Tas bus and rail debate looms

Debate for bus services instead of rail services is set to dominate this weekend's TasBus conference

Tas bus and rail debate looms
Tas bus versus rail debate looms

By Sean Muir | May 30, 2013

Arguments for more bus services instead of light rail services are expected to dominate discussion at the annual TasBus conference, starting tomorrow night at Hobart.

TasBus Managing Director Geoff Lewis says a major draw card at the TasBus conference, from May 31 to June 1, will be a presentation on the merits of bus services instead of light rail services.

University of Sydney’s Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies (ITLS) Public Transport founding chair, Professor Corinne Mulley will present on the issue.

"There has been quite an emphasis down here on the light rail project and there has never really been an argument put up as to any alternatives," Lewis says.

TasBus and the Bus Industry Council (BIC) earlier this year argued money would be better spent on services across the whole state rather than on rail from Hobart’s northern suburbs to Hobart’s CBD.

The state's government presented a business case for the light rail late last year.

The government’s Sustainable Transport Minister, Nick McKim will face the local bus industry when he opens the TasBus conference.

But the bus-versus-rail debate won’t be the only area of contention covered at the conference.

Lewis says also to be discussed will be new passenger transport services regulations, starting in July.

He says an update on the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) will be given, as well as a presentation on how to respond to a serious safety incident.

Delegates will also be updated on a new student ticketing system in the region.

Lewis expects more than 100 delegates at the conference, to be held at Hobart’s Wrest Point Hotel.

"Everybody says they tend to enjoy our conference because it is smaller and less formal and more family friendly," Lewis says.

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