PTUA transport


Bus 627 mapThe trains have problems, but at least most people can figure out where they go. (Uhh, well, apart from the whole City Loop reversal thing.)

But try the buses. I reckon the 627 bus has Melbourne’s most confusing route.

It goes from Elsternwick to East Brighton, but via Chadstone. (And if you don’t know your Melbourne geography, it’s a detour of about 10km.)

On the way, it passes through Carnegie twice, and that includes along the same bit of Koornang Road.

The buses have a Chadstone sign for the first part of the route, before changing to their end destination. Unfortunately that means that in that bit of Koornang Road, you get buses with the same number and the same destination sign (“Chadstone 627”), that take different routes.

And just in case you thought you’d figured it out, although the route theoretically goes to East Brighton, in fact all but half-a-dozen services each day terminate short of there, 2 minutes back down the road in McKinnon.

I wonder what idiot designed this? Were they deliberately trying to put people off using the buses?

As it happens there are reviews of bus routes happening at the moment. It’ll be interesting to see if this little mess gets fixed up.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

15 replies on “Confuse-a-Commuter”

that would have to be the best example of confusing bus route!
PS I notice that the route includes overlap Zone1/2. From my observation, a bus’s validator can’t valid tickets for boths zones at the same time (the driver much physically change the zone). This seems to be a fault of the system, or am I being told porkies by bus drivers?

The 736 – Mitcham to Blackburn bus could also catch people out.

It takes an hour and ten minutes to go from Mitcham to Blackburn via Glen Waverley. In contrast you can catch a train that takes six minutes with a single station in between.

While and end to end journey is a waste, I (at least) find it useful for getting home from Glen Waverley Station.

That East Brighton extension is quirky for another reason; it provides a more frequent service on Saturday (every bus goes there) than weekdays (one in three buses).

Do the buses still do the fun bit where they show “Chadstone” until they reach the shopping centre, then change to read “Elsternwick” or “East Brighton” depending on where they are going?

The most interesting point is that it mostly travels empty, or mostly empty. Good riddance to the 627. Money saved should be better spent on the tram network is competes with as it wanders empty through Caulfield’s back streets.

Must be the same idiot who designed bus routes around Greensborough. Try to get from Greenborough to Northland Shopping Centre without confusing yourself. You have three options, the 517, 563 and the 566. The 517 is ok, but tends to wander around the back streets. The 566 is probably the best option, but doubles back on itself for about 2 km, meaning that the bus stop signs on both sides of the road for this stretch have the route listed twice (once for each direction). The 563 takes the cake though, it goes half way via whoop whoop and back again.

Route 765 (Mitcham to Box Hill) is another odd one – it has a short section of doubling itself in Blackburn.

The 627 used to be two separate routes, but for some reason, god only knows why, they were joined. Routes 612 and 624 are combinations of multiple routes as well.

It’s obvious that the 623 is the only simple route Driver runs, except for the pointless deviation to Mt Waverley station.

Yes “Matt”, the only part where the 765 doubles up on itself is the loop into Blackburn Station!

I have only caught the 736 since Zone 3 was abolished. Before then, I couldn’t use a Zone 3 ticket on it, even though Mitcham Station is in Zone 3 and my destination in Vermont South is a place that can be reached with a Zone 3 ticket on the 742 bus from Ringwood. I refused to buy a 2-zone ticket but ever since Zone 3 disappeared I’ve been a public transport regular.

My recollection is that the Elsternwick to Oakleigh portion of the route was formely operated by Camden Bus Service. Camden once operated an old Vulcan with a Symons and Fowler body.

The Koornang Road to McKinnon section was part of the old Royena Gardiner to McKinnon service. Earlier, this route extended to Middle Brighton Beach. Royena operated some old normal control Reos well into the 1960s.

Camden and Royena were off shoots from the old ESOS (Eastern Suburbs Omnibus Service) “empire”.

Paul in Melbourne

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