Community to have their say on bus services
December 11, 2008
Community to have their say on future Metro bus services
Timaru residents will have the opportunity to participate in improving public passenger transport services in the city.
The Timaru District Council and Environment Canterbury (ECan) will begin consultation on a new Timaru public transport strategy in the New Year to shape the future of Metro bus services.
The existing Timaru public transport strategy was developed in 2005 and led to significant improvements such as new wheelchair accessible Metro buses and the introduction of the Metrocard. A review is now needed so the community can set new targets for the future.
“ECan and the Timaru District Council need to find out what the community wants, otherwise we are guessing at what is required from the public transport services now and into the future,” says ECan southern transport officer, Tony Henderson.
“Residents’ views will play an important part in developing the updated strategy and providing the way forward for the future public transport system in the city.”
The councils will form a passenger transport advisory group over the next two months which will include representatives from local groups, including non-bus users. This will help them find out what changes are needed make the bus more attractive and convenient.
”Posters will be placed on all buses asking passengers to volunteer to join this advisory group and leaflets will be delivered to all households throughout Timaru with a free feedback form on which residents can forward their suggestions,” says Mr Henderson.
There is a growing demand for bus usage in Timaru and patronage grew by an impressive 20% in October 2008, building on a strong trend throughout 2008. However, patronage declined significantly from 2002-2007 so the councils want to ensure the services are meeting the needs of the community.
ECan South Canterbury councillor Mark Oldfield is also supporting the strategy and advisory group.
“I encourage Timaru residents to participate in this process to improve and maintain the bus services for our community,” says Cr Oldfield.