The NSW government is encouraging locals to get back on board buses in Dubbo, with a better bus network now operational.
The improvements made to the Dubbo network include adding 112 extra bus services each week around Dubbo and to surrounding towns, providing an 87 per cent increase in timetabled hours to accommodate growing areas.
Transport for NSW Acting Director Region West Damien Pfeiffer says there are now more options than ever for people to access public transport in Dubbo and surrounding towns such as Wongarbon, Wellington, Narromine and Geurie.
“Getting around Dubbo and nearby areas doesn’t have to involve getting in a car. These new services have been designed so people can catch buses to places they want to get to, at times they want to travel,” Pfeiffer says.
As part of the introduction of the new network, more than 200 people have taken part in a series of Bus Travel Experience Days in recent weeks to allow them to become more familiar with catching a bus.
“The experience days were a great success, providing a confidence boost to people such as older residents and those with mobility issues or disabilities, who may have felt daunted about using buses,” Pfeiffer says.
“The uplift of services across Dubbo’s bus network also means around 230 more hours of employment for local bus drivers, with Dubbo Buslines currently recruiting to fill the equivalent of six full time positions.”
Now, there’s a new bus service between West Dubbo and Orana Mall running every 30 minutes on weekdays, connecting Delroy Park Shopping Centre, Dubbo CBD, Dubbo Station, ALDI, Dubbo Base Hospital and TAFE.
There’s also a new connection between Taronga Western Plains Zoo and Orana Mall via the Dubbo CBD, Western Plains Cultural Centre and Dubbo Showground along with new links to Bunnings, Dubbo Sports World and the North Dubbo industrial area.
Growing areas like Keswick, Southlakes, Grangewood and Delroy Park will receive regular bus services for the first time.
The timetable also includes more timely, direct routes to Dubbo Base Hospital. Additionally, the Dubbo urban area will now have access to bus services on Sundays and Public Holidays.
Longer distance bus trips from Narromine, Geurie and Wellington will now stop at ALDI and Dubbo Station. Services to the town of Wongarbon will significantly increase to four trips every weekday in both directions – better connecting Wongarbon with Dubbo and Wellington.
The changes are part of the NSW government’s 16 Regional Cities Services Improvement Program which aims to create a simpler and more efficient public transport network, that meets the needs of local communities.
Transport for NSW says it listened to the community while partnering with Dubbo Regional Council, Dubbo Buslines and Ogden’s Coaches to plan and deliver the improvements.
The start of Dubbo’s new bus network comes several weeks after a new trial of contactless payments got underway enabling passengers on 11 buses operated by Dubbo Buslines to pay for their trips by tapping their credit card, chipped debit card or linked device. Hundreds of trips have been paid for using cards and linked devices since the start of the trial.