Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 11 April 2018) . . Page.. 1285 ..
Also, as we have rapid routes, people actually do not care so much about punctuality. When I get the bus in the morning, I do not bother checking what bus is going to be there because, very regularly, I turn up and the bus is there within a minute of my turning up. I cannot ask for any better than that. I must say that I could not ask for anything better than this morning. The bus I caught picked me up a couple of stops before Woden. It basically did not stop at Woden because there was another 300 there and clearly none of us wanted to get off. Its next stop was the Assembly. I think that it took me a quarter of an hour in the bus from south of Woden to here, and that is very good—very good running.
One other item I would like to just briefly mention is Sunday timetables. With Sunday timetables, the problem is not so much that the buses are not on time. The buses are on time on Sunday, because there is not an awful lot of other traffic around. The problem on Sunday is the very few buses, and they cease running in the early evening. This was particularly highlighted at Easter with the Folk Festival. Quite a number of Canberra patrons wished to go to the Folk Festival on the bus. That was okay on the Thursday night, because Thursday was a normal work day, but the rest of the days of Easter we had the Sunday bus timetable and, basically, it meant that you had to leave by 6 o’clock, which was very frustrating if you were at the Folk Festival or for many other reasons.
I think in getting our bus timetables together we must be aware that buses are not used just by school children to go to school and by office workers to go in at 9 o’clock and back at 5 o’clock. There are a lot of other people who use our buses, people who are too young drive, people who are too old to drive, people who have a disability of some sort which means they cannot drive, people who are concerned about greenhouse gas emissions, as we talked about in the earlier debate, and do not want to drive a private car and of course a substantial number of Canberrans who simply cannot afford to maintain a private car. And that is basically most people on Centrelink allowances. It is just not possible to afford to run a car as well as pay for everything that you have to pay for.
There are a lot of people in Canberra who use the buses, which is really great, and I am very pleased that we have had this debate and am pleased to support the concepts behind Miss Burch’s motion but obviously we will be supporting the amendment to that.
MS LEE (Kurrajong) (4.08): I thank Miss Burch for bringing this motion to the Assembly. Public transport is vitally important for everyone in any city, but for parents who rely on a dedicated school bus to take their children to school and back home, it is even more imperative that we get this right. I have had many parents, students and teachers reach out to me about the poor coordination of buses for schools, thus leading to extensive travel times, excessive waiting times for services, disruptively arriving at schools late or forcing students to leave before classes are finished.
Worst of all, the woeful lack of information about school bus services, about their performance and about what parents, students and teachers can do about this makes