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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 06 Hansard (Thursday, 24 June 2010) . . Page.. 2451 ..

This is all part of what is wrong with the ACTION bus service. It is not a service for the people of the ACT. Jon Stanhope has supervised the ACTION bus service for a very long time. He is the person responsible for the failure of those services. We have seen it with the work done by the Canberra Liberals to highlight these issues. I refer to the amount of dead running, the lack of collection of fares because the ticket machines do not work, the increased number of bingles, the incapacity to attract people to the bus system and the problems in the Belconnen bus interchange. They are symptomatic of that. The inability of buses to take people to where they are supposed to be, on time, is symptomatic of that. People will eventually give up using the bus service because it is unreliable.

Jon Stanhope has created an unreliable, expensive, inefficient bus system. On top of that, the people who are paying royally for that inefficient bus system will have it taken off the road tomorrow because he cannot communicate with the Transport Workers Union and come to a conclusion over a pay negotiation. It is time that the Stanhope government and ACT Labor did something about the ACTION bus network in this town.

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Minister for Transport, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Land and Property Services, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs and Minister for the Arts and Heritage) (3.47): That was dreadful, Mrs Dunne. Who wrote that? We have come to expect a slightly higher standard of rigour in debate than has just been presented.

I am very pleased to take this opportunity to highlight the high quality bus service that we have in the ACT and the significant improvements that the service has undergone under this government in recent years. ACTION is a government-run bus operator, providing regular route services and dedicated school services to and from suburbs in the ACT. ACTION also provides special need services to schoolchildren with a disability, as well as charter services for schools, sporting bodies and other organisations hosting territory events and festivals.

ACTION currently provides 2,456 services each weekday and a further 314 school services on each school day. Included in the route services are the popular Xpresso services, which run in the peak hours and provide express travel between suburbs and major employment hubs within the territory. ACTION buses travel around 25 million kilometres every year, transporting around 17 million passengers per annum, including six million adults, 6.8 million concession holders and 3.7 million schoolchildren. ACTION also provides free travel to around half a million patrons, including the users of the popular gold card for those over the age of 75. ACTION maintains a “one fare anywhere” policy for travel within a period of 90 minutes in the ACT. This means that ACTION’s fares represent exceptional value for money and are amongst the lowest in the country.

Over the last three years, the ACT government has made significant investments in the bus network to provide an improved service for the community. The government announced Network 08 in 2007-08, a network that would have more services and better connections and that would be determined with direct reference to the

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