Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Free Shuttle Bus Losses In Western Sydney - Hit Hard!

See the short story on Doubt of Mount Druitt Free 
Shuttle Bus Petition:

Shuttle in doubt as services cut

A FREE shuttle bus for the Mt Druitt area is less likely to go ahead after the State Government dumped seven shuttle services, including Blacktown and Penrith, due to low patronage.
The $7 million spent by the State Government on running taxpayer-funded shuttles each year will instead be invested in new bus and train services.
Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian said the patronage figures showed most of the shuttles only carried a handful of people each trip.
“We can’t afford to be wasting millions of dollars a year on ghost services that are not used,” she said.
Mt Druitt Commuters Improvement Group president Angela Plows was devastated. She said they had a 1700-signature petition for a free shuttle bus in Mt Druitt.
“We have lost so many bus services already in the area – what’s next?” she said.

See the story of the Liverpool Free Shuttle Bus (mind you the picture of the Free Shuttle Bus is not from Liverpool!)

Liverpool's free CBD shuttle bus withdrawn 

By Farah Abdurahman

LIVERPOOL'S free "taxpayer-funded" shuttle bus will be cancelled so that money can be invested in new bus and train services.

Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian made the announcement last week.
She said a review into the bus scheme found that the 12 free shuttle services across Sydney cost taxpayers about $7 million a year to run.
Ms Berejiklian said Liverpool was the worst-performing suburb, with only one passenger boarding every two kilometres on average.
The buses for the shuttle services in Blacktown, Bankstown, Cabramatta, Campbelltown, Newcastle and Penrith will also be used elsewhere.
Ms Berejiklian said the cost of these services could no longer be justified because so few passengers used them.
She said the most popular services — in Parramatta, Wollongong and the Sydney CBD — would be retained and changes made to the Kogarah and Gosford shuttle services on a trial basis, but that the other seven would be discontinued.
Liverpool MP and shadow attorney-general Paul Lynch said this move by Ms Berejiklian "treated the people of Liverpool with utter contempt".
"They [state government] can find plenty of money for the North West Rail Link but not enough to provide our free bus service," he said. "The service is particularly helpful for people with limited mobility and the elderly.
"I know lots of people who regularly use this service and will be disadvantaged by its abolition.
"This will particularly hurt people who can least afford not to have this service."

Read the story of the Loss of the Penrith Free Shuttle Bus, what's good here is the State member for Penrith is not ruling  the service out in the future:

UNDERUSED FREE BUS AXED                     

THE free shuttle bus service in the Penrith CBD will stop operating at the end of next month due to low patronage.

Passengers alight at Penrith railway station.

Penrith state Liberal MP Stuart Ayres said although the current Government had changed the route to try and get more residents to use it, the service still wasn’t being used.
“The figures speak for themselves. The bus has 0.7 patrons per kilometre. It was burning a hole in the taxpayer’s pocket,” he said.
“We haven’t been able to increase patronage. Penrith Council were involved in marketing it and didn’t work. There simply aren’t any other options.
“We have a very sound bus network that is in operation. Perhaps with population growth and the evolution of the Penrith CBD, something like this might be viable in future.’’
Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian said the bus was funded per kilometre by taxpayers and the Government could not afford to be wasting money that could be spent on other transport services.
“There is so much to do in transport we can’t afford to be wasting millions of dollars a year on ghost services that are not use,” she said.
Figures from the Transport for NSW showed the 12 shuttle services in Sydney cost more than $7 million a year to operate.
Ms Berejiklian also said the previous Labor government had introduced the shuttle services without proper planning.
“These nine routes were introduced either three months or less than one month before the last state election by Labor in a clear election stunt, all without proper planning and with little logic.
“In many cases they duplicated services that already existed,” she said.

Read the story from the Fairfield City Champion, regarding the axing of the Fairfield Free Shuttle Bus

Axing of free bus 'stingy' 

THE free Cabramatta 88 shuttle  bus service was cut in the state budget despite elderly and less mobile people heavily relying on it, says Cabramatta MP Nick Lalich.
Mr Lalich said the bus allowed people on fixed incomes in Cabramatta, Canley Vale, Canley Heights and Cabramatta West to get around.
"These shuttle services help people in our local area get by, making it easier for people who don't have cars to visit medical appointments and the shops and catch up with friends and family," he said.
"This free shuttle service was fought for and championed by local community members who saw a gap in public transport provision.
"The removal of the free shuttles is a stingy attempt by the O'Farrell Government to force people to pay more for public transport."
The Cabramatta bus service is one of nine free shuttles being discontinued across the state. There are three remaining. The cost to run the 12 shuttles was $7 million.
However, Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian said the free shuttle buses were carrying only a few people each trip.
"There is so much to do in transport we can't afford to be wasting millions of dollars a year on ghost services that are not used," Ms Berejiklian said.

Here is the story on the Blacktown Free Shuttle Bus Route Closure:
BLACKTOWN’S free shuttle service will be discontinued due to low patronage.
State Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian announced the end of the service last Friday so funding can be invested in new bus and train services.
It was one of seven free shuttle services across the state to be discontinued. Five, including the service in Parramatta, will be retained.
Patronage figures compiled by Transport for NSW show most of the 12 shuttles, which cost more than $7 million a year to operate, run small loops with only a handful of passengers.
“Each of these shuttles is funded per-kilometre by taxpayers and we can’t afford to be wasting money that could otherwise be spent on muchneeded extra transport services including those that will be introduced for bus and train customers in the October timetable and are desperately needed,’’ Ms Berejiklian said.
She said people who used the shuttles could make use of the more than 1000 additional bus services the government had provided where the shuttles operate.


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