Early Christmas Present for the Sunshine Coast
  • Tuesday 05 April 2011

Free public transport buses at Christmas will continue for people on the Sunshine Coast after an overwhelming positive response by the public.

Integrated Transport Portfolio Councillor Vivien Griffin said the initiative was part of a suite of measures to support public transport which was approved by council yesterday at a special budget meeting.

"Working together to deliver more for the whole region has seen public transport improve across the Sunshine Coast," Cr Griffin said.

"The Public Transport Levy was introduced two years ago to provide a better service to get more people using buses, trains and Council cabs—and it’s working.

"In 2008/09 there were 3,890,000 boarding; a year later there were more than 4,000,000 boardings and that figure is expected to increase again this year.

"In the Free Holiday Bus period last Christmas, 200,000 people used Translink services across the coast—a 30 per cent increase on the previous year."

 

The decision means council will continue to promote and refine existing initiatives and introduce new ones:

  • Free holiday public transport (buses, Flexilinks and Council Cabs)
  • A permanent Sunshine Coast Airport bus service
  • Improvements to existing bus routes
  • Bus stop improvements
  • Development and introduction of a trial bus service between Coolum and Nambour
  • Confirmation of the Hinterland Connect service
  • Continuation of the successful Beerwah to Landsborough to Maleny bus trial
  • Continuation of the existing Flexilink services
  • Continuation of Council Cabs

Council established a principle of ‘use it or lose it’ when it introduced new services through the transport levy, and on that basis four Flexilink services will cease from June 30 unless there’s a dramatic turnaround in patronage.

Those routes are Buderim to Mountain Creek, Kunda Park/Buderim/Mons, Cooroy to Pomona and Mooloolah Valley to Glenview. However residents in these areas will be given every chance to show their support for these services before 30 June.

Sunshine Coast Council voted to keep the Public Transport Levy at $20.