Late buses let down students and commuters

Canberrans who depend on bus services are tired of being let down by the government’s inability to plan a punctual timetable, Shadow Minister for Transport Candice Burch said.

The ACT Labor-Greens government has met ACTION punctuality benchmarks only two of the 90 weeks since mid-2016. In addition, school buses are often arriving after school starts and leaving before school finishes.

Today in the ACT Legislative Assembly, Miss Burch will call on the government to improve ACTION buses’ punctuality and to ensure that school buses arrive on time, and are not scheduled to depart before the end of a school day.

“The government has forgotten to factor people into its bus network,” Miss Burch said.

“It has designed a public transport system that works best when people aren’t using it. In almost two years, the government has met punctuality targets only twice – in the weeks around Christmas when far fewer people are catching buses.

“When buses arrive after the morning school bell, children are marked late for school. Yet when parents have complained, they were told that as long as they arrive within a ten minute window, the bus is not considered to be ‘late’.

“In the afternoon, some buses are departing more than 40 minutes after the school bell. This means that children must spend a long time loitering around at school when they could be at home with their families, completing homework, or partaking in extracurricular activities.

“The government claims to value our children’s education, and yet it is saying to our kids that it is ok to arrive to school late or to leave school early. If the government is serious about wanting more Canberrans to use public transport, then our public transport network needs to be reliable, and on time.

“Our commuters, students, parents and teachers all deserve better,” Miss Burch concluded.