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.”