Shane Rattenbury has dramatically announced that there will be no cost at all to ride the NightRider buses this year:
“To build on the success of the ACTION Nightrider bus service, and in recognition of the important role it plays for late night transport and safety, I have decided to trial the service for free this year,” Mr Rattenbury said.
“The Nightrider bus is an important part of the Government’s transport services as a convenient option for people to get home on public transport late at night. It’s also an important safety initiative providing alternative transport to people who have been drinking.
“The Nightrider bus starts in time to pick up late night movie-goers and runs through the night to pick up the late night partiers. It’s convenient, safe, and this year it’s free.
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“This is the first time Nightrider has been free, so we hope to attract new riders to the service and expect higher levels of patronage. To manage any increase in demand ACTION will have a limited amount of standby services to cater for a higher volume of riders, but still encourage riders to arrive early to guarantee a seat.
“When Canberrans have a night out in Civic this festive season I hope many of them will try leaving their cars at home and will give the free Nightrider bus a go.
“With the money you save on transport, you can buy yourself a kebab. Just make sure you finish it before boarding the bus,” Mr Rattenbury concluded.
This year’s Nightrider service will operate on 6-7 December, 13-14 December, 20-21 December and a New Year’s Eve service on 31 December 2013.
Eight Nightrider routes will take passengers home every 90 minutes between 12.30 am and 4.15 am with extra services operating on New Year’s Eve.
The Nightrider buses will depart from Platform 7 at the City Bus Station and service suburbs in Belconnen, Gungahlin, inner north, inner south, Woden and Tuggeranong dropping passengers at the bus stop nearest to their home. Each bus will have CCTV facilities and ACTION supervisors will be within the City Bus Station to assist with marshalling.
It’s a brave move. But one has to wonder if cost was ever the barrier to entry compared to a $50 cab fare?
On the other hand Canberrans sure do like free stuff.