THE Coalition has promised it will fund $3 million to fix Ballarat’s ailing bus service if it wins the upcoming State Election.
As issues surrounding bus service changes and upgrades to Ballarat Station took centre stage at a Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) candidates forum last night, the opposition took the opportunity to deliver an election commitment to extend bus services throughout the city if it wins the election.
The commitment will see all routes run until 9.30pm with frequency’s of 30 minutes on routes 10, 13, 24, 30 and 31.
Wendouree Liberal candidate Amy Johnson told the audience that an improved bus service was “absolutely critical” to get cars out of Ballarat’s CBD.
“At the moment it can take a very long time to get from one place in Ballarat to another,” she said. “We need more services and we need those services to be more frequent and later at night.
“About 18 months ago, a whole range of consultation was undertaken in relation to bus routes in Ballarat and I have not come across one person who is happy with the changes and that’s a very clear example that the State Government aren’t listening to the people of Ballarat.”
Wendouree Labor candidate Juliana Addison said she also understood the issues facing commuters.
“I’ve spoken to the (Public Transport) Minister about this and she’s committed to getting what’s right for Ballarat,” Ms Addison said.
“There’s some reviewing that needs to be done and I will be very pleased to represent and advocate on behalf of travellers and drivers that we have the very best service.
“These are issues that are very important to me that I want to vigorously pursue.”
Wendouree Greens candidate Alice Barnes said buses needed fixing.
“There are lots of people in the Ballarat community that are frustrated with the service,” she said. “The lines have become much more difficult to understand. There’s a lot we need to talk about in relation to building the bus network Ballarat needs and will need as we grow.”
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