State Public Transport Minister Martin Pakula said the Car-less Sunday promotion allowed bus users to trial the network, something he hopes they will continue to use after the promotional period.
“Buses provide an essential transport service in Bendigo, providing crucial access to work, school, recreational facilities, healthcare services and retailers,’’ Mr Pakula said.
“There are some two million passenger trips on the Bendigo Transit network each year and we need to ensure we provide bus services that cater to passenger needs.’’
Car-less Sunday is a feature of the Bendigo City Centre TravelSmart Travel Plan, which aims to reduce the number of single-occupant car trips, increase the number of active travel trips and reinforce the city centre as a place to work, shop and visit Bendigo residents and visitors will receive free local bus travel on the first Sunday of the month until November, and on each Sunday in December.
Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan said the government had continued to invest in the bus network with 692 weekly services added in the past two years.
”This was the biggest bus service improvement delivered to Bendigo in more than 15 years and is servicing the outer growth areas of Bendigo as well as existing suburbs and the central retail precinct,’’ the member for Bendigo East, Jacinta Allan, said.
“These improvements have resulted in an increase in patronage of 20 per cent, a clear endorsement of the Bendigo Transit system.’’ Mr Pakula said the growth in patronage of the Bendigo bus network would be monitored regularly.
“We’re constantly monitoring how well those services are running and seeing if they can be finetuned,’’ he said.
“That includes reassessing timetables and connections with trains and initiating discussions about service needs.’’
Bendigo Advertiser 14 June 2010