27 February 2012

The Cooma Connector rolls in

| johnboy
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Chief Minister Gallagher is letting us know the first commuter bus from Cooma has arrived in Canberra:

“The ACT Government is committed to the development of safe, accessible and efficient methods of public transport and I believe that the Cooma Connector service is a fantastic initiative that meets all of these goals,” the Chief Minister said.

“This initiative will provide an efficient travel option for those who travel daily to Canberra for work and study.

“The Deane’s Transit Group will provide the return service which will operate on weekdays, excluding ACT public holidays.

The Cooma Connector will service commuters living in Cooma and its surrounding areas, such as Bredbo, Michelago and Williamsdale.

The service will make a stop at Calwell, the Civic Bus Interchange, Russell, the Canberra Airport and Queanbeyan, and will stop at the Tuggeranong Hyperdome and Woden Bus Interchange on request.

Tickets for the service cost $20 for passengers departing from zone one (Williamsdale, Royalla and Michelago) and $22 for passengers departing from zone two (Cooma, Bunyan, Bredbo and Colinton), and can be purchased on board.

“For an extra $3 one way, passengers can store their bikes in the bus luggage area (the bikes must be unassembled for safety reasons) and cycle the rest of the way to their destination, or connect with the ACTION Bus network,” the Chief Minister said.

The Greens’ Amanda Bresnan is getting in on the congratulations:

ACT Greens Transport Spokesperson, Amanda Bresnan MLA, has congratulated Dean’s on the introduction of the Cooma to Canberra bus service, and called for both the ACT and NSW Governments to support such links between Canberra and other regional centres.

“I was in Civic today for the arrival of Dean’s new Cooma to Canberra bus service, and it was great to see a number of people already making use of this service,” Ms Bresnan said.

“A significant number of people travel between Canberra and regional areas such as Cooma, Queanbeyan, Bungendore, Yass and Goulburn, to name a few, every day for work and to access a range of services, and this should be figured into the development of transport strategies.

“There is a regional transport taskforce that has looked at transport issues between Canberra and Queanbeyan, but no definite action has come out of that forum.

“It’s time both the ACT and NSW Governments took cross-border and regional transport seriously, and started to acknowledge and develop strategies to provide better public transport to people in the region.

“With the Calwell park and ride, which the Greens pushed for, we also have the additional infrastructure to facilitate more regional services to the south of the ACT.

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SnapperJack said :

Since the Canberra – Cooma train was discontinued in 1988 due to lack of patronage I hardly think this bus service will be around for very long.

Wow, I wonder if in the last 24 years, more people have moved to Canberra and Cooma, and if more people who live in Cooma work in Canberra.

I mean what’s the worst that could have happened in 24 years.

ps. Engage brain before making stupid comments.

Friggin hell, some of you people are a bunch of constant whingers!

This can only be a good thing for the longer term, if and when more people use it.

Some of you should stop complaining about every new initiative and give these things a chance.

ConanOfCooma7:14 pm 27 Feb 12

The bus leaves too late and returns too late, it’s bloody useless. It’s also incredibly over priced – I pay under $15 per day in diesel to make the return trip. Don’t forget the mad men drivers that Deane’e employs. Bugger that, I’d rather drive.

Snapper Jack – The rail service was cancelled because no one used it, because it took more than double the time compared to driving.

I don’t think there was ever a service from Canberra to Cooma – the train that was cancelled in the 80s would have been the Cooma Mail from Sydney.

Since the Canberra – Cooma train was discontinued in 1988 due to lack of patronage I hardly think this bus service will be around for very long.

lol, I thought the greens would want us to all ride our bikes from Cooma to Canberra daily

The enough people commute the 200km+ from Cooma to Canberra says a lot about the value for money in Canberra’s housing market, don’t you think?

Wouldn’t it be nice if the press releases that will be used to help convince commuters were a little clearer?

A quick check of Deane’s website (http://www.deanesbuslines.com.au/cooma-connector.html) shows that the service costs are:
Zone One
One-way $15, Return $20
Zone Two
One-way $18, Return $22

Michelago to Civic is about 53km, depending on your route, start point, etc. For a car averaging 8L/100km, that is 8.48L of petrol. At $1.50/L, that’s a daily cost of $12.72 for fuel. Add parking costs of $8/day, and you’re marginally better to catch the bus. Costs for rego, servicing, etc., will only increase your savings if you catch the bus.

Williamsdale to Civic: 42km; 6.72L; $10.08. If you’re paying more than $9.92/day for parking, the bus wins again.

Royalla to Civic: 31km; 4.96L; $7.44.

Zone Two:
Cooma to Civic: 116km; 18.56L; $27.54. An immediate win of $5.54, without factoring in any other costs.
Bunyan to Civic: 107km; 17.12L; $25.68.
Bredbo to Civic: 82km; 13.12L; $19.68.
Colinton to Civic: 71km; 11.36L; $17.04. If you can find parking in Civic for less than $4.96, you win (sort of).

From Deane’s website:

While we would love to offer concession and Regional Excursion Daily (R.E.D) tickets, standard pricing as above applies for all passengers as the Cooma Connector is not subsidised in any way. That’s why the service needs your support so that prices could be reduced!

For an extra $3 one way, passengers can store their bikes in the bus luggage area (the bikes must be unassembled for safety reasons) and cycle the rest of the way to their destination…

You’re kidding right?

Ye gods, it’s expensive! I spend less than that on petrol!

Hopefully people use it though – it’s a great idea.

$220 a week for a pitiful one service a day (miss the bus and find a hotel room for the night) is absurd, when petrol would only set you back half that and parking another quarter. This service will fail quicker than Bowmans services from Goulburn a few years back.

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