NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance urges Keolis Downer to ‘keep listening’ to Newcastle bus patrons

By admin • 苏州夜网 • 18 Jan 2019

KEEP LISTENING: NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance. Picture: Joel CarrettComplaints toKeolis Downer have fallen and are a signrecent tweaks to Newcastle’s bus network havehelped alleviate concerns, NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance says.
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Constance had a message for city’s bus operator during Monday’s light rail inspection coupled with one for the region’s commuters.

“The complaints have dropped right off,” Constance said.

“I’d say to Keolis Downer ‘you’ve got to keep working at it, you’ve got to keep listening to the community’.

“My message to the community is get in and use it. It’s far more affordable to use public transport than drive your car to work.

“We’re building for the future of the city and NSW’s second largest city deserves a public transport system that works for the community and ultimately we want to keep listening to the community. But I do believe that bus timetable change has alleviated a lot of concern.”

Keolis, which took control of Newcastle’s buses in July last year and overhauled the network in January, suffered a loss in patronage in the first six months of 2018.

There was anoverall drop of more than 120,000 trips compared to July to December in 2017.The January to June periodalso had about 100,000 fewer trips than in the same period of 2017.

A public outcry in the months after the January overhaul resulted in Keolis making tweaks that began on July 29, including changes to east Lake Macquarie services.But in August, the first month following the tweaks, 31,152 fewer trips were taken compared to the year before.

Opal card data shows total patronage was505,381 in August, but excluding the 68,810 ‘other’ trips category that is not broken down by Keolis it dropsto436,571 and allows comparison to the August 2017 total of467,723.

The sixper cent year-on-year fall for August came with a sharp drop in school student trips. The ticket typedropped to 83,961from113,964 trips in August, 2017.

Keolis Downer’s director corporate affairs, Andrew Fletcher,said the total number of passenger trips – referring to the 505,381 figure –was growingeach month.

Mr Fletcher said the “frequent routes” of bus 11, 12, 13 and 14 were “working well” and “37 per centof the metropolitan population now live within 400 metres of a bus stop on one of those routes, providing a great opportunity to attract new passengers”.

“In the coming months we will be encouraging people to take advantage of these 1,200 extra services and the improved 15 minute frequency throughout the day provided under the new network,” he said.

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