Frequency vs no transfer

Airport bus stopI was pondering the airport “shuttle” services.

Take the Frankston/Peninsula one. It picks up in Moorabbin about once an hour on weekdays. It gets to the airport 80-90 minutes later, charging $28 for an adult.

Across the street from the bus stop is Moorabbin station. The train runs every 15 minutes on weekdays, takes 27-34 minutes to Southern Cross, plus 5 minutes walking from the platform to the Skybus, and a maximum 10 minute wait for a bus, plus the Skybus trip itself (20 minutes), you’ll be at the airport in 52-69 minutes. Train fare $5.80, plus Skybus fare $16 = $21.80. And you don’t have to time your trip to fit in with an hourly service.

I know which one I’d prefer (not that the “shuttle” stops close enough to my place anyway, whereas the train does).

But no doubt some people would prefer to make the trip without a transfer halfway along, particularly if they have mobility issues and/or a lot of luggage.

By the way, given Marita waited about 20 minutes for a taxi from the airport at 10pm on Sunday night, it would seem there’s still a case for an airport train service.

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.

11 replies on “Frequency vs no transfer”

if you really gotta catch a plane (e.g. trip of a life time to Europe), jump in a cab! Or get a friend/relative to drive you there.
For us (family of 4) living near Moorabbin, a taxi also works out cheaper than 4 times train/airport bus fares.
BTW, I did catch the train to Broady station and then Metbus to airport once for the price of a Zone 1/2 two-hour ticket. Bargain, but I allowed heaps of time for delays.
PS What’s PTUA policy on fast-rail to airport?

Those shuttle buses use to be good when there was no other way to get to the airport on public transport, but since the Skybus started they’ve become rather irrelevant for anyone who lives on a train line.

Would (and have) use the train/Skybus over the airporter bus any day! Despite the proximity to the Monash Freeway/Citylink, the Dandenong airporter wanders up Dandenong Road then into St Kilda via Inkerman Road/Street – hardly a convenient route to the airport considereing I live 50 km from it!!

Furtermore it wanders around Endeavour Hills and Hallam before finally ending up in Berwick and Cranbourne

In 2008-09 I was working an Adelaide and as part of the deal was flown home to Melbourne every second weekend with Cabcharges included at either end – Airport to Dandenong North was just over $100 with tolls, aiport charge, etc. Don’t think I would have bothered if it was my own money!!

Luggage is the main issue that would discourage me from taking the train – ever tried wielding a large, fully-packed suitcase through ticket barriers and onto a crowded train?

haha, YES! i have lugged a large, fully-packed suitcase and then some on public transport. a pain in the arse, but a lot cheaper than a cab! that’s what the double-wide ticket barriers and dirty looks are for ;)

melbourne needs a direct line to the airport – one on the regular network that (like sydney, for example) doesn’t cost heaps more. can’t see why this wasn’t done ages ago!

We dont need “fast rail” to the airport, but we need rail. And the airport need not be the terminus. How about extending the train line to the Gonawarra area in Sunbury?

Everyone always thinks of the plane passenger when they think airport rail link, but you have to remember there are 10,000 people who work daily out at the airport.

There are also several communities that would benifit with a suburban train service, Airport West, Tullamarine, Strathmore Heights etc and you could use the existing rail corridor from Jacanna.

Forget fast rail. Business men will still take taxis. Think about sustainable community.

I never understood why an airport train service wasn’t thought of when they did the Tullamarine freeway upgrade a few years ago. Was at the same time as the Vic gov’t was rather determined to run an airport train service via the Kensington rail line (eventually abandoned due to massive public outcry).

IIRC the Skybus used to only go to some remote location way over on the north end of downtown Melbourne which was nowhere near any of the stations. Travelling once that way was enough to put me off using it again for 20 years before I discovered it went to Southern Cross.

Re the Tulla Fwy upgrade and why they didn’t build a line then. Good point.

I reckon everytime they build a metro freeway they should build a rail line and bike path beside it.

Take the Western Ring road for example. It would have been perfect to have an orbital rail line running beside the ring road. We could have had it intersect with the stations it passes or extend the lines to meet up with it.

Afterall if it justifies building a big new road surely you could argue that a rail line was feasible.

But now we are encroaching on the reserves and building warehouses and housing estates next to it. Another opportunity missed.

Went to the RAAF Point Cook airshow on sunday. When I enquired, it was going to cost $26 return on the Skybus and then $25 for the bus service to Pt.Cook. With myself and my son thats $102. I hired a car at Tullamarine instead……John

I definitely prefer a “no transfer” method of transport. Transfers are where extra time, and more importantly, extra risk impact on using PT.

When I was in London, I would take whatever measures necessary to remove transfers, which usually meant walking a lot further than most locals were inclined to, but at least I would be able to more accurately judge how long a trip would take me.

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