Letters to the editor, The Mercury

Disappointment with new bus services

At the state election the Liberal Party promised funding for a doubling of non-Metro bus services to Sorell and four additional services for Dodges Ferry. I am a daily user of the Dodges Ferry bus.

In the ten months it took to implement the policy there was no community consultation about what new non-school services people wanted. Schools may have been consulted. Apparently the state government and not the bus companies decided the new services. 

It is incredible that the government didn’t bother to ask existing non-school bus users what services they wanted or ask those who don't use buses what might make them use them more.

I haven't kept a head count but it seems there are the same number of passengers spread over more services. With a 50 seat bus, the peak hour services from Dodges Ferry are one quarter full and from Hobart about half full. Outside of peak hour and weekends there are just a hand full of passengers. Drivers have reported empty buses.

Peak hour services leaving Hobart are now regularly 5 to 10 minutes late and I got one bus that was 20 minutes late. Drivers blame traffic congestion but this wasn't a problem before. Drivers now have too little time between inward and outward services.

It is nice to have more choice about when you can go to and from work. But for millions of dollars per year of tax payers money we get a slower service, no more people using the buses and, ironically, a big increase in carbon emissions.

Peter McGlone
Director
Tasmanian Conservation Trust