Monday, June 27, 2011

Sunshine Coast Uni awarded for promoting bus use and other sustainable transport

Part of the Uni bus station just after completion in 2009

Tranzwatching in Queensland, Australia

The University of the Sunshine Coast has won the Sunshine Coast Council** Sustainable Transport Award for its innovative Travel2USC program at the council's seventh annual Living Smart Awards on Friday, June 17th 2011.

The University - a world leader in applying environmental technologies - created a raft of ways to influence greater use of green transport technologies.

According to a report in the Sunshine Coast Daily [June 25 2011 - no current link] the activities of the programme have almost doubled bus amongst students and staff, up from 4.8% of all trips  in March 2010 to 8.7% of all trips in March 2011

The programme included providing land for the construction of a $6 million bus transit centre on campus - opened two years ago this weekend - and building $55,000 bike hub featuring lockers, showers and change rooms, having specific parking areas for car-poolers and staging a large Ride to Work Day event last

It is two years ago, this weekend since the bus transit centre opened. I love the confidence of Queensland State Transport Minister, Rachel Nolan, in the news report  preceding the bus transit centre opening back in 2009 “In time, buses will become the preferred way of getting around the Coast.”

** Note; Surprisingly for such a big country Australia has relative few small to medium size cities around the same size  as Christchurch with which to compare  transit systems and trends - Hobart, Wollongong, Canberra and Newcastle come closest. Three years ago amalgamation of several local bodies in several rapidly growing areas north of Brisbane reformed into a single administrative unit, added Sunshine Coast Region, with a resident population of about 340,000, as a "sister sister in transit". 

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