Shrink bus size Smaller bus call in Noosa
TRANSLINK has been urged by Councillor Frank Pardon to consider a reintroduction of the smaller buses which once serviced Noosa local routes.
Cr Pardon used a briefing by Translink senior service planner Andrew McGill to council on Monday to make a pitch that did not fall on deaf ears.
"There are a lot of local people who feel that your buses are too big for the local area," Cr Pardon said.
"Can we look at small buses through this local network? I can understand the big buses on your long haul (Noosa to Maroochydore), because you're going to fill them up."
He said locals do not like seeing the big buses running around Noosa half empty all the time.
Mr McGill said it was "far more efficient to run a single fleet" and the same type of bus was used in fleets all around Queensland.
He said this worked out cheaper for buying parts and worked in better with network scheduling.
"Just to let you know, there are fairly significant costs associated with it - smaller buses," Mr McGill said. "Smaller buses would increase the risk of leaving people behind at busy times.
"I don't think anything is insurmountable and I think it's something that Noosa Council should have a conversation with the (relevant) Translink people about," Mr McGill said.
He said Translink spends about $14 million a year on the Noosa bus network.
"One thing good to know is the frequency of buses between Noosa Junction and Tewantin is 15 minutes - that counts it as a high frequency corridor, which is the optimal level of service that Translink aims for.
"The frequency between Noosa Junction and Noosa Heads is actually seven minutes and that's really fantastic and not seen in many locations. So it's a fabulous service to have."
Mr McGill said the bus passengers in Noosa were a mixed lot of all ages.
"We're getting really good customer feedback on how the network's going.
"People really love Noosa Junction station, the Maroochydore connection which is bus route 620 and the rail connections on 630 and 631. People also really love the free holiday period which is an initiative of council that Translink supports."