Department of State GrowthTransport

Explanation of terms and concepts

Frequency: Refers to how often a bus operates over a particular period of time.

General access services: Any member of the public can use general access services, including adults and students.

Hours of operation: The frequency of public transport varies based on the hours of the day. This is because travel demands are different throughout the day and public transport needs to cater for this variation.  

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  • Afternoon peak: Refers to services which operate from 3pm until 5.59pm. This period is when must commuters and students travel home from work and school.        
  • Counter-peak: Services which operate either in morning or afternoon peak periods but operate against the direction of passenger flow.        
  • Evening: Includes services from 6pm to 6.59pm. Night services are generally from 7pm until the end of the service.        
  • Inter-peak: Includes services from 9am until 2.59pm.        
  • Morning peak: Refers to services which operate from 7:00am until 8.59am. This period is when most commuters and students travel to work and school.        
  • Pre-peak: Services which operate before the morning peak period from start of service until 6.59am.        

Interchanging or transfer: Refers to the act of changing from one public transport service to another service that may be of operated by the same or a different operator. Usually passengers transfer at designated stops or interchange points on the network.  

Integration: Currently each bus operator provides services within the bounds of a specific contract that includes restrictions on picking up and setting down passengers within a certain area or corridor. Enabling operators to pick up and drop off passengers in certain areas provides benefits  to passengers in terms of increasing service frequency. It also means that the Tasmanian Government does not need to provide additional resources to increase frequency or where service capacity is sufficient, enables duplicated resources to be used elsewhere in the public transport network.  

Service integration would predominantly occur when urban-fringe general access services enter key urban corridors in Greater Hobart, Launceston and around Devonport and Burnie.  

In order for integration to be successful, certain preconditions are required such as common ticketing and timetables between different operators and common bus stops. It would also be desirable to have common branding between operators.    

Last/first mile: Refers to the start or end point of a person’s journey. It is typically used to describe the difficulty in getting people to and from a bus route to their final destination, whether it is from their home which might be two kilometres from the bus route or their  place of work which is not within an acceptable walking distances eg over 10 minutes walk.  

Network: Is the system of inter-connecting bus routes. Urban areas such as Launceston and Hobart have a greater level of inter-connecting bus routes than rural or regional areas.  

Residential density: The design of our urban areas, such as the number of dwellings or people within a hectare influences the viability and effectiveness of public transport. The more dense an area in terms of population and trip attractors the greater the uptake of public transport.  Fifteen  dwellings per hectare (gross density) is considered the minimum number of dwellings to support effective public transport use.  

Route planning and level of penetration: The intent when planning improved public transport networks is to ensure that routes should be direct and simple following a direct path and avoiding deviations and circuitous routes including long loops. The level of penetration refers to how  far a route disperses into an area.  

For services along key regional and urban fringe corridors, services should be low penetration: this means that:  

  • The service should stop only once, no more than twice in any town that it is passing through.        
  • The route should service major commercial areas including UTAS and regional hospitals.        
  • The route should avoid deviating from main roads.        

For services within urban areas, routes should be medium penetration, this means:  

  • Routes should avoid deviations and circuitous routes including long loops.        
  • Routes need to travel along key arterial roads within the urban area.        
  • Routes need to service compact urban areas and avoid servicing lower density residential areas.        
  • The route should service commercial areas, including local shopping precincts, educational institutions (including UTAS, TasTafe and secondary colleges) and regional hospitals.        

High penetration routes are discouraged as although they may be more convenient for passengers by taking them closer to their destinations or homes the routes are often long and circuitous which means passengers have longer travel travels and the service is more likely to have an unreliable travel  time (the bus is more likely to experience delays in traffic). Research shows that improvements to travel time are more likely to grow bus patronage.  

School days only: Services operate only from Monday to Friday during school term time. Services do not run during school holidays.  

Student only services: These services are limited to child students only: ‘child students’ are defined as being those who are 16 and under – as well as those who are 17 or 18 involved in full time education, and enrolled at an educational institution recognised by the  Department of Education.  

SWISS (State Wide Iterative Service Standards) Model: An economic model which considers inputs and using assumptions produces outputs.  

Trip attractors: Trip attractors are developments which attracts large numbers of people such as major employees, educational institutions, hospitals, sporting facilities and major shopping centres. The greater the number of trip attractors within an area, particularly if they are densely located  such as CBDs, the greater the uptake of public transport.  

Walking distance to bus routes: In order to create more simple and direct bus routes, the Tasmanian Government has proposed a guideline that at least 90 per cent of dwellings in an urban area which have an appropriate level of residential density eg at least 15 dwellings per hectare should be  within 500 metres (as the crow flies) of a bus route or 600 metres walking distance using the road network.

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