the 902 is the time it takes to get to Greensborough station is about 23 minutes plus an extra minute to get to Greensborough Plaza. The 901 take 17 minutes, doesn't go via Eltham and thus avoids the traffic bottleneck in Eltham in busy periods, but unfortunately doesn't go all the way to the Plaza requiring an extra five minute uphill walk.

For my trip the time taken using the 902 via Eltham was 33 minutes which is much more than the 23 minutes scheduled. In addition I had to wait another 10 minutes due to the late bus. My walking time to the bus was five minutes. I'd suggest making sure you were at the bus stop 5 minutes early. I've measured a number of buses going past stops a number of minutes earlier than they should. The total time from home to Greensborough Plaza for this trip was 48 minutes.

This wasn't meant to be a post comparing car travel time to the bus but I can't help feel a car trip at around 15 minutes door-to-door is far more effective. Should I stay longer and require more than a two hour ticket, the bus trip cost would exceed the cost of using a car. If there is more than one person travelling together if you own a car, the cost of using a bus for a short trip doesn't seem to make much sense.

The lessons learnt from this trip are:
  • You can use either the 901 or the 902
  • Keep in mind the 901 doesn't go to the Plaza so a walk is required
  • The traffic through Eltham can severely delay you if time is important
  • Arrive 5 minutes prior to your expected bus time
  • Make allowances for the bus to be late
  • If you want to catch 901 go to Greensborough station
  • If time is important a car is probably better
  • If there are multiple people travelling together a car is probably more cost effective
  • Watch the two hour Metcard limit as a delayed bus eats into the time available
  • Make sure you take a garment even on a hot day as the bus can be uncomfortable
I hope sharing this experience helps you with your next local bus trip.

Kelvin Eldridge

Clash over Doncaster fest's Aboriginal content

Colin McKinnon, who runs Templestowe’s Mia Mia Gallery where the festival is to be held next weekend, said he walked away after his concerns about stage time and fair payment for Aboriginal performers were ignored.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge

No timeline yet on Manningham politicians' promises

Bulleen MP Nick Kotsiras said he was hopeful that more straightforward projects like the $1 million installation of traffic lights at Fitzsimons Lane and Porter St in Templestowe and Golden Way and Bulleen Rd in Bulleen would be completed within the next financial year. ... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge

Monday, February 21, 2011

Manningham residents celebrating diversity through love of music

Kavisha Mazzella is starting the first multicultural and multi-faith choir in Manningham... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge

Older buddies help beat the bullies

The grade 6 and prep students from St Charles Borromeo Primary School in Templestowe are among thousands of students making pals through the Better Buddies school program.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge

Didgeridoo and Cultural Festival

Gnarnayarrahe Waitairie will perform at the Didgeridoo and Cultural Festival in Templestowe next month.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge

Friday, February 18, 2011

Just $49 for a 2+ HOUR Dermalogica Pamper Pack including 1 HOUR Full Body Relaxation Massage

Get pampered from head to toe at Templestowe Beauty Retreat... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge

Manningham residents to be hit by rising energy costs

A St Vincent de Paul Society study reveals the average household in suburbs, including Templestowe, Doncaster and Bulleen, are paying about $205 a year more for electricity and gas bills than they were six months ago.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge

D-Mac on fast break after post-playing career rejection

THINGS did not go as planned for basketball legend Darryl McDonald after his retirement from the court.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Jim Shomos: Sticking to the script

Shomos had started writing poetry and song lyrics. He was working as Soccer Australia’s marketing manager but he realised he wanted to become a screenwriter.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge

Monday, February 7, 2011

On the road to repair in Templestowe

After some cage-rattling by campaigner Dot Haynes, VicRoads has agreed to clear King St’s open drains and fix gravel driveways, which were washed away by recent heavy rain.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge

Days of wine and poses: a gangster's short, deluded life

Three years later - in January 1998 - he was killed in his Templestowe home. There is nothing glamorous about being shot dead in your laundry dressed in your underpants.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge

Opes Prime founder bankrupt

A statement of affairs filed by Emini shows he sold his half the family home in Templestowe to his wife for $400,000 in May 2008, two months after Opes Prime collapsed.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge

Sporting memorabilia stolen in burglary

Police say two people were asleep in the Jenkins Drive, Templestowe, home on January 19, when between 9.50am and 10.30am a person broke into their home through a downstairs window and stole several items.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge

Melbourne City eyes extra $20m in parking fines

Melbourne company Database Consultants Australia was last year contracted to install sensors at a Templestowe shopping centre for Manningham Council.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge

Housing squeeze pushing Manningham prices up

Templestowe was listed 17th in Melbourne’s top 20 growth suburbs, registering a quarterly increase of 5 per cent. Only Doncaster East and Park Orchards experienced a drop in median house prices, by 2.6 per cent and 4.6 per cent respectively.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge

Tough early rounds for Groth's

The Templestowe husband-and-wife combination, of Jarmilla Groth and Sam Groth, were both in action as was Doncaster East’s Rameez Junaid.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge

Oovie machine dead a Safeway Templestowe Lower

I mentioned the other day the local Oovie machine for renting DVDs and dropped into the Safeway at Templestowe Lower on Saturday to pick up a DVD only to find that machine with a black screen. One of the disadvantages of kiosk delivery of services is they fail and technology often fails then there is no service. Over the years I’ve not had a video store not be available to rent a DVD. The distance to the next closest Oovie machine was probably 10-15km of extra travel. When you take into account the inconvenience and the travel cost this needs to be taken into account.
If you collect a movie whilst shopping and the Oovie machine is down you’ve only missed out on a movie. But if you make a special trip to an Oovie machine to find it not working, then that’s a considerable waste of time and quite inconvenient.
The other issue I had on the following day was I picked the movie “The Girl Who Player With Fire” and it wasn’t apparent to me the movie was not in English and had subtitles. I’ll be more careful next time reading of the description the genre. Again I’ve not had this experience previously from a video store so I feel sharing this mistake on my part may help others avoid the same mistake.
This time I also decided to take advantage of the rent one get one free voucher if you rent another movie within three days from the same kiosk. This worked well.
One more comment is I’m wondering about the range offered via the Oovie machine. I have a feeling there isn’t as much choice as would be available at a store but only time will tell if that is an issue.
I also decided to check if the web based service provided any indication as to whether or not the Oovie machine was available for reservations. The machine was dead on Saturday and it is now Monday. I expect it will take a while for them to fix the machine. The online service reports the machine is not available for online reservations which is a good clue the machine is not working. I’ll check via the web first next time and save some time. This is a good feature however it does indicate a dead machine may be out of action for a while which isn’t good service.
Overall the lower cost of the DVDs and with a little pre-planning in terms of shopping so no or perhaps only one extra trip is required still makes the Oovie option a good option.

Kelvin Eldridge