10 February 2009
The Maryborough town trial bus service proposal, submitted to the Department of Transport (DoT) in January 2009 by the Goldfields Transport Connections project, has been given the green light to commence a trial service, until 30 June 2010.
The Goldfields Transport Connections project is funded through the Victorian Government's Transport Connections program, a cross government initiative to help communities work together to improve local transport.
The approved trial town bus service proposal is the result of eight months of hard work by the Maryborough Town Service Working Group, which was organised and lead by community representatives Lindsay Lancaster and Marion Da Costa and included representatives from Central Goldfields Shire Council, the Department of Transport, and the Goldfields Employment & Learning Centre.
Thanks to local knowledge and feedback received through the community consultation period in September 2008, Maryborough has secured a trial town bus service that is likely to commence in March 2009. Expressions of Interest were sought by DoT from local bus operators and the successful contractor is Begonia City Bus Lines. The bus to be used is an air-conditioned 21 Seater Toyota Coaster.
The service will operate between 9:00 am and 3:00pm Monday to Friday and between 9:00 am and 12:00 Noon on Saturday mornings, except public holidays. These times were chosen as the preferred times of travel by survey respondents.
A Timetable information booklet will be developed and new bus stop infrastructure will soon be installed along the finalised routes.
Central Goldfields Shire Mayor Chris Meddows-Taylor said "This is a positive result for the extensive community effort involved in bringing the service to life, but the service also needs the support of the community to ensure sustainability beyond the initial trial period.
"Members of the community are encouraged to take advantage of a service which they played a part in creating," Cr Meddows-Taylor said.
Community Development Minister Peter Batchelor said the Brumby Government was helping Victorian communities improve their local transport options by making better use of existing assets and services such as taxis, school buses, community buses and volunteers.
"The Maryborough Town Bus trial is a terrific project and I congratulate everyone involved so far," Mr Batchelor said.
Further information on the trial and the Goldfields Transport Connections Project can be obtained by calling Kristen Way at Central Goldfields Shire Council on 5460 4508.Media contact: Kristen Way, Central Goldfields Shire Council, 03 5460 4508.