NT budget set

The 2015 Northern Territory budget will see $1 million spent to improve safety on buses

The Northern Territory budget has provided more than $1 million in additional funding to improve security on the greater Darwin bus network.

Minister for Transport Peter Chandler says the budget, announced on Tuesday, April 28, should reassure commuters and restore community confidence in the Northern Territory’s public transport system.

"Measures include security patrols at interchanges, an additional transit safety officer patrol team and an additional patrol vehicle," he says.

"Reporting and communications technology is also being improved, along with better quality training for our drivers and CCTV enhancements on buses and at interchanges.

"Driver and passenger safety on the public bus network is a key priority for the Northern Territory Government."

As a result of a comprehensive strategic review of the Darwin Bus Network, twenty five recommendations were approved by the Northern Territory Government for immediate implementation.

Twenty of these recommendations are now completed or are embedded in normal operations. Five have begun and will be completed during 2015.

A community awareness campaign ’Respect your Drivers’ will also be launched in the coming months.

The budget has also allocated $1.385 billion for roads and infrastructure.

The budget will also provide $110,000 each year, for another special needs bus service in the Darwin region.

The additional service will accommodate increased demand and reduce the existing wait list.

"Our aim is to support eligible students who are unable to travel independently and who may not otherwise be able to access education without the provision of special needs transportation," Chandler says.

The Special Needs Program provides transport arrangements for approved students with special needs and is managed by the Department of Transport and the Department of Education.

"The program supports parents in getting their children with special needs safely to school," Chandler says.

Approximately 300 students rely on the service in Darwin, Katherine, Alice Springs and Gove.

"The safety of students using the transport service is of high importance to this government," Chandler says.

"The additional bus will provide places for up to 15 students with special needs.

"Six students are currently on a wait list awaiting the expansion of services.

"The bus will commence immediately, making life simpler for Territorians."

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