Greens welcome bus backdown

The Greens today welcomed the Government’s backdown on changes that would have seen hundreds of bus stops closed and dozens of routes axed.

“These changes were causing a great deal of anxiety in the community, especially amongst regular commuters and those who depend on buses as their main mode of transport”, said Greens MLC Mark Parnell.

“Whilst all bus stops and routes are safe for now, there will no doubt be changes proposed in the future. Next time the Government goes down this path, they should erect a sign on every stop that is to be closed or where routes are changing.

“Whilst daily commuters might have some idea about what is proposed, occasional or infrequent bus users may have no idea until it’s too late and the service is gone.

“Placing a sign on every stop, with details of how to have your say, is the bare minimum that should be done before any bus service is changed.

“Next time changes are proposed, the Government should also come clean on the actual number of passengers using each stop. Whilst the Government knows the exact figures, publicly-available statistics are presented in “bands” of 10 rather than actual numbers, so it is impossible to know whether a stop is used by 1 person or by 9 people.

“Overall, today’s decision is a good one and we acknowledge that the Government has backed down sooner rather than later, which will help reduce anxiety in the community. Hopefully, the Government has also learnt important lessons about how to handle this type of exercise better in the future,” concluded Mark Parnell.