Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 14 Hansard (Wednesday, 18 November 2009) . . Page.. 5156 ..
which represents the majority of ACTION staff, at that time rated the ACTION bus network “the worst in 30 years”. At that point in time the ACTION fleet was still behind in its fleet replacement schedule, and the morale of the bus drivers having to work split shifts in a part-time capacity was at an all-time low.
Now, three years on, we are no further advanced in keeping pace with the replacement of an ageing bus fleet. Aside from the odd token new bus, in the main the fleet of buses are old and prone to breaking down. There is often a shortage of buses, reliability on the suburban routes is questionable, and the safety of patrons and drivers alike at interchanges and on the buses is still an issue.
In this year’s budget, the government waxed lyrical about the rapid transit services—these services that were supposed to link west Belconnen with Belconnen, the city, Barton, Woden and Tuggeranong. The services were also supposed to cover an express service from Gungahlin to the city, Barton, Woden and Tuggeranong. That has been scaled back to one service between Gungahlin, the city and Kingston. However, this already scaled-back trial is all we are left with.
The real key to fulfilling the notion of sustainable transport for those who have a choice is convenience. Convenience and frequency will get more people using ACTION. The current intertown services provide this convenient fast option if you are going to a town centre. However, the real challenge to this notion begins when commuters have to travel from the town centre to their homes in the suburbs. This is where the old buses are. This is where reliability is a factor and this is the real test for resources.
The Canberra Liberals took to the election a comprehensive plan to provide park and ride services across the ACT—free parking for cars and safe lockers for bicycles—all close and convenient to major transport routes and convenient shopping.
The Greens and their coalition Labor partners in this place would have us all believe that the park and ride concept is a new one and that they have it all sewn up. Ms Bresnan has talked up the possiblity of a Calwell park and ride in her master plan for Tuggeranong motion. This is not a new idea, Ms Bresnan. This is an idea that I personally have discussed with the community since at least 2004 and an idea that the community of southern Tuggeranong have been discussing and investigating. I pay tribute to the energy and enthusiasm of Calwell businessman Nick Tsoulias, who has been a vocal advocate of this concept that has our support and that of many in the Tuggeranong community.
The operation of efficient and effective public transport services is a challenge that governments face throughout the world. The high cost of such services and the highly peaked nature of service demand make it difficult to operate services efficiently, and issues such as urban geography, road networks, population and employment dispersal, and traffic congestion are complexities in the design and delivery of effective services.
Mr Stanhope: Who wrote this speech, Steve?
MR DOSZPOT: Historically, the ACT has one of the lowest patronage rates in the country, so the challenges are increased. But it must be said that the Stanhope