Lights, camera, ACTION: the wheels on the bus go where needed

Not everyone in Canberra is happy with the city’s overhauled bus network. But the director of public transport stands by his team’s efforts to put resources where they are needed most.

The ACT government has used detailed passenger data to redesign its ACTION bus network for the first time. And while not all passengers are happy, peak hour is running more smoothly.

The system’s “MyWay” smart cards, introduced in 2011, provided a wealth of user behaviour to measure. This information was combined with over 2300 pieces of feedback from drivers and passengers, collected during a four-week public consultation on proposed changes last September.

Inevitably, some passengers are unhappy with the changes and have taken their complaints to social media, generating negative local news coverage for ACTION. Things took a turn for the worse when some drivers started handing out the minister’s phone number to aggrieved passengers on slips of paper, and now a lobby group for Weston Creek residents has fired off an angry letter about the changes.

ACT director of public transport James Roncon is not surprised there are complaints and believes his team have struck the right balance with the new network, without any increase in funding.

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