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Free buses for seasonal drunks!

By johnboy - 28 November 2013 17

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.

“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.

What’s Your opinion?


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17 Responses to
Free buses for seasonal drunks!
gazket 8:06 pm 28 Nov 13

cool now all the bums from Belco, Woden and Tuggers can go out in the city.

maxblues 7:37 pm 28 Nov 13

rhino said :

Grrrr said :

maxblues said :

this is just another example of how Capital Metro can never replace busses.

Duh, trains (and light rail) are additional and complementary to any other form of public transport. No-one is pretending they’re a straight replacement.

I’d agree.

They could be used together. People heading to gungahlin could catch the train from the city to gungahlin and then there could be a bunch of buses waiting there to drop people at their homes. This could save having to use quite so many buses.

Are you proposing that us taxpayers fund a new bus depot at Gungahlin or will all these busses drive empty (sans passengers) to Gungahlin so they can meet the trams and take the tram passengers to where they actually want to go. Not very sustainable.

thebrownstreak69 6:33 pm 28 Nov 13

Good idea. Should make the buses free all the time.

poetix 6:09 pm 28 Nov 13

There may be vomit, but it’s free vomit. Full of kebab.

Vindalu 5:27 pm 28 Nov 13

I have often used Action busses when well and truly in my cups and may I say have nothing but admiration and respect for the vast majority of bus drivers. Some even know my stop and obligingly stir me from my drowsy reflections on life as my destination approaches. Not all of us are as affable and cheerful when tired and emotional so have a thought for what a great service that’s provided – be nice and be thankful and don’t puke on the bus.

tikbalang 4:58 pm 28 Nov 13

Where are the free buses for perennial drunks??

rhino 1:26 pm 28 Nov 13

Grrrr said :

maxblues said :

this is just another example of how Capital Metro can never replace busses.

Duh, trains (and light rail) are additional and complementary to any other form of public transport. No-one is pretending they’re a straight replacement.

I’d agree.

They could be used together. People heading to gungahlin could catch the train from the city to gungahlin and then there could be a bunch of buses waiting there to drop people at their homes. This could save having to use quite so many buses.

maxblues 1:20 pm 28 Nov 13

Grrrr said :

maxblues said :

this is just another example of how Capital Metro can never replace busses.

Duh, trains (and light rail) are additional and complementary to any other form of public transport. No-one is pretending they’re a straight replacement.

maxblues said :

this is just another example of how Capital Metro can never replace busses.

Hardly complementary, with the trams forcing changes to the traffic light cycle of every intersection on Northbourne Ave, thus affecting crosstown traffic (cue James Marshall Hendrix).

Duh, trains (and light rail) are additional and complementary to any other form of public transport. No-one is pretending they’re a straight replacement.

mossrocket 1:14 pm 28 Nov 13

mossrocket said :

rhino said :

I am truly impressed. The greens have rarely had any good ideas, but this one is quite logical. At a time where trying to safely ride home on a bike meets with your drivers licence being suspended for 6 months, at least they are finally offering an alternative, even if it’s just temporarily.

This will dramatically decrease the amount of drink driving on the road and possibly pay for itself in terms of cost to the community overall. Because there won’t be those extra crashes that would cost a lot to fix, and there won’t be as much of a need for RBTs and there won’t be as much need for people to go to court and miss time off work etc after being charged with drink driving. If you factor in all of those potential costs, it may pay for itself. Not int terms of government revenue, but in the more important aspect of total cost to the community.

What’s this got to do with the Greens?
Isn’t Shane part of the Government now?

My point being – there’s really only parties before an election – now we have a gov and an opposition, and Shane doesn’t announce Green policies, only Government policies that the Government approves…

Good idea though – thumbs up ACT Gov!

mossrocket 1:14 pm 28 Nov 13

rhino said :

I am truly impressed. The greens have rarely had any good ideas, but this one is quite logical. At a time where trying to safely ride home on a bike meets with your drivers licence being suspended for 6 months, at least they are finally offering an alternative, even if it’s just temporarily.

This will dramatically decrease the amount of drink driving on the road and possibly pay for itself in terms of cost to the community overall. Because there won’t be those extra crashes that would cost a lot to fix, and there won’t be as much of a need for RBTs and there won’t be as much need for people to go to court and miss time off work etc after being charged with drink driving. If you factor in all of those potential costs, it may pay for itself. Not int terms of government revenue, but in the more important aspect of total cost to the community.

What’s this got to do with the Greens?
Isn’t Shane part of the Government now?

My point being – there’s really only parties before an election – now we have a gov and an opposition, and Shane doesn’t announce Green policies, only Government policies that the Government approves…

Grrrr 12:45 pm 28 Nov 13

maxblues said :

this is just another example of how Capital Metro can never replace busses.

Duh, trains (and light rail) are additional and complementary to any other form of public transport. No-one is pretending they’re a straight replacement.

maxblues 11:07 am 28 Nov 13

With Nightrider passengers being dropped at the nearest bus stop to their home, this is just another example of how Capital Metro can never replace busses.

Roundhead89 11:03 am 28 Nov 13

Nightrider – a good name which brings back memories of a much-loved Kevin Johnson song from 1980. A better name than the one a similar service in Sydney’s western suburbs was tagged with in the 1980s. When it was announced, it had no name but the Daily Telegraph quickly dubbed it “the drunk’s express”. Hardly anybody used it and it was cancelled after a few weeks.

rhino 10:50 am 28 Nov 13

I am truly impressed. The greens have rarely had any good ideas, but this one is quite logical. At a time where trying to safely ride home on a bike meets with your drivers licence being suspended for 6 months, at least they are finally offering an alternative, even if it’s just temporarily.

This will dramatically decrease the amount of drink driving on the road and possibly pay for itself in terms of cost to the community overall. Because there won’t be those extra crashes that would cost a lot to fix, and there won’t be as much of a need for RBTs and there won’t be as much need for people to go to court and miss time off work etc after being charged with drink driving. If you factor in all of those potential costs, it may pay for itself. Not int terms of government revenue, but in the more important aspect of total cost to the community.

NoniDoll 8:36 am 28 Nov 13

Sounds brilliant. I only used the Nightrider twice when I was here in the Summer of 2011/12, and it felt a lot safer than some of my late night cab experiences. That said, these days I live a bit further from a bus stop, so that could change.

Either way, I can’t wait to use it again!

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