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Sunday bus black hole in Whitehorse/Manningham

The Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) has called for a complete rewrite of Sunday bus timetables in Melbourne’s east, to be carried out immediately. Under this plan, Sunday bus services would operate during the daytime on the same timetable as Saturdays.

“The current arrangement with Sunday bus timetables should have been thrown out the window with the introduction of Sunday trading,” said Jeremy Lunn, the PTUA’s Outer East Convenor. “People no longer spend every Sunday at home doing the gardening.”

“They like to go to the shops, the movies, out for lunch or coffee, sporting clubs or events, as well as catching up with friends and relatives,” Mr Lunn said. “Sunday public transport services just don’t meet the requirements for this kind of travel.”

Sunday bus services are usually less frequent than Saturdays. While, in many cases there are no Sunday bus services at all.

“It is a particular concern that many routes don’t operate on Sundays,” said Mr Lunn. “In cases where they do run, the services are far too infrequent and inadequate.”

For example: some of the bus services that don’t operate in Whitehorse/Manningham on Sundays include:

  • 273 Nunawading Station – The Pines
  • 284 Doncaster Shoppingtown – Box Hill
  • 365 Eltham – Warrandyte
  • 742 Chadstone – Eastland (via Vermont )
  • 765 Box Hill – Mitcham
  • 270 Ringwood – Box Hill

Buses that currently run on a reduced Sunday service level (compared with Saturdays):

  • 279* Box Hill – Doncaster Shoppingtown via Blackburn; (half-hourly down to hourly)
  • 286* Box Hill – The Pines (half-hourly down to every second hour)
  • 291* Box Hill – Heidelberg (half-hourly down to hourly [average])
  • 700 Mordialloc – Box Hill [SmartBus] (every 15-20 minutes down to half-hourly)
  • 703 Midde Brighton – Blackburn [SmartBus] (half-hourly down to every 45 minutes)
  • 733* Box Hill – Oakleigh (every 30-40 minutes down to hourly)

*279, 286, 291 and 733 are routes that the PTUA would like to see upgraded to SmartBus.

To solve these issues, the PTUA would like daytime Sunday timetables to match the level of service at the same times as Saturdays. At the very least, this would cover trading hours.

“The regional shopping centres see just as many customers on Sunday as they do Saturday,” Mr Lunn said. “There is no reason to suggest that a bus that, for example, runs half-hourly on a Saturday should suddenly drop down to hourly on Sunday.”

“It’s quite impossible to go anywhere by public transport on a Sunday when you don’t have a bus at all,” Mr Lunn said. “This makes the Sunday Saver Metcard rather worthless for those living beyond reach of existing Sunday services”.

Mr Lunn said that with local bus services in Manningham, Whitehorse and Monash up for review this year, running Sunday buses at Saturday service levels should be a high priority.

“It is time for the Brumby Government to show some commitment towards tackling public transport problems, including lack of Sunday bus services,” Mr Lunn concluded.