New network has trade-offs

By: Amie Hickland

New Warrnambool, VIC, network is more direct and frequent, but covers less area

New network has trade-offs
A map of the new nework

Warrnambool’s new bus network will provide hundreds more services but covers less geographical area as a result.

The Victorian regional area’s new bus network came into effect earlier this week.

The network is designed to provide more frequent and direct services that connect with other buses at the Koroit Street interchange, trains at Warrnambool Station and major destinations.

It will also provide over 400 extra services to the public each week, and for the first time locals will be able to use the public bus to travel to work or school with services starting at 7am - instead of 9am.

Warrnambool Bus Lines Director Sam Lucas says the network does provide more and frequent direct services, but does come with some "trade-offs".

He says networks can either have coverage, direct routing or frequency and so far they have ticked two out of three boxes.

"The reality is the old system has far less geographical coverage than the old system."

Lucas says the service is a complete "re-jig" and as a result some areas of coverage have been affected.

"I’m not aware of anywhere else that’s has a re-structure that’s been extensive."

He says the new system will work in favour for people who are "time poor" with more direct routing, which will hopefully encourage more people to commute to work.

From an operational perspective, Lucas says the drivers have found the more direct routes easier to drive.

The company has undertaken eight weeks of preparation for the changes, but is yet to hear feedback on the new services.

Public Transport Victoria undertook an extensive consultation process and the community’s views have been taken on board in finalising the bus network.

As part of the network upgrade, PTV is upgrading Warrnambool’s bus stops with new signage, and over 80 new bus stops were to be installed prior to the network starting.

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