Future in jeopardy

The future of the Hinterland Connect service, QLD, is in jeopardy as user figures fall below standard

November 19, 2013

Usage of the Hinterland Connect trial bus service is falling short of the benchmark set by Queensland State Government – putting its future in jeopardy.

Recent usage figures released by TransLink shows the service is failing to meet the benchmark set by Minister for Transport and Main Roads Scott Emerson.

Transport Strategy Portfolio Councillor Rick Baberowski says Sunshine Coast Council’s original aim was to secure a permanent public transport option for the hinterland.

"At this stage, bus patronage levels have not met Translink’s Key Performance Indicators which would ensure the continuation of the service—but they are close," Baberowski says.

"The KPIs are based on passenger numbers, fares generated, distance travelled and the cost of the service.

"Figures for August and September have shown they are slightly below the KPIs set for the Average Load and Value for Money benchmarks."

Local division 5 Councillor Jenny McKay says it basically comes down to getting more passengers on the bus.

"For the Hinterland Connect bus service to continue, bus patronage levels must meet and exceed the KPIs identified by TransLink, consistently month after month—one good month won’t be enough."

She says it’s up to the community to prove to TransLink they need the service and that it is viable.

"Earlier this year, when TransLink was considering cancelling the service, the community rallied in support to ensure it continued—and they need to rally again, because the service is in real threat of being shut down," she says.

"Passenger numbers count—if we don’t get the passengers on board then this service will stop and there will no longer be a public transport option for the hinterland.

"So take the opportunity to use this service, support this service and recommend it to your friends as this is your best chance of keeping it for the hinterland community."

The service is a trial until June 30 2014, and half of the service is being funded by the Sunshine Coast Public Transport Levy.

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