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Ballarat calls for bus service review

Ballarat residents want to see changes made to its local bus network to make it more user-friendly

The local Ballarat Council has announced it will continue calling for a review into Ballarat’s urban bus services, saying the current network doesn’t currently meet the needs of local people.

Due to petrol prices rising, the City of Ballarat wants to see buses becoming a cheaper and easier option for the community.

City of Ballarat Mayor Daniel Moloney says the Council is responding to concerns about the local bus network and will advocate for a review of the network.

“For most Ballarat residents, lengthy indirect routes to key Ballarat destinations, slow travel times and lack of frequency of services mean despite its relative low cost, catching a bus is an unviable alternative to using a car,” Moloney told Australian Seniors News.

“Feedback we’ve received from some of our most vulnerable residents, like seniors and those with limited mobility, suggest they won’t use a bus because it takes too long, and they need to use multiple services.”

The City of Ballarat’s Ageing Well Team recently held community conversation to provide examples of the local bus network failing.

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Issues with the public transport service in the area include having to cross from one side of the town by public transport to another being a challenge and that the current network focuses too heavily on getting people to and from Melbourne.

Moloney says the Council raised the need for a review over recent years, but nothing has happened yet.

“We want to work with the government and the Department of Transport to help make services more responsive to the needs of users and potential users,” he says.

“Our view is with a few changes to the network, we can have more cross-city routes and not every service going to the train station, and then more people would choose to catch a bus.”

With recent contracts being awarded in the area, the City of Ballarat has issued an Integrated Transport Action Plan to make changes to the network.

The Plan suggests changes like:

  • Reviewing the existing timetable to reduce journey times and make bus trips more competitive with other modes of travel
  • Introduce more direct cross-city bus routes
  • Staggering timetables to reduce instances of multiple services arriving at the same destination at the same time
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