The late night inebriate needs an occasional bus service like a fish needs a bicycle.
But Simon Corbell has announced that the very expensive and doomed to fail exercise in keeping the Greens happy known as the the Nightrider bus will be returning this festive season.
“Nightrider will run most Friday and Saturday nights in December, with additional services on New Year’s Eve,” said Mr Corbell.
“Fares will decrease to just $5 to encourage people to take the Nightrider home as a safe, convenient option to get home after a low patronage level last year.
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“The new Nightrider fare is a direct outcome from the 2010-11 trial where customers were discouraged by the higher $10 fare, which for some people worked out to be more expensive than a shared taxi ride.”
The evaluation of last summer’s extended Nightrider found the service was not cost effective over three months. This year’s Nightrider will run similar to previous years before the three-month trial, with services focussed on helping people get home during the busy festive period.
Departing from Platform 7 at the City Bus Station, eight Nightrider routes will take passengers home every 90 minutes between 1am and 4.45am with extra services to operate on New Year’s Eve. The Nightrider routes will service suburbs in Belconnen, Gungahlin, Inner-North, Inner-South, Woden and Tuggeranong dropping passengers at the bus stop nearest to their home.
Mr Corbell said that each bus will have CCTV facilities. ACTION supervisors will also be within the City Bus Station to assist with marshalling.
Nightrider will operate on 9-10 December, 16-17 December, 23 December and 30-31 December 2011.
We wish it the very best of luck, but would have more confidence in the success of the exercise if it was given sufficient tenure to become part of the landscape.
UPDATE: And as surely as day follows night the Greens’ Amanda Bresnan has expressed her pleasure:
The ACT Greens have commended the Government for its decision to reintroduce the Nightrider bus service.
“The Nightrider buses serve an important purpose, and the Greens have always been confident they can work well for Canberrans, which is why we originally secured this service with changes to liquor laws,” said Greens transport spokesperson, Amanda Bresnan MLA.
One has to wonder to what extent, after a very bad week, this is a punch drunk government willing to throw out party favours to get the Greens back onside.