New South Coast bus service offers 'best of both worlds'
After weeks of negotiations the Federal Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie has successfully advocated for a ‘hybrid’ bus service for the South Coast.
The new timetable, scheduled to start on Sunday, October 15, will deliver travellers to Adelaide before 8.30am while still offering some direct bus routes into the city on weekdays.
It also offers options for students and patients to transfer at Marion in order to reach the Flinders Medical Centre and the university, and there are more routes between South Coast towns on weekends.
Rebekha said the hybrid timetable offered different options to meet the different needs of residents.
“I’d like to thank the people of the South Coast for giving us their feedback through our community survey, and I’d like to thank State Transport Minister Stephen Mullighan, the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) and Link SA for listening to that feedback and working out a timetable within their budget,” Rebekha said.
“I think together we’ve been able to blend the best of both worlds.
“This timetable offers routes for those who want to go all the way into the city on the same bus, those who want the opportunity to reach the city on an early morning commuter train, and then travel home, and those who want to connect in with Flinders or Marion by 9am.
“This will help university students, people with early appointments at Flinders Medical Centre and people who work at Noarlunga, Marion and in the city.
“Plus, there are more weekend services.
“We’ll now have more buses going across the South Coast, from Goolwa to Victor Harbor, on weekends which, for pensioners and students, will just cost $4 per trip.
“If you are a young person and you work in Goolwa but you live in Victor you will have more chances to get to your job or if you’re keen to catch up with friends there will be buses going on the weekends to make our communities more connected.”
Rebekha began advocating for new bus services shortly after being elected when it became apparent during her campaign that a lack of early morning commuter public transport was a key issue for the South Coast community.
The local MP ran a community survey which showed strong support for the inclusion of early morning and late evening bus services.
DPTI and Link SA drafted a new timetable that went out for public consultation that showed new and existing bus services travelling to and from the Noarlunga Centre Interchange instead of the Franklin Street station.
The consultation conducted through Rebekha’s office showed 84 per cent of respondents wanted the Noarlunga Centre interchange option, with new early morning and late evening services, while 16 per cent wanted to keep the existing service that went straight to the city.
The survey was filled in by 615 local people, either online or by phone call, letter or email.
“The comments we received in the survey showed people were in favour of more services, but those opposed had concerns about having to transfer to another bus or train, particularly if they had luggage or mobility issues or the grandchildren were coming down to visit,” Rebekha said.
“I can understand those concerns so I wanted to talk to the Government about keeping direct bus services to the city in the middle of the day while also offering more flexible early morning and late evening services.
“The South Coast does have a significant older population but it also has a large number of city commuters and young people who would like to use public transport to reach work or to go to university or TAFE.
“Finally, this is a trial with the Government committed to renewing the service in April 2018.
“I will continue to connect with residents and gather their feedback on this hybrid service over this period.”