Metro bus upgrades in Hobart

A plan to make bus thoroughfare a priority in Hobart’s CBD ahead of the construction of a large hotel at the Elizabeth St Bus Mall, which the main bus terminus in Hobart, will be delivered.

Metro bus upgrades in Hobart
Hobart bus infrastructure will be upgraded with services bolstered as part of a new Tasmanian Government plan.

Hobart City Council is working on a $2 million upgrade to the bus hub, which will double the sheltered space and include additional seating and have bike racks.

Australian Capital Territory (ACT) minister for transport Rene Hidding says the Tasmanian Government will support measures that favour bus services provided by Metro Tasmania, including urgent bus priority measures.

"Following today’s final congestion summit, the Department of State Growth will now work closely with the councils to deliver on these plans," he says.

Some of the specific measures agreed for consideration include transformation of some or all of the bus routes from the current Bus Mall to Franklin Square and a pedestrian overpass or underpass linking Franklin Square to the water front.

The removal a pedestrian crossing on the southern side of the intersection should improve peak hour bus movements. Alternatively, if the crossing cannot be safely removed, then alternative arrangements that provide improved bus priority will be pursued.

Parking restrictions to make way for bus along streets near the bus interchange are being considered.

The latest state budget included $31 million to build 100 modern buses, the contract winner to manufacture these is yet to be announced. Metro Tasmania recently ordered seven Scania articulated buses to replace five 30-year-old articulated buses currently in service. The new vehicles, for high-volume routes, should be on the road during the 2016-17 financial year.

Replacing Tasmania’s ageing Metro bus fleet was the core focus of an industry briefing in Hobart earlier this year and these plans to do so are now coming to fruition.

Metro Tasmania is a Tasmanian Government owned and the largest bus operator in the state of, with depots in the largest population centres of Hobart, Launceston, and Burnie.

Metro Tasmania is also rolling out new infrastructure in the areas north-east of Hobart.  As part of this rollout, several bus stops have been identified for closure as they are located in very close proximity to surrounding alternative stops.

Several bus stops will be permanently removed and will no longer be in operation, making way for the roll-out of new compliant bus stop infrastructure in keeping with Disability Standards for Accessible Transport (2002).

Public feedback on Metro Tasmania’s Hobart Network Review earlier this year showed clear support for simplified bus services and more direct routes to improve travel times.

Recent changes to the network include the introduction of high frequency ‘turn up and go’ services between Shoreline and Hobart between 7am and 7pm, running every 10 minutes Monday to Friday and every 20 to 30 minutes on weekends. Other measures include improved services to Brighton and Old Beach and the reestablishment of direct services to the University of Tasmania from the eastern shore and northern suburbs.

The network review will result in fewer, but more direct routes and services will operate in the evenings and on weekends in areas that currently only have weekday daytime runs.

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