SmartBus 901 to Melbourne Airport

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by pn1, Feb 24, 2017.

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  1. pn1

    pn1 Intern

    Jun 18, 2005
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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].)
     
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  2. opusman

    opusman Senior Member

    Jun 27, 2006
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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).
     
  3. serfty

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    Nov 16, 2004
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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.
     
  4. travelislife

    travelislife Established Member

    Feb 9, 2011
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    Melbourne
    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.
     
  5. Austman

    Austman Established Member

    Sep 21, 2007
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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).
     
  6. Melburnian1

    Melburnian1 Enthusiast

    Jun 7, 2013
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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.
     
  7. Austman

    Austman Established Member

    Sep 21, 2007
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    #7 Austman, Feb 24, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2017
    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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  8. Mattg

    Mattg Senior Member

    Aug 21, 2011
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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).
     
  9. travelislife

    travelislife Established Member

    Feb 9, 2011
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    Melbourne
    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...
     
  10. moa999

    moa999 Senior Member

    Jun 23, 2003
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    #10 moa999, Feb 24, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2017
    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
     
  11. serfty

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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.
     
  12. openseat

    openseat Active Member

    Jun 1, 2006
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    SYD
    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.
     
  13. opusman

    opusman Senior Member

    Jun 27, 2006
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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.
     
  14. moa999

    moa999 Senior Member

    Jun 23, 2003
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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
     
  15. serfty

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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..
     
  16. downgraded

    downgraded Member

    Apr 2, 2014
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    I don't know the fare structure but if it's anything like the Sydney train the airport is taking the lion's share.
     
  17. moa999

    moa999 Senior Member

    Jun 23, 2003
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    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.
     
  18. moa999

    moa999 Senior Member

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    #18 moa999, Feb 24, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2017
    80Re: SmartBus 901 to Melbourne Airport

    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
     
  19. serfty

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    Yip ... and being close the greater frequency of 901 makes it the one I most commonly plan for.
     
  20. samh004

    samh004 Enthusiast

    Apr 1, 2009
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    I use it exclusively when flying to MEL. Can't remember the last time I used the Skybus or Starbus.
     
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