Councillors catch the bus for Council Bus Day
  • Wednesday 19 September 2012

The Mayor Mark Jamieson and Transport Strategy Portfolio Councillor Rick Baberowski will swap their cars for buses this Friday for the first Council Bus Day.

The Mayor has launched the initiative to get the people making the decisions on public transport to find out why just 1% of travel on the Coast is by public bus.

"If we’re serious about becoming the most sustainable region in Australia we need to have an efficient and effective public transport system," Mayor Jamieson said.

"More than 170,000 more people will call the Sunshine Coast home by 2030 and we must make sure we have the public transport system to deal with it.

"I was shocked to see just 1% of travel on the Coast is by bus – and 85% is by private vehicle.

"If that doesn’t improve you can only imagine the problems ahead – congestion, pollution and other significant impacts on our quality of life."

Cr Baberowski said we need to move toward 10% of travel on the Coast being by bus.

"It’s an aspirational target – but we have to aim high if we are to live up to the reputation of being the most sustainable region," he said.

"Catching a bus should be a more stress-free, affordable and sustainable way to travel but obviously most people still don’t consider using one.

"We need to find out why, to maximise the number of people using the public transport system – and there’s nothing like first hand experience.

"We know one full bus can take up to 50 cars off the road and buses produce far less greenhouse gases per person than cars – our challenge is to provide a better service and encourage people to use it."

Both councillors will post on facebook and twitter during the day about their experiences.

Council’s public transport levy funds a number of initiatives and projects to improve the region’s public transport services including the Flexilink trial services, the Coolum to Nambour bus trial, Council Cabs, the Guide to Public Transport, and Free Holiday Buses.

Council works closely with TransLink to help determine future improvements to various services and routes.

TransLink is currently reviewing bus services throughout South East Queensland to identify areas where improvements could be made. People can have their say via the Service Review Form on TransLink’s website before Sunday 23 September.