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BRIDJing the Transport Gap Between Bondi and Rose Bay

By Joel Bevilacqua on September 24, 2018 in News

Bloody brilliant, by Bridget Bardot

Thanks to a new trial currently being carried out by Transport for NSW (TfNSW ), it’s claimed residents throughout Bondi, North Bondi and Dover Heights travelling to major hubs like Circular Quay can now slice an estimated 15-30 minutes off their travel time.

TfNSW has partnered with BRIDJ, an on-demand bus service, to offer a faster and more convenient public transport con- nection to and from the Sydney Ferry Network.

BRIDJ buses aim to be more efficient than regular buses by using real-time traffic data and passenger inputs to avoid congestion when possible, and ensure streamlined pick-up and drop-off points.

On weekdays, people in the catchment zone of Bondi, North Bondi and Dover Heights will be able to utilise the BRIDJ
technology to connect to the Rose Bay ferry in peak times more conveniently than ever before. On weekends, BRIDJ will offer all-day connections.

“We are excited to arrive in Rose Bay and have estimated some travel time savings of up to 30 minutes into major hubs, such as Circular Quay,” BRIDJ General Manager John Langford-Ely said.

BRIDJ also estimates people travelling to North Sydney will save up to 10-20 minutes com- pared to other options, and those travelling to Barangaroo can save up to 15 minutes compared to public transport.

Commuters book a bus using the BRIDJ app, downloaded via the App Store or Google Play. The cost of a one-way journey is $3.10, or $1.50 for concession cardholders, which is far cheaper than a taxi or Uber. Once booked, passengers follow directions to a designated pick-up stop that is set based on other nearby users headed in the same direction. Like other on-demand services such as Uber, passengers can track their vehicle in real-time as it approaches.

The 16-seater mini-buses boast free Wi-Fi, charging docs and designated seats.

Mr Langford-Ely said BRIDJ will continue to work with the state government to develop an on-demand public bus solution that is sustainable and that people want to use. He also said that the service will grow and evolve with feedback from the community.

Simply convincing people to download the app and give it a go seems to be the biggest challenge BRIDJ and TfNSW face at the moment.

“I’m a bit of a dinosaur for apps and things,” one Bondi local told The Beast.

Senior Lecturer at the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering and member of the Research Centre for Integrated Transport Innovation at UNSW, Dr David Rey, recognised that many elderly commuters may be deterred by the technology required to catch a BRIDJ bus. “This is a problem that many on-demand trials are facing,” Dr Rey explained. “You need to try and educate the population and say: There is a solution, it’s not that difficult to use, and it doesn’t cost more than a regular service.”

Dr Rey said that for Sydney to be trialling an on-demand service such as BRIDJ shows “really good initiative”. He also told The Beast that he thought the BRIDJ trial itself was a good model.

“By combining with ferries – this multi-modal aspect – that’s an interesting solution,” he said. “There’s potential to have less traf- fic on the road.”

The Inner East BRIDJ trial kicked off on August 20 and will run for at least six months. It will operate weekday mornings from 6.30am to 9.00am, weekday afternoons from 3.00pm to 9.00pm and weekends from 8.00am to 8.30pm.