[VIC] Free travel when Yellow Orbital Smartbus hits the road

By: Chris Smith

Commuters will have free travel for two weeks when the new Route 901 Yellow Orbital SmartBus linking Ringwood to Frankston

Commuters will have free travel for two weeks when the new Route 901 Yellow Orbital SmartBus linking Ringwood to Frankston via Dandenong starts on March 24 says the Victorian Minister for Public Transport.

Minister Lynne Kosky says the he premium bus service, which complements Melbourne’s radial train network by linking people in the outer east and south-east with train stations, shopping centres, schools and other major destinations, will provide free travel until Sunday April 6.

"The Route 901 SmartBus will provide a huge boost to travellers in Melbourne’s outer-eastern and south-eastern suburbs, with direct and frequent connections to Ringwood, Dandenong and Frankston train stations, as well as Knox City and Stud Park shopping centres," Kosky says.

"SmartBus services will run more often and for longer hours than other bus services. On weekdays, Route 901 will operate every 15 minutes between 6.30am and 9.00pm and every 30 minutes at other times between 5.00am and midnight.

"On Saturdays and public holidays, services will run every 30 minutes between 6.00am and midnight, and between 7.00am and 9.00pm on Sundays, Good Friday and Christmas Day.

"Thanks to recent road priority works — including dedicated bus lanes, improved traffic signalling at intersections and better bus stops to provide easy access in and out of traffic –— SmartBus passengers will also benefit from improved journey times.

"SmartBus really is the smart public transport option for people in the outer eastern and south-eastern corridor. I strongly encourage local residents to take up the two-week challenge and try out the benefits of SmartBus free of charge."

Accessibility is a key feature of SmartBus stops, with local area maps and stop-specific timetables at all locations. The stops are also safer and are highly visible, because they have been designed to Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) standards.

Low-floor buses are able to ‘meet’ the bus stop at the same level and eliminate a ‘step’ to board the bus. All stops feature tactile surfaces and high contrast colour schemes that are used to meet the needs of people with vision impairment.

In addition, buses along the route have the ability to communicate with their depot during a journey, which allows them to provide real-time travel information to passengers at selected high-use bus stops. Bus-train interchanges also feature real-time information on SmartBus and train arrival times, making journey transitions smoother.

Several SmartBus services — including the Red Orbital from Box Hill to Mordialloc, the Green Orbital from Chelsea to Nunawading, and the Wellington Road SmartBus in the outer east -— are already in operation and passenger numbers keep growing claims the Minister.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up to receive the ABC e-newsletter, digital magazine and other offers we choose to share with you straight to your inbox

You can also follow our updates by liking us on Facebook