Trans North to operate Atherton buses from January 1

By: Chris Smith


North Queensland company, Trans North Bus and Coach, will take over the operation of bus services between Cairns and the

North Queensland company, Trans North Bus and Coach, will take over the operation of bus services between Cairns and the Atherton Tablelands from January 1.

Transport Minister John Mickel says Trans North and Queensland Transport had entered an agreement to ensure continuation of the vital passenger services.

Mickel says he has met with Barron River MP Steve Wettenhall and department officials earlier this year to discuss ways to improve bus services between Kuranda and Cairns

"Trans North will fill the void when the current operator, Whitecar Coaches, ceases providing these services on December 31," he says.

The State Government will now subsidise the services.

Wettenhall acknowledged the service Whitecar had provided for many years but said the cessation of Whitecar services provided an opportunity to renew the public transport needs of the Tablelands and to consider ways services could be improved and integrated with urban based services in Cairns

"The agreement means residents of Ravenshoe, Herberton, Atherton, Mareeba and Kuranda will continue to have regular bus services linking their communities with each other and with Cairns," Wettenhall says.

"Trans North will follow the current Whitecar Coaches timetable and fare structure, including concession fares, for the Atherton to Cairns service. The existing route structures and bus stops will remain but will be reviewed with a view to making improvements," he says.

The Minister said Trans North Bus and Coach was a North Queensland, family owned business with established depots in Ingham, Innisfail, Mission Beach, Ravenshoe and Cairns. The business provides school, charter and urban bus services.

"Trans North also operates an express mini coach service between Cairns and Karumba, servicing all towns on the way," Mickel says.

"The company has some 60 operational vehicles, including a range of wheelchair accessible buses, which are available on request."

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