2017: Caroline Springs Network Changes

In October & November 2016 PTV undertook consultation on proposed changes in Caroline Springs, to be delivered in two stages, with changes to 460 & 461 introduced on 29 January 2017 when the new V/Line station opened, and other changes planned for later in 2017.

Caroline Springs proposed bus network upgrade
From https://getinvolved.ptv.vic.gov.au/caroline-springs-proposed-bus-network-upgrade

The proposed bus network upgrade will expand public transport coverage and provide bus connections to the new Caroline Springs train station.

Existing bus routes will be extended to link residential communities with shopping centres, trains stations and community centres, while a new bus route would deliver direct and frequent connections to train services.

Key features of the proposed network:

  • extended coverage into residential areas such as Plumpton, Caroline Springs, Deer Park and Burnside Heights, plus coverage to the Ravenhall employment precinct
  • bus links to the new Caroline Springs train station
  • improved frequency on selected bus routes on weekdays and weekends
  • improved access to key destinations including Watergardens, Caroline Springs Town Centre and Sunshine
  • more regular bus services between Burnside and Sunshine stations, with timetabled connections to and from train services
  • a new link between Caroline Springs and Deer Park

For more information on the proposal please visit the Document Library and download the fact sheet and network maps or view the Frequently Asked Questions.

For information on the upcoming community consultation sessions, please refer to the Key Dates section for details on dates, times and venues.

CDC Melbourne Sunshine #63, a 2003 Volvo B12BLE/Volgren, seen shortly after leaving Caroline Springs Town Centre on the 461 to Watergardens. (18/11/2014) (Jason Holmes)

FAQs
From – https://getinvolved.ptv.vic.gov.au/caroline-springs-proposed-bus-network-upgrade/faqs


Are you introducing new routes?

Yes. Route 216 (Caroline Springs – Brighton Beach) will be replaced by new Route 426 between Sunshine and Caroline Springs, with an extension to the Caroline Springs Town Centre.


How will buses coordinate with trains?

All routes will coordinate with train timetables to provide good connections for travel towards the city in the morning, and from the city in the afternoon and evening.

For proposed routes 426 and 456, we would like to hear about the station you prefer to travel from. A faster journey is possible at Albion Station, while Sunshine Station offers more customer facilities.


Are you removing any current routes?

Route 216 between Sunshine and Caroline Springs will be replaced by Route 426, which will be extended to the Caroline Springs Town Centre via Burnside Heights.

Several other routes will be extended to reach more people and link to more destinations.


How was the proposed new bus network designed?

In preparing the proposed network we:
– reviewed how the network is currently used
– researched who uses the bus network and their needs
– reviewed growing areas that are not currently serviced by public transport
– worked closely with local councils and bus operators.

We have carefully considered how an upgraded network will operate to ensure buses efficiently service as many residents as possible, while also providing connections to train services.


Why is Route 462 not being extended to the new Caroline Springs Station?

If route 462 was extended to the new station buses would need to spend long periods of time waiting at train stations for connecting trains, when they could otherwise be providing service to more areas. We have instead developed network options that ensure that buses spend most of their day serving as many people and destinations as possible.

Many residents in southern Caroline Springs will also be able to walk to bus stops on the extended Route 460, which will provide a fast, frequent and direct service to the new Caroline Springs Station.


Will I have to walk further to get to my closest bus stop?

Almost all existing bus stops will continue to be served by the upgraded bus network, although the routes serving each stop might change.


How many bus stops will be added and have you decided where all of the bus stops will go?

We will need to install bus stops along streets where new bus services will be introduced.

In determining the location of new bus stops we must consider:
– whether there is adequate space for pedestrians and passengers to safely access the new bus stop
– whether buses can easily access the new bus stop
– whether the new bus stop location maintains adequate visibility for drivers and other road users
– whether stops along the bus route are evenly spaced
– whether there is adequate space for the new bus stop to include all the design features required by the Disability Discrimination Act 1992, and the VicRoads Bus Stop Guidelines 2006.

If there is a bus stop to be installed near your house, you will be notified directly.


What is the long term plan for the Caroline Springs bus network?

The Caroline Springs region is rapidly growing. We will continue to pursue opportunities to improve the bus network and meet passenger demand.


How has local knowledge been incorporated and who did you consult with?

We have worked closely with Melton City Council and Brimbank City Council, local bus operators, and now want to hear from you.


When will the changes be implemented?

Subject to feedback received, there will be a staged implementation with Routes 460 and 461 being extended in early 2017 to coincide with the opening of Caroline Springs Station. The remainder of the network will be implemented later in 2017.

Due to infrastructure works required for the Westwood Drive Bridge over Kororoit Creek, Route 426 won’t be fully implemented until 2018 – instead it will operate with a temporary diversion and travel express between Rockbank Middle Rd/Westwood Dr and Caroline Springs Town Centre prior to the new bridge opening.


What can my feedback influence?

Please provide your feedback by midnight, Friday, 11 November 2016 by:
– dropping in to one of our community information sessions
– filling out the online survey at ptv.vic.gov.au/getinvolved
– calling 1800 800 007 and letting the customer service team know you’d like to provide feedback about the proposed Caroline Springs bus network.

We’ll be assessing all feedback to determine what might need to change in our proposal, particularly the design of the network and how many services should run.

Fact Sheets & Maps (Downloaded from the PTV website)

Key proposals include:

215 (Caroline Springs Town Centre – Highpont): Unchanged, although weekend frequency might return to hourly (currently 75 – 80 mins for much of the day)

216 (Caroline Springs (Rockbank Middle Rd) – City – Brighton Beach) Split at Sunshine, western end to Caroline Springs forms part of new 426, see below.

418 (Caroline Springs Town Centre – St Albans): Upgrade to a 40 min weekend headway (occurring 31 October)

426 (Caroline Springs Town Centre – Sunshine): New route incorporating Transdev’s 216 trips on the Ballarat Rd corridor, finally extended north to Caroline Springs Town Centre. Route will altered to serve Burnside Heights from 2018 once Westwood Dr bridge opens.

456 (Melton – Sunshine): Buses will now follow the Sunday route along Neale Dr and Rockbank Middle Rd (past Sri Dunga Manor Temple) 7 days a week. Option A sees buses operate direct along Rockbank Middle Rd, while option B sees the route travel along The Parkway and Bridgewater Tce (also see 462)

426 / 456 (Burnside – Sunshine combined corridor): Splitting the 216 at Sunshine will allow headways west of Sunshine to be harmonised with the 456, allowing buses to be better coordinated with trains at Albion and Sunshine. Buses will be offset to provide flat 10 min headways at peak periods with 20 min interpeak and weekend daytime headways, mirroring the corridors in Plenty Valley.

One would assume half-hourly departures on Saturday evenings, and possibly hourly on Sunday nights after 9pm. Although 12am finishes are stated, it would be fantastic if the last bus was actually met the last train, especially given the current 216 span.

Back in April 2012, Sita #47 (Volvo B12BLE, Volgren) passes Melbourne Bus Link #408 (Scania K230UB, Volgren) on Rockbank Middle Road, Caroline Springs (Peter Hill)

The weekday interpeak headway will actually fall from 4 trips an hour to 3 trips an hour (currently two largely half-hourly routes) in order to better meet trains. The shortened route also means much more reliable times for the 426 trips than the 216 which may have suffered from delays at numerous points along the way. It should be noted the 215 also travels this corridor, but it seems it will continue to bypass Albion Station.

460 (Watergardens – Caroline Springs Town Centre – Caroline Springs Station): This route will be further strengthened as a trunk north-south route by being extended south down Caroline Springs Bvd to the new station south of the Western Hwy. Peak service upgraded from 25 mins to 20 mins, interpeak service upgraded from 40 mins to 20 mins. Weekend service possibly a 20-40 min headway to meet the V/Line timetable?

461 (Watergardens – Caroline Springs Town Centre): Revised to operate along City Vista in the new parts of Plumpton. Peak service upgraded from 40 to 30 mins.

462 (Watergardens – Caroline Springs Town Centre – Deer Park Station) & 464 Caroline Springs Town Centre – Deer Park): There are two options for 462, the first sees the route extended to serve The Parkway and and Bridgewater Tce before counting to Deer Park Station via Caroline Springs Bvd, Ballarat Rd, Westwood Dr, Robinsons Rd and Foleys Rd, serving industrial areas in Ravenhall and a poorly served housing area in south-west Deer Park.

Option B would truncate the route at the current terminus, with 456 taking in The Parkway and Bridgewater Tce. A separate 464 would cover the above mentioned unserved areas south of Ballarat Rd.

Option A would see 462 operate every 45 mins along the entire route at peak times, while option B would see 462 run a 33 – 66 min peak headway and 464 run just hourly. Outside peak times, a useless hourly headways remains in either option.

Consultation Summary
Following the consultation period, PTV released a report summarising the thoughts of the community.

Some notable figures:

  • 80 people attended the drop-in sessions and 200 individual pieces of feedback were collected
  • 47% of respondents were from Caroline Springs, with another 17% from Deer Park
  • 63% of respondents preferred Option A changes in Caroline Springs, that is extending 462 to Deer Park Station via parts of Caroline Springs and Derrimut
  • Nearly 38% of respondents preferred an Albion connection for Ballarat Rd buses over Sunshine, although another third had no preference
  • Frequency was the biggest concern for 87% of those who completed the survey

Download the full consultation summary (PDF)