Hinterland Connect future in jeopardy
  • Saturday 16 November 2013

Recent usage figures released by TransLink for the Hinterland Connect trial bus service have shown the service is failing to meet the benchmark set by the Minister for Transport and Main Roads, Scott Emerson, putting its future in jeopardy.

Half-funded by the Sunshine Coast Public Transport Levy, this service is a trial until 30 June 2014.

Transport Strategy Portfolio Councillor Rick Baberowski said Sunshine Coast Council’s original aim was to secure a permanent public transport option for the hinterland.

“At this stage, bus patronage levels have not met Translink’s Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) which would ensure the continuation of the service—but they are close,” Cr Baberowski said.

“The KPIs are based on passenger numbers, fares generated, distance travelled and the cost of the service.

“Figures for August and September have shown they are slightly below the KPIs set for the Average Load and Value for Money benchmarks.”

Local division 5 Councillor Jenny McKay said basically it comes down to getting more passengers on the bus.

“For the Hinterland Connect bus service to continue, bus patronage levels must meet and exceed the KPIs identified by TransLink, consistently month after month—one good month won’t be enough,” Cr McKay said.

“It’s up to the community to prove to TransLink they need this service and that it is viable.

“Earlier this year, when TransLink was considering cancelling the service, the community rallied in support to ensure it continued—and they need to rally again, because the service is in real threat of being shut down.

“Passenger numbers count—if we don’t get the passengers on board then this service will stop and there will no longer be a public transport option for the hinterland.

“So take the opportunity to use this service, support this service and recommend it to your friends as this is your best chance of keeping it for the hinterland community.”

KPIBenchmarkAug 2013Sep 2013
Average Load7.005.885.24
Value for Money3.312.922.52