A group of parents whose children attend schools in southern Canberra are set to increase their campaign for a new Transborder Express bus service when they meet with Member for Goulburn Pru Goward on March 27 to discuss the issue.
The campaign continues to call on ComfortDelGro Cabcharge (CDC), which owns Transborder Express, to provide a service that bypasses the Hall Interchange and thereby goes directly to southern Canberra schools.
The aim, the group says, is to relieve pressure on students, travel times and bus drivers.
Duncan Waugh, whose children attend a southside school, and fellow campaigners say the stop in Hall means these students frequently arrive late to classes. As well, they say, the students endure a two-hour ride on the route home.
“The buses stop at Hall to drop some students and pick up others – a lot of whom are from the ACT – in a deal done with Action Buses to take them to southern-suburb schools,” Mr Waugh said.
Until now, there probably wasn’t enough kids to justify a dedicated bus. But there is now and the region is growing, so the issue is not going away.Duncan Waugh, parent and advocate
While the majority of Yass and Murrumbateman students go to northside schools, 72 attend southside ones, including St Edmund's College, St Clare’s, Canberra Girls Grammar, Canberra Grammar and Marist.
Waugh said this number should warrant the provision of a direct bus service. “Until now, there probably wasn’t enough kids to justify a dedicated bus. But there is now and the region is growing, so the issue is not going away,” he said.
Since CDC operates predominantly under contract with the state government, however, David Thompson from the school services department at CDC said that adding and amending bus services require a process to be undertaken with Transport for NSW.
“To investigate if this can be achieved, stringent requirements must be met. When looking at bus routes, kilometres travelled, number of students, we need to make sure we’ve got all our ducks in a row before submitting an application,” he said.
Mr Thompson said the application is via a ‘Bus Service Alteration Request’ form that the operator must submit to Transport for NSW.