Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Tasmania Government pro-active strategy to boost regional bus services proving successful

Tranzwatching in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Last year in October it was announced the State Government in Tasmania had negotiated an increase of regional services running tofro Hobart and Launceston, with several existing private bus companies.

Nine months down the track, the State's Minister of  Sustainable Transport (wow!!) speaking at a Budget Estimates Committee, described the strategy saying that the Service Development Plans (SDPs) were set up to help develop passenger transport as a genuine first choice of transport for Tasmanians through identifying new, expanded or extended non-metropolitan bus services. In a recent press release the Minister has described the expanded service as proving a success

“There is no better example of this than O’Driscoll Coaches’ Derwent Valley to Hobart run,” Mr McKim said.  “Last year, O’Driscoll Coaches agreed to trial an extended timetable including additional evening, Saturday and Sunday services for 12 months. The trial has been well supported by the community, and while the new services attracted good patronage from the earliest days of the trial, passenger numbers have increased even further over successive months”

The Derwent Valley run, previously operated by State Transit authority was sold to O'Driscolls Coachlines in 2008, raising protest from the Greens. Metro Tasmania defended the decision on commercial grounds, saying O'Driscoll operated all the school runs in the area and it was more effective for them to operate services tofro Hobart from their country base, albeit under the auspices of Metro criteria.

Other regional operations and country passengers to benefit from State support include those operated by TassieLink, Manion's Coaches, Callow's Coaches, and R D and F H Sainty

Mr McKim said $1 million was provided to fund proposals for services in 2010-11 and a further $1million will be made available in 2011-12.

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