The government’s new transport network will slash dedicated school bus services and direct routes between the north and south.
Canberra families don’t want their children changing buses or hanging around at bus interchanges before and after school. They want buses to take their children straight to school and bring them straight home in the afternoon.
We already hear from many schools and families that there are not sufficient dedicated school bus services. Now, Minister Fitzharris plans to significantly reduce the number of dedicated services, instead forcing children to use the regular bus network. This presents a significant safety concern for Canberra families, and is likely to result in fewer children catching buses to school.
The Canberra Liberals welcome the addition of rapid bus services for residents of Weston Creek and the Molonglo Valley, but the government is giving with one hand and taking away with the other.
Direct services between the City and Belconnen suburbs are being slashed from eight to two. There will be no more direct services between the north side and the south side. People who are used to travelling from Tuggeranong or Woden directly to Belconnen will now have to change buses in the City. This will mean more waiting in the cold at bus interchanges on winter nights.
Slashing the Xpresso services will mean longer journeys between town centres during peak hour and will put even more pressure on crowded interchanges. The City interchange could become an enormous bottleneck, making it more difficult for Canberra commuters.
We’re pleased that the government has responded to our calls for an extension of late night, Sunday and public holiday services, but with no additional money in the Budget for these services, we want to know what else is being cut to make this happen.