Living in Coombs, our local high school is Mount Stromlo High.
After receiving many notifications from Stromlo High that our daughter was arriving late to school we started logging the times the dedicated Action school bus (route 501) actually arrived.
The bus is scheduled to arrive at 8:43 am, and the bell rings at 8:45 am. In the last 25 times my daughter has taken the bus (since the 19th of February) the bus has arrived at school after the bell 23 times (92% of the time).
We informed Action of this issue, only to be told that the bus was rarely if ever late because Action does not consider a bus late until it is more than 10 minutes after its scheduled arrival time.
This may be a reasonable standard of service for a normal bus.
But when the bus is a dedicated school service, arriving after the bell is not on time, it is late.
It is truly bizarre that management at Action could even consider that getting kids to school after the bell is acceptable.
The 501 service is a very long one which either needs to start earlier or be broken into two routes.
That the government considers arriving on time to school to be such a low priority sets a very bad example to the students.
In addition, the school bus does not even enter Coombs, forcing all students to make their way to John Gorton Drive. This is fine on lovely days, but not so good in the middle of a Canberra winter.
In the afternoons there is no school bus service to Coombs at all. Action only runs a morning service. In the afternoons, the students need to take a bus to Cooleman Court and then change to a standard Action bus to get to Coombs.
The government claims it wants to encourage Canberrans to use public transport and is spending billions on the tram. Yet they can’t even provide a bus service that enters our suburb, runs in the afternoon and get our kids to school on time.
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