Canberra’s new bus network is under fire again, this time from residents in Canberra’s south, with complaints over scrapped bus routes and blown-out travel times.
According to Canberra Liberal MLAs and Members for Brindabella Mark Parton, Andrew Wall and Nicole Lawder, Tuggeranong residents with health and mobility issues have also expressed concern as they can no longer safely access a bus stop or manage the frequent transfers.
“Elderly residents tell us they feel like they are losing their independence because they can no longer get around freely,” Mr Parton said.
“Tuggeranong residents feel like they have been unfairly cut off from the rest of Canberra.”
Mr Wall added that the network in its current form has “forced” southside families back into their cars for school runs and the commute to work.
“The cancellation of many dedicated school bus routes has also compounded the problems of the new network increasing congestion in peak periods,” he said.
ACT Transport Minister Chris Steel is said to have admitted that lower numbers of people are catching the bus in the south of Canberra since the implementation of the new network earlier this year.
An ACT Government spokesperson said “initial passenger data” shows there are more Canberrans using the network across the city, and that options are available for people with mobility impairments, such as a flexible bus service, community transport providers and a taxi voucher scheme.
“The Minister has already made it clear that the Government is continuously monitoring public transport usage and will make tweaks to the new bus network where necessary,” the spokesperson said.