Melbourne’s newest bus – route 401 – started operation today, and it seems to be quite a departure from existing Melbourne bus practice. Running from North Melbourne station to Melbourne University, it eschews basically everything we expect from a Melbourne bus. It is high frequency (every 3 minutes peak, every 6 minutes off peak), has very few stops, doesn’t allow the driver to sell tickets and runs as a spur from a trip generator to an interchange station.
Some of these developments – such as the high frequency and direct link between a railway station and trip generator – are very positive indeed. The limited stops idea is interesting, but the bus should really also stop at Abbotsford St. to connect with the 57 Tram. Furthermore, it’s disappointing that it won’t be running after 7:30pm or on weekends. It’s a start though and it’s nice to see a departure from the entrenched mindset. I didn’t see anyone aboard today, but given time it should start getting some decent patronage.
Filed under: buses |