Over three months ago I sent an email off to Morris Iemma, the useless Premier of New South Wales. I'd spent almost an hour trying to get home from work after a ten hour shift and was ready to explode with anger over the transport system. Here's the letter, which was sent on the 7th of May. Buses and locations have been disguised.
Dear Mr Iemma,
I am writing to you about the abysmal service provided by Sydney Buses for commuters to Chigley.
I am sick and tired of standing at a bus stop in the evening waiting to get home. I get on my bus just before Albert Square. If I leave work at 17.30 it is not unusual for me to wait in excess of thirty minutes. 123 buses are almost always full at this point in the route and will not stop. The last thing I want to do at the end of the working day is to stand on Oxford St breathing in traffic fumes and watching packed buses drive past. Regardless of what the bus timetable says there are not enough buses. There is no room on any 123 or 124 between 17.45 and approximately 18.30. This evening I waited for over 30 minutes before admitting defeat and getting a taxi. I work as a nurse, most of the day is spent on my feet and I'm tired of it. The colder weather is approaching and I have better things to do with my time than stand around getting cold and annoyed.
Whatever you are doing is not enough. There are simply not enough buses to cope with the volume of passengers to Chigley and Trumpton. I see that the 333 Bondi buses are a great success. These buses have double the passenger capacity. What plans are there to extend this to the express buses which serve Chigley and Trumpton?
The public are encouraged to use public transport to help the environment and the breathtaking arrogance with which we are treated by Sydney buses never ceases to amaze me.
You are in your second term as Premier and I am yet to see any tangible improvement in services. I don't want excuses or platitudes. I don't want spending figures. I want a bus. I want to be able to get on a bus within 30 minutes of arriving at the stop. I don't even expect a seat. I just want to get on it and get home.
Approximately six weeks later I received a reply from the Premiers office telling me that they had forwarded my letter to the Minister for Transport. Yesterday I received a response. Here it is.
I refer to your correspondence received by the Minister for Transport concerning the 123 and 124 routes. The Minister has asked me to reply on his behalf. I apologise for the delay in responding.
Passenger loading and timing checks are conducted on outbound services on 123 and 124 services operating through Albert Square between 5.30pm and 6.30pm on weekdays generally indicate sufficient accommodation is available for passenger demand.
There are, however, instances where services may be disrupted due to traffic congestion encountered en route. This scenario usually affects normal loading patterns and it may be difficult for passengers to gain accommodation. However, the high frequency of services during the PM peak period ensures minimum waiting times.
Additionally, the service checks identified certain services on other bus routes which appear to be under utilised during this time. Investigations are now being undertaken to examine the possibility of relocating these resources as a means to supplement Chigley services.
In the meantime, services will continue to be monitored......oh, blah blah blah. that's me, readers, not the Goverment lackey.
Phew. Well that was useful and informative. It's all in my fucking imagination. There are buses, lots of them. The peak time service ensures minimum waiting times. Silly me. I suppose it depends on whether or not you consider a waiting time of half an hour before being able to board a bus is acceptable or not. The response tells me that the service is adequate yet in the next breath I'm being told they are looking at ways to supplement the current service. Well bugger me. Good old Sydney buses. That should be their new slogan - Improving on the already adequate. This will probably involve taking away some other poor sods bus off them and making them wait for 45 minutes.
And they want people to stop using their cars? Fat chance.