Gallop Government announces extension of bus trial
The trial of new, improved bus services in Hedland will be extended until the end of the year, following encouraging preliminary patronage figures.
Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan said patronage numbers had more than doubled during the trial and the Gallop Government would provide additional funding to ensure the new services continued after July.
"When the trial started in January this year, just over two people were using the service per trip," Ms MacTiernan said.
"During the last few months, the operator's figures show this number has more than doubled to about six people per trip on average - meeting the trial's target.
"On the basis of the trial, we would see passenger numbers increase from 7,500 to 26,500 over an entire year."
"The community response has been excellent and we support continuation of the services beyond the July 3 trial completion date.
"We need to audit these figures now and, if they remain positive, make the service permanent in the new year."
The new services have delivered:
- increased frequency of the bus service between Port Hedland and South Hedland;
- improved travel opportunities internally around South Hedland;
- improved co-ordination of the Port Hedland to South Hedland services with the South Hedland 101 and 201 routes;
- a new Saturday service; and
- improved access to shopping and community facilities in both Port Hedland and South Hedland.
"During last year's Enquiry by Design workshop, the local community told us they wanted improved public transport," Ms MacTiernan said.
"The upgraded bus service improves transport options and makes life easier for all Hedland residents."