Jarrett Walker at Human Transit likes to point out that “frequency is freedom”. This is the idea that, at some point, public transport is so frequent that you can throw away the timetable and just “turn up and go”. Frequency like this is even more important in an integrated network where connections are common, as commuters are waiting for not just one bus/train/tram/ferry but two or more.
But how frequent is this exactly? Is it every 5-7 minutes? Is it every 10 minutes? Is 15 minutes enough? It appears that transport experts agree it is somewhere in this range (between 5 to 15 minutes), any less frequent and people start relying on their timetables, any more frequent and the time saving of a few minutes no longer makes a difference.
For a good discussion on the topic, check out Jarrett Walker’s blog post on the topic: How frequent is freedom? Make sure to read the comments section!!
And for more on frequency in a Sydney context, take a look at my previous post on transport frequency in Sydney.