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Greens call for on-demand bus service to pick up elderly residents from home

Lachlan Roberts 5 September 2019 55

NSW’s on-demand service picks up patrons from home and drops them off at their chosen destination. Photo: Transport NSW.

The Greens are calling on the ACT Government to run an on-demand bus service to help those who cannot walk to public transport stops, similar to a service that is being trialled in New South Wales.

The NSW trial allows members of the community to book a shuttle bus to pick them up from home or a nearby convenient location and take them to their desired destination.

Transport NSW said the new service is hoping to provide a more flexible approach to delivering services when and where people need them and to improve connectivity to the existing public transport network.

ACT Greens Transport spokesperson Caroline Le Couteur said the ACT Government needs to commit to a similar service in the nation’s capital, allowing Canberrans to book a vehicle in real-time to pick them up from home or a nearby convenient location.

Ms Le Couteur said she regularly hears from elderly Canberrans who now have to walk a fair distance to catch a bus under the new public transport network.

“With our new bus network, there has been an increase in rapid routes where the Government standard is up to 750 metres from the home,” Ms Le Couteur said. “Many people cannot easily walk that distance to access a bus.

“Older people rely on public transport to get around but they can’t even walk two or three blocks to get to a regular bus stop. An on-demand service that turns up at the door will make all the difference in improving their lives for the better.”

Transport Canberra currently runs a flexible bus service for people who cannot access regular route services, but the service must be booked 48 hours in advance and operating hours are limited to 9:30 am – 1:30 pm on weekdays.

As well as running an on-demand bus service, Ms Le Couteur said the Government needs to expand the operating hours of the flexi-service and reduce the booking time to make the service far more accessible.

“The flexible bus service but the limited hours and a two-day booking delay mean it’s not especially convenient for unexpected trips like medical appointments or trying to get around during regular business hours,” Ms Le Couteur said.

“An expanded flexi-bus service, coupled with on-demand services, would help get people where they want to go quickly, reliably, safely and cheaply.”


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55 Responses to
Greens call for on-demand bus service to pick up elderly residents from home
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7:34 pm 08 Sep 19

Just elderly?

5:31 am 07 Sep 19

Stupid is as stupid does

2:34 am 07 Sep 19

Love the idea.. could we also get one on demand bus between Alinga street to Gungahlin.. pretty please..

4:21 pm 06 Sep 19

sounds like an expensive band aid for a failing public transport system. Maybe its time for canberra to employ some civil/town planners from functioning cities around the world. Our current department is not up to the task.

Leon Arundell 10:14 am 06 Sep 19

Would expanded community transport be a better option? Community transport services provide more flexible transport services. These services are expanding to fill gaps in public bus services.

10:40 pm 05 Sep 19

How about restore some of the services that were cut? No buses now down Hodgson Cres in Pearce to the shops at Mawson and Woden that pass ‘older persons crossing’ signs so they know the demographics already.

    6:59 am 06 Sep 19

    Anne Rice The route planners have stuffed up big time. With the coming of the light rail they seemed to abandon some services on the southside to bolster services on the northside along the tram route. Thats the opposite of what sbould have happened.

8:43 pm 05 Sep 19

Good idea. Who pays?

8:11 pm 05 Sep 19

With the power of apps, and algorithms and such, I'm sure we could get a crowd controlled after hours bus service for the weekend too.

The options in Canberra on a run of the mill Saturday night for able bodied people are woeful. Good luck setting up an on demand for the less able!!!

    6:55 am 06 Sep 19

    Brad Rogers Yep and the less able and the elderly in particular are unlikely to use apps ... There may need to be several ways to hail a bus. Its OK I am sure ACTION will get someone clever to make the booking service easy and accessible..... Oh .... wait...

8:08 pm 05 Sep 19

That’s great good

7:42 pm 05 Sep 19

How about we have an acceptable bus service! One that doesn’t discriminate

7:20 pm 05 Sep 19

Who pays for Greens policy wet fart

7:19 pm 05 Sep 19

Yes we have no buses anymore thanks to Barr?

7:18 pm 05 Sep 19

If it helps the residences here in symonson but it will never ever happen so many more taxicabs now as there is no services for the elderly most of the residents missing the services. In narrabundah lane. Even the minister never knew symonston ever existed as they only live North side we left in the dark ages we not considered. 🚌🚌🚌🚌🚌 next bus should be No Buses.

    6:46 am 06 Sep 19

    William William to add insult to injury I see several buses run along Narrabundah Lane with a Not In Service sign up. Its as though the route planners are trying to be cruel...

    8:20 am 06 Sep 19

    Jorge Garcia this is very true

    8:59 am 06 Sep 19

    Jorge Garcia yes they say they use as a short cut to base. Why could not ad the geoscience stop to the R6 or have every 2nd one use the stop lots of ways it could be used like the R56 that only service the prision very few use seen yesterday up empty back empty not one passenger use it

    9:23 am 07 Sep 19

    I suggested a bus stop on Sturt Avenue near Karloo Street; a relatively small change. Karloo Street joins to a walkway that runs through the suburb across several streets, as far as Lumeah Street, and would link inner Narrabundah to R6. These walkways were put in by the early suburb designers, so why not utilise them. The helpful first responder replied, but I have heard nothing from those who make the decisions. But they have taken no notice of the bus users yet, so I doubt they are about to change. There is no direct route (such as the mentioned walkway) from inner Narrabundah to the proposed bus stops. It's a twisted route that requires walking a longer route around houses and a school. No through path. But that won't stop the planners putting bus stops in the least convenient place.

    9:47 am 07 Sep 19

    In our area are mostly over 60,s dont have tranport need bus to get to appointments every day i here they say i miss the bus i spent $33 on frida if taxi as the 35 min walk with the injury i supper in the fall try to walk to the narrabundah stop as the road surface from narrabundah lane to narrabundah stop is not safe so many other residents have to get taxis with over 300 residents plus visitors, even government staff used the bus regularly as the driver's stated was stubit idear, they know where PEOPLE'S get on or off But they dont look at this most government minister dont even know there was a narrabundah, red hill. Or symonston ever existed? As they only drive a desk dont get out of there area. Now we residents dont even have a Bus Service anymore? 🚌🚌🚌🚌🚌🚌🚌🚌🚌🚌🚌🚌🚌🚌🚌🚌

    9:53 am 07 Sep 19

    Julie Macklin most say they like the new service but these are mostly north siders that live in close suburbs iv lived in act since 1960,s when canberra was small, yarralumla, worked braddon, manuka, we had 2 hospitals worked at both loved those times .

    9:54 am 07 Sep 19

    Julie Macklin Neither the ACT public servants nor the ACT government listen to constructive feedback. I have tried several times on different issues and either get no response or a polite response saying that the feedback is valuable and will be filed away (presumably so that it can be actively ignored). Whatever hsppened to the consultation on the new bus service? I am sure that many people warned ACTION about the impact of the then proposed chsnges on the Southside.

    10:05 am 07 Sep 19

    Jorge Garcia yes im written to the minister. Both, local, and state all do same as is just a requirement to say they doing some thing some say we should've boycotted the buses all together show them how many buses are being used iv got on buses from woden to tuggernong empty was only passenger, and same on return, waited 3 hours for a r6 from city 11 R4 showed up every 2 minutes all empty this was on Sunday. I worked for action , now renamed transport Canberra no lots drivers that say they dont ask us where passengers get on or where we need the services Have you ever seen a politician use the buses?🚌🚌🚌🚌🚌🚌

    10:32 am 07 Sep 19

    William William I would like the new R6 service if they put a bus stop at the end of Karloo Street on Sturt Ave, as at present I need to walk into the next suburb, Griffith to access the bus. But that doesn't solve the problem for many people.

7:17 pm 05 Sep 19

Hardly on demand. You will need to book 2 days in advance.

7:11 pm 05 Sep 19

No Bus services we used to have 2 regular services now we Have None a taxi cost $20 to my stop in narrabundah. 3 days i had to pay $60 to get bus too my stop in narrabundah in 3 days i need the service they never even trying considered adding one street to the service you see all these abandoned stops that are vandalized seats burnt trashed in the narrabundah area no one uses the R56 all ways empty.

7:08 pm 05 Sep 19

why not have a Gove funded taxi service initiative? using existing taxi owners? flash your disability/seniors card and it goes on the gov tab...

    8:12 pm 05 Sep 19

    Halcyon Window I’ve been thinking this for a while too. Can also apply at night in low use areas. The only reason I can see that it doesn’t happen is Labor protecting its union mates.

    9:06 pm 05 Sep 19

    Halcyon Window they already have this too. The taxi subsidy scheme. It's not enough

    9:08 pm 05 Sep 19

    In my 25 years in community services i have been to dozens of govt led forums about transport. The answer is not simple.

    9:09 pm 05 Sep 19

    Tamara Kenna indeed, we have wealthy retirees in Canberra unwilling to pay for services, and incredibly impoverished people without the funds

    12:12 am 06 Sep 19

    i wouldn't mind my tax going to help people that need it. but yeah i can imagine its not an easy fix cause of red tape -

    8:31 am 06 Sep 19

    Tamara Kenna and buses aren’t paid for by the taxpayer?

6:55 pm 05 Sep 19

https://www.act.gov.au/our-canberra/latest-news/2017/september/flexible-bus-service-expanding-to-inner-north

    6:57 pm 05 Sep 19

    Old ad but both sides of the lake... the invisible face of TC.... so for all of network knockers here you go!

6:49 pm 05 Sep 19

Flexible bus offers 2 days notice and already does this... special needs transport buses that do school runs to special schools in Canberra, have buses doing this between 9:30 and 1:30 daily... on demand is also a future consideration ( labor govt ).

    7:55 am 06 Sep 19

    Kerri Hallas but you must meet their strict rules iv trued it but are not over 70, blind, or a carer, dont just read contact transport Canberra is what i was told where i live i trying to get flexible bus but i dont meet the rules even coota senior group told me they sent the leaflets out to all 166 residents here so if you 66 senior, or aged you might know some think im not told by transport act. ?

bj_ACT 6:41 pm 05 Sep 19

Surely the real issue was the ACT government stuffing up the new bus network and making 800m an acceptable walking distance. No use throwing money at a solution that doesn’t fix the underlying problem.

It shouldn’t be about simply re-hashing the old network, it’s about putting in a new network that isn’t just based on a system from another country. A system that was destined to fail in canberra.

Capital Retro 6:18 pm 05 Sep 19

“We need Elon’s Tesla Robotaxi fleet to be a thing ASAP.”

No, “we” don’t. As far as I know only Tesla vehicles can use the app and “we” need mini-busses as a minimum to move the people subject of this article as a lot of them will be in wheel chairs.

Also, there is doubt that Tesla will be around in 12 months.

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