Public transport levy projects rev up
  • Thursday 27 August 2009

Key initiatives to boost public transport services across the Sunshine Coast are on the map for closer investigation and funding from the Sunshine Coast Council’s new Public Transport Levy (PT Levy).

Possible projects for further consideration include -

  • new and upgraded bus services from Landsborough to Maleny and to Beerwah, in the Maroochy North Shore area, from Noosa to Maroochydore and from Coolum to Nambour
  • ‘council cab’ services linking local residents with key urban centres and transport hubs
  • supplementary bus or ‘flexi-link’ services connecting sparsely populated areas with existing bus routes
  • a proposal by the University of the Sunshine Coast to promote bus travel to the Sippy Downs campus ahead of private car trips
  • holiday bus services for Caloundra and Mooloolaba to reduce gridlock in the high season.

Integrated Transport Portfolio holder, Vivien Griffin said the new PT Levy was designed to bring public transport benefits to the whole Sunshine Coast, taking into account the needs of hinterland and coastal residents.

“Public transport is a pressing regional issue if the Coast is to achieve truly sustainable travel alternatives,” Cr Griffin said.

“However the needs of congested towns and centres are very different from those living in under-serviced and sometimes isolated rural towns and villages or visitors on the Coast for business or pleasure.

Cr Griffin said council is committed to delivering services on the ground as quickly as possible this year, while realising there are a range of issues to be worked through.

“While we work through complex issues with government agencies and local public transport providers, council will also develop a five year program for more reliable and frequent services, add new and innovative ones where there are gaps and measure success in terms of the social and environmental value added, not just in dollars at the bottom line.”

Investigation of the proposed projects will be continued by council in consultation with the Transport Community Group, local public transport providers, Translink Transport Authority and the Department of Transport and Main Roads.

The Public Transport Levy is expected to raise approximately $3m per annum and as PT Levy funded initiatives are finalised they will be widely promoted.