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SmartBus 901 to Melbourne Airport

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pn1

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I wonder how many frequent flyers would consider using the 901 SmartBus to Melbourne Airport?

It passes the end of my street at Ringwood and I've used it several times for the leisurely trip to or from the airport. For a senior with a myki the cost is a reasonable $1.40 one way.

I've noticed a few Airport passengers boarding or alighting at Broadmeadows particularly around the time of V/Line trains to or from Albury or Shepparton.

The 901 terminates at the extreme end of the bus terminal near T4 so there is something of a walk. Fortunately there are good public toilets in the bus terminal, something a senior might appreciate before or after the long bus journey!

But the 901 seems to remain something of a "best kept secret" and my experience suggests only a few people know about it. There is virtually no signage or promotion at the airport.

There are other public transport options to or from Melbourne Airport; one that some people use is the 479 bus to Sunbury connecting with V/Line trains to Bendigo.

But I guess the average airline passenger prefers to drive or be picked up. Or pay considerably more to use Skybus (that's not part of the Victorian myki fare system) to the city.

I'd be interested to hear of others' experiences on the 901.

(The 901 from Melbourne Airport to Frankston operates every 15 minutes [half hourly later at night and at weekends] and passes railway stations at Broadmeadows, Epping, South Morang, Greensborough, Blackburn, Ringwood, Dandenong and Kananook [the stop before Frankston].)
 

opusman

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Many people on this forum know it and use it often.

Train to Broady and 901 from there is a viable alternative to Skybus from the city, as long as you have a bit of time up your sleeve. My record is about 52 minutes from Southern Cross to the QP.

Less convenient for Qantas unfortunately now that the bus stop has moved to Siberia (T4).
 

serfty

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It actually not far from where it was in the pre T4 days for a year or two.

Back then it was out in the open.

I do miss the 478 (iirc) service from Essendon station ... 30 minutes quicker than going via Broady when using g Cragieburn train.
 

travelislife

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It is a blight on the way that government works in Australia that it is not promoted. Also The skybus should be publicly run and a standard myki fare.
 

Austman

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IMO, the worst part is the changing at Broadmeadows.

It's hardly a pleasant train station. And if you just miss a bus/train, the wait can be quite long, particularly outside peak hours.

For me, from inner Melbourne, if I tram + skybus it takes about 60 minutes door-to-door (to Qantas terminals). If I tram + train + bus 901 it takes about 90 minutes (sometimes a bit quicker if the connections work well).
 

Melburnian1

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The moderators could usefully merge this and the earlier thread about it.

I have made some efficient connections from the train to the bus.

Broadmeadows station is basic but only once have I felt unsafe. The bus stop suffers from all the trucks passing by but while lacking seating, at least it is under the multi storey building's awning so one is protected from the rain.
 

Austman

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The bus stop suffers from all the trucks passing by but while lacking seating, at least it is under the multi storey building's awning so one is protected from the rain.
Tip: If the electronic sign outside Broadmeadows train station says the bus is quite a few mins away, it's nicer to walk the short distance (ca 3 mins) to the earlier bus stop which is outside the Broadmeadows Shopping Centre car park, just around the corner. Plenty of seats, undercover, quieter and usually easier to get on the bus. It also has an electronic sign.

(perhaps not so good if it's late at night or raining heavily)
 
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Mattg

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I use this bus regularly when travelling to and from Melbourne Airport. I usually catch the bus from the airport to Broadmeadows, and then take a train from there to the city. I'd much rather spend ~$4 doing this than support the SkyBus (which I consider a massive rip-off).
 

travelislife

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The other problem with these not being promoted (like the bus that used to go to Moonee ponds) is it then gives the operator/government an excuse to cancel the service all together due to 'lack of patronage'. Chicken and the egg...
 

moa999

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If going centre of CBD on a weekday (much less frequent on a weekend),
Also got the hourly 479 to Essondon, which links up with the 59 tram.
A much more direct route versus Broadmeadows
 
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serfty

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If going centre of CBD on a weekday (much less frequent on a weekend),
Also got the hourly 479 to Essondon, which links up with the 59 tram.
A much more direct route versus Broadmeadows
Has the 479 been reinstated to stop at Essendon R/S? I had believed it was changed to only go via Airport West. This was done at the same time as the 478.
 

openseat

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I use the bus quite often. It actually can be quicker to the city when the Skybus is stuck on the Tullamarine Fwy due to roadworks/accident/heavy traffic as the train is not held up by those things.
The shame of it is that the bus stop is now so far away. I can't understand why the bus can't have a stop in front of each terminal. I suppose the airport is about making money and not providing a public amenity.
 

opusman

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Skybus gets multiple stops because the airport gets a cut of the ticket fee. They don't get anything from public transport and so have no incentive to improve the service or even to draw attention to its existence.
 

moa999

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Has the 479 been reinstated to stop at Essendon R/S? I had believed it was changed to only go via Airport West. This was done at the same time as the 478.
Sorry it does only go to Airport West, but there is a bus stop next to the terminus of the 59 tram on Matthews Ave
 

serfty

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Sorry it does only go to Airport West, but there is a bus stop next to the terminus of the 59 tram on Matthews Ave
OK ...

The tram takes longer from the city (Eliz/LaTrobe/Melb.Central) to the terminus than the train does to Broady..
 

downgraded

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It is a blight on the way that government works in Australia that it is not promoted. Also The skybus should be publicly run and a standard myki fare.
I don't know the fare structure but if it's anything like the Sydney train the airport is taking the lion's share.
 

moa999

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OK ...

The tram takes longer from the city (Eliz/LaTrobe/Melb.Central) to the terminus than the train does to Broady..
About the same..
Let's pick a Monday afternoon arrive at bus stand 3pm to Melbourne Central.

901. 3.05-3.24 wait 15. Train 3.39-4.20.. Time 1hr15 (1.05-1.27 options available at other times)

479. 3.07-3.19 wait 5. Tram 59 3.24-4.13.. Time 1hr6 (1.01-1.12 at other times).

I've got both options loaded as Trips in TripView app.
 

moa999

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80Re: SmartBus 901 to Melbourne Airport

I don't know the fare structure but if it's anything like the Sydney train the airport is taking the lion's share.
Getting OT

The Sydney Gate Fee doesn't go to Sydney Airport - it goes to the builder of the line under the PPP (well actually the entity that bought the line), and now that it's hit the limit, about 85℅ actually goes to the NSW Govt. Last year about $69m

http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/13-million-weekly-windfall-from-sydney-airport-station-fees-for-nsw-government-20161107-gsjkq1.html
 
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samh004

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I wonder how many frequent flyers would consider using the 901 SmartBus to Melbourne Airport?
I use it exclusively when flying to MEL. Can't remember the last time I used the Skybus or Starbus.
 
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