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Author Topic: MetroBus  (Read 74870 times)
Four Track, Now!
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« Reply #525 on: July 12, 2018, 10:15:08 pm »

Next time I see my Metrobus insider I'll ask him whats up but I did hear earlier in the week that rectifications to the guide rails could cost up to £2 million as they, the guide rails, have to be modified to allow "vertical springing" to take into account the varying depth of tread on the vehicles tyres using the guided busway. Incidentally, the bus shown in the BEP article was not a Metrobus vehicle but one of the fleet that operates the A1 Bristol Bus Station - Bristol Airport service which I think has a shorter wheelbase to the M3 Emersons Green route vehicles and which will be diverted to use the guided busway when/if it ever becomes a reality. The intended rerouting is not going down very well with airline/travel company staff who work at the airport and travel from the Bedminster area particularly those who are billeted in the Mercure Hotel on Redcliffe Hill and are not always provided with a crew minibus to/from the airport.

"Vertical springing"? On a bus lane? You don't get highly technical stuff like that on railways , do you? Someone is making this up as they go along, I reckon, to try to explain why the jewel in the crown of Bristol's amazing public transport hasn't seen a bus run in anger yet, despite the many millions lavished. It may look like throwing good money after bad, but this is the bit that makes MetroBust "special" - without the guided bit, it looks just like a bus service, and not a very good one at that.

I would ask Comical Ali at headquarters for his highly spun explanation of the problems, but I have been blocked from the Twitter feed. And after all the nice things I've said about MetroBust's crap scheme over the many, many years it has been in development. I mean!

I'm slightly puzzled by the reported antipathy of flight crew at the Mercure. I thought the MetroBust stop in Redcliffe Hill was the same as the current Flyer stop?
« Last Edit: July 12, 2018, 11:14:04 pm by Four Track, Now! » Logged

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« Reply #526 on: July 12, 2018, 10:48:41 pm »

Apologies for butting in on something out of my area, and a thread I have not been following, and repeating something that may have been said already, however today's post caught my eye this evening.

I have had a very peripheral involvement with new public transport schemes in Cambridgeshire, whose county council fell in love with guided bus lanes some years ago, concreting over the old Cambridge to St Ives branch - a scheme that ran hugely over program and budget, and ended up as a massive claim against the contractor.

In the course of my involvement I was informed by an experienced transport consultant that the bus companies do not actually  like them.They involve expensive additional fitments to buses and the additional risk of damage from the bus way structures. They would rather just have ordinary roads built with access restricted by barriers or signage.   

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« Reply #527 on: July 12, 2018, 11:10:11 pm »

In the course of my involvement I was informed by an experienced transport consultant that the bus companies do not actually  like them.They involve expensive additional fitments to buses and the additional risk of damage from the bus way structures. They would rather just have ordinary roads built with access restricted by barriers or signage.

{like}

The latest extension to the Cambridge system is using a WAGS rather than raised steel or concrete structures to provide direction to the buses.

WAGS - Wheel Assisted Guidance SystemA system in which a vehicle is directed by a modest change in the direction the wheels are pointed in, usually controlled by the driver rotating a controlling wheel (a.k.a. a steering wheel) from an observation position.  White lines are often painted on the driving surface (a.k.a. a road) to help the driver keep in line without the need for extra hardware, and to ensure horizontal spatial separation from vehicles headed in the opposite direction.
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Four Track, Now!
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« Reply #528 on: July 12, 2018, 11:24:33 pm »

Apologies for butting in on something out of my area, and a thread I have not been following, and repeating something that may have been said already, however today's post caught my eye this evening.

I have had a very peripheral involvement with new public transport schemes in Cambridgeshire, whose county council fell in love with guided bus lanes some years ago, concreting over the old Cambridge to St Ives branch - a scheme that ran hugely over program and budget, and ended up as a massive claim against the contractor.

In the course of my involvement I was informed by an experienced transport consultant that the bus companies do not actually  like them.They involve expensive additional fitments to buses and the additional risk of damage from the bus way structures. They would rather just have ordinary roads built with access restricted by barriers or signage.   

Bristol's MetroBust team has often cited the Cambridgeshire scheme as the exemplar, and as justification for what they are trying to do in Bristol.This is despite the huge difference in length of guided busway, with Bristol's guideway being cut down to under 4Km, in a number of pieces. Where it does follow the Cambridgeshire example is in late delivery and budget busting, but they can't say they weren't warned.

Much was made at the "consultation" phase of the reduced width of guided busways in comparison to roads, but when a service track is added, that seems marginal. It may still be one reason for guideway rather than road, but if bus companies don't like them, and it took a long time to produce an operator for the M2 route which does not have guided parts, they will not tender to operate the routes, and no more guided busways will be built. The Bristol one would have been abandoned long ago were it not for the fact that it is all that makes MetroBust "special", and therefore eligible for government money to build roads with under a thin veneer of public transport improvements.
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« Reply #529 on: July 16, 2018, 08:26:10 pm »

Any indications on loadings now that passengers have to pay. I saw one today just after 1300 at Bromley Heath heading towards the city full of fresh air and nothing else.
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« Reply #530 on: July 16, 2018, 09:20:00 pm »

Any indications on loadings now that passengers have to pay. I saw one today just after 1300 at Bromley Heath heading towards the city full of fresh air and nothing else.

Ah, so that's the idea behind Metrobust. Bristol city center apparently needs more fresh air. Cunning but typically wasteful thinking from Bristol City Council!
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« Reply #531 on: July 16, 2018, 09:58:25 pm »

Any indications on loadings now that passengers have to pay.


Don't be silly, asking questions like that will be replied with "commercially sensitive information and not for public release" despite the fact that oodles of council taxpayers cash might be being used to prop up the project to save some local politicians faces.
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johnneyw
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« Reply #532 on: July 16, 2018, 10:05:48 pm »

Any indications on loadings now that passengers have to pay.


Don't be silly, asking questions like that will be replied with "commercially sensitive information and not for public release" despite the fact that oodles of council taxpayers cash might be being used to prop up the project to save some local politicians faces.

Yes, odd though that they were rather less muted about numbers when Bristol council tax payers were stumping up (again) for the "free" rides days.
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« Reply #533 on: July 19, 2018, 09:06:05 pm »

Any indications on loadings now that passengers have to pay.


Don't be silly, asking questions like that will be replied with "commercially sensitive information and not for public release" despite the fact that oodles of council taxpayers cash might be being used to prop up the project to save some local politicians faces.

They don't like criticism. I, and many others, have been banned from #MetroBust's twitter feed. This is despite all the nice things I have said about their crap white heffalump scheme.
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« Reply #534 on: July 20, 2018, 05:54:33 am »

Did a journey into the City Centre earlier this week. Caught the 14.20 service from Emersons Green, was only revenue earning passenger on service (ENCTS card) from EG to UWE where 12 boarded plus a further 1 person at the Stapleton Allotments stop.

Cant see First Bus continuing to operate the service with the abysmal level of patronage on journeys like that for long unless they get oodles of subsidy from the LAs as other services I have seen running seem to be carrying tons of fresh air particularly between UWE and Lyde Green / Emersons Green area.
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« Reply #535 on: July 20, 2018, 04:32:13 pm »

Subsidies are strictly verboten, according to Bristol City Council. That said, there are a few publicly funded sweeteners - First are getting their gas buses paid for, and the fuelling plant, which they will use for all buses eventually. MetroBust have waived all the route access charges for the foreseeable, so the bus companies can use all that new infrastructure FOC. If they want to.

Social media, or at least the bits I am not yet banned from, carry grumbles from quite a few passengers, a particular moan being late running of services. There was a bit of a rant from someone who bemoans the cancellation of the UWE express in favour of MetroBust, but I'm not sure if he represents the many or the few. There has been a lot of negative comment about the withdrawal of the X4, though.
Now there is talk of MetroBust to Nailsea. Madness.
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« Reply #536 on: July 20, 2018, 05:22:37 pm »

Subsidies are strictly verboten, according to Bristol City Council. That said, there are a few publicly funded sweeteners - First are getting their gas buses paid for, and the fuelling plant, which they will use for all buses eventually. MetroBust have waived all the route access charges for the foreseeable, so the bus companies can use all that new infrastructure FOC. If they want to.

Social media, or at least the bits I am not yet banned from, carry grumbles from quite a few passengers, a particular moan being late running of services. There was a bit of a rant from someone who bemoans the cancellation of the UWE express in favour of MetroBust, but I'm not sure if he represents the many or the few. There has been a lot of negative comment about the withdrawal of the X4, though.
Now there is talk of MetroBust to Nailsea. Madness.

I presume you mean the X48, and have you heard anything about MetroBust to Yate/Sodbury, route number Y1 has been mentioned at a Public Meeting to complement T1/T2 to Thornbury for which the T1 uses the Stoke Gifford to Ring Road Link and then the M32 to City Centre (Colston Hall) calling at MetroBust stops outbound.
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Four Track, Now!
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« Reply #537 on: July 20, 2018, 10:01:00 pm »

I presume you mean the X48, and have you heard anything about MetroBust to Yate/Sodbury, route number Y1 has been mentioned at a Public Meeting to complement T1/T2 to Thornbury for which the T1 uses the Stoke Gifford to Ring Road Link and then the M32 to City Centre (Colston Hall) calling at MetroBust stops outbound.

I did indeed mean the X4 . I have just realised that the numbers  and  are not working on my laptop. I shall have to use the on-screen keyboard or character map.

The T1 is excellent news if you live in Thornbury and want to get to Bristol, but less so if you are heading to Filton or Southmead hospital.
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« Reply #538 on: July 22, 2018, 10:37:53 pm »

The 78/79 change to T1 and T2 has made my Tues and Weds evening commutes home more 'interesting'. The 50/50 dash across Aztec West to get to the 75 service in time has been augmented by a 30% no show rate since the service change. It's not just me as the significant numbers of frustrated passengers at each stop verifies. Worst Bristol's Customer Punishment Dept has been very industrious again.
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« Reply #539 on: July 24, 2018, 05:55:48 am »

My insider tells me that route M2 has been cleared to start operating and a start date of September 3rd is mooted. Clearance for some non-passenger service vehicles is yet to be confirmed. There is now a mad panic to get the I-points plinths completed and where needed electrics and comms cable wiring runs installed to the I-points bases. Apparently last Saturday was the busiest day of the service to date, well it had to be, didn't it, was Harbour Festival weekend in the city. The blank paper ticket roll can be monitored remotely and on Saturday morning the P&R Inbound I-point recorded 70% ticket roll remaining but by the afternoon this had reduced to 19% and thus gave "kittens" to the promoters fearing that the ticket machine had been hacked and was issuing "freebies".

Once again travelled inbound on the 1420 X Emersons Green but this time I was joined on the upper deck front row by a male and his child daughter at the P&R and we were the only passengers until UWE where about 10 - 12 passengers boarded and picking up 1 more pax at the Stoke Park stop before joining the M32. I have never noticed it before but yesterday I took a good look at the landscape, the eastern slopes of Purdown, noticing a monument high up before the PO Tower and wondered how beautiful this area would have been when Duchess Lake was there before it was drained to make way for the M32. Progress ? Maybe not.
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