Turn up and go with rapid-running bus

The Department of Transport has partnered with bus operator Transdev in a six-month trial to introduce rapid running on Route 246 between Clifton Hill and Elsternwick.

Since 1 March, buses have been running to a 10-minute “turn-up-and-go” frequency from 7am to 7pm weekdays.

Buses will continue to depart from Clifton Hill and Elsternwick as timetabled, but will no longer slow down or wait at bus stops if they are running ahead of schedule.

This is expected to improve travel time for passengers like Wantirna resident Roger Smith, who boarded the bus at Bridge Road in Richmond for his regular appointment at The Alfred hospital in Prahran. 

“It’s a bit of a lifeline for me because I know it’s there and it’s reliable,” he said.

“It’s an easier method of getting to The Alfred than a tram from the city. I come a fair distance and I get here awfully quickly.”  

Mary Appleton catches the 246 bus most days to and from her home in Windsor to Elsternwick station and onto work in Glenhuntly.

Without a driver's licence, Mary relies heavily on the service and has praised its frequency and reliability.

“If I miss a bus at my place I don’t have to wait long for another one. It’s fantastic,” she said.

Supermarket worker Sajish Joshi catches the 246 about four times a week to and from his home in Elwood to work in Prahran. 

“It’s really good,” he said. “It’s on time and very regular and I don’t have to wait too long to get a bus.”

Transdev’s Head of Operations Graham Smith said the 246 was a high-frequency passenger route that carried an average of 2900 passengers per day pre-COVID-19, and the trial would comprehensively assess the benefits and limitations of rapid running. 

“As a high-frequency route, the aim of the trial is for passengers to have access to a 'turn-up-and-go' service and remove the need for buses to wait unnecessarily at bus stops for their scheduled departure time,” he said.

“We know our passengers want to get to their destination quickly and safely. This trial is a step towards making that happen and will provide us with valuable information to see whether the initiative can be expanded to other high-frequency routes.”

Route 246 buses will run to the normal timetable at all other times during the week and on weekends. Passengers can use the PTV app or website to find their bus stop and see the real-time arrival of the next service.

For more information, visit the PTV website.