Canberra Liberals to bring back dedicated school buses if elected

Lachlan Roberts 11 October 2019 67
Action bus

The Canberra Liberals said they will bring back dedicated school buses if they are elected. Photo: File.

The Canberra Liberals have promised to reinstate dedicated school buses if they are elected to government in the 2020 ACT Election, saying that dedicated services for school students are a basic service that the ACT Government should provide.

Canberra Liberals transport spokesperson Candice Burch said a Liberal Government will prioritise dedicated school bus services, and reinstate lost routes where school communities want them back.

As part of the new bus network which came into effect in April, 51 schools were left without a dedicated school bus service. At the time, the ACT Government said the schools which no longer had a dedicated bus service were primary, early childhood or infant schools with very low bus patronage or high schools or colleges that would be served by regular bus routes.

But Ms Burch said that she has heard about widespread dissatisfaction with the new service from both public and private school communities, including principals, teachers, parents and some students.

“It has now been two school terms and we have heard from dozens of schools and from hundreds of Canberra families who have been negatively impacted by these changes,” Ms Burch said.

“We have heard from countless families who have now returned to driving their kids to and from school and many parents have told us they have had to change their work hours so they can drive their kids to and from school.

“There are far too many families who do not feel comfortable putting their kids on the public [transport] network.”

Ms Burch said the Liberals will not completely overhaul the network but will only be “adding back in services where there is a demand for them”. Ms Burch was adamant that any schools which are better off under the new network will not be affected.

She said the Canberra Liberals will consult with school communities to see how they can make the service better for them.

“What we’re hearing from Canberrans – from the people actually using these services – is vastly different from the narrative that both Minister Steel and his predecessor, Meegan Fitzharris, have tried to sell,” Ms Burch said.

“The Barr Government has ignored the outcry from parents to bring back dedicated school services. They have put dedicated school buses as the last priority in their service hierarchy – for the many families who rely on these services, that is simply not good enough.

“Parents deserve peace of mind when it comes to getting their kids to school. That’s why we’re making a commitment to prioritise dedicated school services.”

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67 Responses to Canberra Liberals to bring back dedicated school buses if elected
Nicholas Houston Nicholas Houston 3:13 am 30 Apr 20

Why should my taxes subside the private choices of other parents to send their kids to private schools?

cbrbrumbiesraiders cbrbrumbiesraiders 12:43 pm 03 Nov 19

According to an ACT Bus union spokesperson, the Canberra Liberals will axe the following routes in 2020, if they win the general election:

Routes at risk are:

The Libs will also not buy new buses! Meaning we might stay stuck with those old orange buses for a while if they get into govt,

Karen Feng Karen Feng 8:01 pm 16 Oct 19

they shouldn't have gotten rid of them. kids should have a dedicated safe routes to schools

Andrea Lloyd Andrea Lloyd 4:42 pm 16 Oct 19

They’ll privatise the buses! That’s the Libs answer to everything!

sweepercover sweepercover 4:07 pm 14 Oct 19

Sheer arrogance of Barr government in ignoring commuter complaints regarding the new network is beyond me. Hopefully the voters will remember what they did come the election time.

Dragica Ivanovic Dragica Ivanovic 6:12 am 14 Oct 19

Why can’t the present government do what’s right for Canberra

Andrea Lloyd Andrea Lloyd 11:36 pm 13 Oct 19

Not sure reinstated school bus routes is worth risking having an incompetent Liberal government! Actually I am sure - no it’s definitely not worth it. 😏😣

Bill Gemmell Bill Gemmell 9:27 pm 13 Oct 19

Shame they didn't promise a wide ranging analysis of the transport needs of Canberrans, combined with decisively addressing the TWU's hold on TC

    Bill Gemmell Bill Gemmell 9:37 pm 13 Oct 19

    Ian McLeod but failure to address the TWU hold may well contribute to such a change

HiddenDragon HiddenDragon 8:40 pm 13 Oct 19

“We have heard from countless families who have now returned to driving their kids to and from school and many parents have told us they have had to change their work hours so they can drive their kids to and from school.”

The Government has doubtless been told (if not heard) the same things, and in the spirit of its Climate Emergency Declaration –

should be acting accordingly – unless, of course, it has worked out that private car use (horror of horrors) is actually a more sustainable way of dealing with this issue…….

Michael Quirk Michael Quirk 7:44 pm 13 Oct 19

Abanodoning the unnecessary and horrendously expensive light rail woould be a good start, as it would free up funds for the buswork.The government has yet to explain why it is not investigating high capacity electric buses which are cheaper and more flexible than light rail.

    Michael Quirk Michael Quirk 8:44 pm 13 Oct 19

    A responsible govt, Liberal or Labor,would revisit extending the LR.The extension to Woden is not urgent with buses operating well on the IPT route . Electric bus technology is improving rapidly.It is unfortunate that Barr,Rattenburyand Steel have closed minds and ignore the potential of electric buses.

    Murray Donald Lawton Murray Donald Lawton 11:26 pm 13 Oct 19

    Michael Quirk electric bus technology is still being developed, at the moment electric busses are not viable for rapid routes due to very limited capacity

    Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 11:56 pm 13 Oct 19

    That's a problem with buses; they are too flexible. So flexible they can have their route easily changed and even removed. Then people get upset about about it, as has happened, when the buses did prove how flexible they are. The advantage of the light rail is that people can go and live close to it and be fairly sure it won't be taken away as many bus routes were. There is no equal certainty with buying close to a bus route that the bus route won't disappear. People say they want flexible buses. If that's what you want I hope you are not one of the chorus who is complaining about the changed bus routes, because that's what flexibility can mean.

    Michael Quirk Michael Quirk 6:47 am 14 Oct 19

    The opportunity costs of light rail are hugh including less funds for the bus network.High capacity electric bus technology is improving rapidly.There is no real urgency to provide LR to Woden allowing time for the improvement in bus technology. I would imagine the high capacity buses would operate on the IPT route, to Barton and Parkes and to Russell.

    Michael Quirk Michael Quirk 2:19 pm 14 Oct 19

    Higher density along Northbourne has been a feature of the Territory Plan since 1993. A busway would have served the development almost as well. A slightly slower pace of development would have been desirable as it would have allowed infrastructure to catch up.LR has not solved congestion issues given the large number of workplaces in the ACT. These workplaces need to be served by increased frequency of buses, a strategy hindered by LR

    Brenton Higgins Brenton Higgins 7:35 am 15 Oct 19

    Abandon it? It’s packed. Every day.

    Michael Quirk Michael Quirk 9:06 am 15 Oct 19

    the extension.

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 6:53 pm 25 Aug 20

    Ian McLeod the that made the most sense is actually Gungahlin.


    1 it wasn’t about transport to Gungahlin but redevelopment of the Northborne Ave corridor which is happening.

    2. Look at the territory plan for the allowed density along the corridor on Northborne and Flemmington Road.

    3. The amount of people that are using it now.

Jordan Greenwood Jordan Greenwood 7:22 pm 13 Oct 19

Enjoy the busses now. They’ll be a distant memory should they continue to extend the ridiculous light rail.

Jay Annabel Jay Annabel 6:52 pm 13 Oct 19


Grimm Grimm 5:50 pm 13 Oct 19

Wow, the people posting on here from facebook are hilarious. Some of the very same people that complained the loudest about the bus routes are now whining that the Libs want to fix it? What is wrong with people?

If you want to complain about cuts to education, who closed over half the public schools in the ACT? That’s right, Labor did. Whos been slashing funding to health? Labor has.

They have been in power here for 18 years now, and do whatever they like because they know dullards will vote them back in. They screw ACT residents over with massive rate increases, cuts to general services, cuts to education, cuts to health, and allowing Rattenbury to hold them over a barrel. And people are still all “Durrr but whadabboud da librulz! Dey can’t do it! Durrrrrr”.

The ACT is so full of rusted on fools that they don’t care how horribly Labor are governing, as long as the Libs don’t get in and probably do better.

Gregorian Willsorte Gregorian Willsorte 5:39 pm 13 Oct 19

No! They will take our weed

Michael White Michael White 3:47 pm 13 Oct 19

I wonder what they’ll cut to pay for all the extra buses, drivers and overtime they just promised 🤷🏼‍♂️

    Ray Polglaze Ray Polglaze 4:29 pm 13 Oct 19

    Which sounds like the question people asked Labor about light rail.

    Michael White Michael White 4:30 pm 13 Oct 19

    Ray Polglaze that’s easy. They cut the 200 🤷🏼‍♂️😂

    Michael White Michael White 9:27 pm 13 Oct 19

    There’s one bus. And it was $22,000.... It’s not an ongoing cost. And as a gay man, I appreciate it. Was nice to see my government support me during the plebiscite.

    It’s nice to have a government that doesn’t spend millions on whether I should be able to do things straight people can, but says I should be able to. And then visually shows that support at the time. Because that’s when it was created.

    If you don’t like the government showing its support for the LGBTI community, then don’t vote for a federal government who forces minorities to put their rights to opinion polls. 💁🏼‍♂️

Randy Goldberg Randy Goldberg 3:16 pm 13 Oct 19

Promises, promises. "Oh, look. We can't do it now that we're in because we need to screw the budget even further."

Stephen Saunders Stephen Saunders 2:35 pm 13 Oct 19

They got a hiding in 2016, over light rail. They’ve learnt nothing from the experience. Mind you, one could say the same about Albanese Labor.

    astro2 astro2 6:33 pm 14 Oct 19

    No, they didn’t get a hiding in 2016 over the light rail. They won quite comfortably. So the learnings for that election were that the light rail is actually very popular.

Mat Barber Mat Barber 2:22 pm 13 Oct 19

Do they realise they need to win the election first?

Shirley Hadfield Shirley Hadfield 1:59 pm 13 Oct 19

Yes Election Time near....promises, promises!!

Alex Troy Elsworth Adkins Alex Troy Elsworth Adkins 1:23 pm 13 Oct 19

Seems like a waste of money.

    Alex Troy Elsworth Adkins Alex Troy Elsworth Adkins 10:13 pm 14 Oct 19

    Sam ZR yep somthing like that 😂

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