Australia, Bus Industry News, Bus Trials, Company News

Coffs Harbour prepares for free bus travel initiative

The Coffs Harbour community, alongside Busways and CDC NSW/Forest Coach Lines, are eagerly awaiting the start of a new free bus travel initiative

The countdown is on for the City of Coffs Harbour as its bold free bus travel initiative is set to begin later this week.

Starting on April 19, the initiative aims to help all members of the community, with Coffs Harbour mayor Paul Amos saying it will particularly support older people who no longer drive and unlicensed teenagers who rely on others to get around.

“This will reach the community with a very broad brush because there’s no need for people to be sitting at home and lonely,” Amos says.

Funded by $20,000 from the City of Coffs Harbour and significantly subsidised by local bus operators Busways and CDC NSW/Forest Coach Lines, the program will run through to July 14.

The initiative will offer free bus travel on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays on regular routes (excluding school runs) of Busways and CDC’s Forest Coach Lines linking the communities of Macksville, Nambucca Heads, Bellingen and Grafton with Coffs Harbour.

“This will be a chance for people to get out and experience life and not be stuck at home – and it could be habit forming,” Amos says.

Busways operations regional support manager Mark Lawrence is onboard with the program.

“There are a lot of options for people to travel within our network, with there being more than 350 bus stops around, so the travel could be for things like medical appointments or going to the markets,” Lawrence says.

“This is a great initiative from the council and we hope it encourages the Coffs community to jump on board and make the most of their local bus service for a more connected and sustainable Coffs Harbour.”

CDC NSW regional manager of Forest Coach Lines Dene Petty says the program has the potential to permanently boost the community’s use of public transport.

“With no limit to how many trips you can take for free, we hope our existing and new customers enjoy the convenience of getting around the region on our buses,” Petty says.

“People are very excited about this, and we’ve had a lot of inquiries already.”

Gayle Ward is a regular public transport user and can barely wait for the start of the promotion.

“I’ve been using Busways for more than 15 years to get to and from work and the service is amazing, I love it,” Ward says.

“It will be good if I want to go to the markets or just up to Woolgoolga as well – because everything happens on the weekend.”

The bus companies will provide daily statistics on the service’s use at the end of the three-month trial.

Send this to a friend