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Commuters left behind as O-Bahn buses hit capacity

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Bus services on O-Bahn routes become too full to pick up waiting commuters more than three times as often as other services, InDaily can reveal.

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Adelaide Metro data requested by InDaily shows that services that used Adelaide’s O-Bahn guided bus expressway were reported full 3.6 times more frequently than other services.

On routes that include the O-Bahn, Adelaide Metro received a report that a bus was full and unable to pick up additional waiting commuters an average of 48 times each weekday between 1 April 2017 and 31 March this year.

Full bus reports on all other routes were made an average of 14 times each day.

For all routes, in total, commuter demand equalled or outstripped supply 4602 times during the 12-month period.

Transport Minister Stephan Knoll declined to comment on whether O-Bahn routes were under-serviced but argued that Adelaide Metro performed well overall, given that an average of 9400 bus services operate across Adelaide daily.

“That means of the 2.4 million bus services each year on weekdays, only 0.2 per cent of those are reported as full in that they can’t take on more passengers,” Knoll said in a statement to InDaily.

“That means 99.8 per cent of bus services aren’t reported as full and are able to take on more passengers.”

He said school or university student demand, special events, weather and “a host of other reasons” were to blame when full buses passed by waiting commuters.

“On occasions some services may experience full loadings which may change from day to day,” he said.

“The department publishes information about on-time running regularly on the Adelaide Metro website.”

Earlier this month, Torrens Transit announced that it had acquired the company that runs O-Bahn bus services, as well as services to Adelaide’s inner northern and southern suburbs, Light City Buses.

The takeover makes Torrens Transit the only company operating bus services across central Adelaide.

While O-Bahn services had a significantly higher average number of full bus reports, the individual route that produced the highest number of full bus reports was the G10, which takes commuters from Westfield Marion, through the CBD to Blair Athol and back.

There were 340 full bus reports from drivers on that route over the year – an average of almost one full bus a day.

On the M44, an O-Bahn route, 53 of its 314 full bus reports over the year were made during the PM off-peak period.

Overall, most of the full bus reports offered during the PM peak, followed by the AM peak.

The data is limited, however, because the Transport Department was unable to produce the data for weekend services – only weekday services – and it is understood that driver discretion is used to discern when a bus is ‘full’.

InDaily has contacted Clint Feuerherdt, CEO of Transit Systems Group which owns Torrens Transit, for comment.

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