Changes to Bus Services in Wagga Wagga

Busabout Wagga will operate more than 240 extra bus services in Wagga Wagga from Monday 30 March 2020 in the biggest ever increase to public transport for the major regional centre. This will include new evening services as late as 9pm for most routes on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, Sunday service for the first time between 9am and 5pm as well as more route options and more frequent services.

This increase is part of the NSW Government Regional Growth Program, which is funding increases to bus services in 16 major centres across Regional NSW. Tweed was the first to receive the increase in December 2019, and is now followed by Wagga Wagga.

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Busabout Wagga will operate more than 240 extra bus services from 30 March 2020 – Creative Commons via Wikimedia Commons
CHANGES TO BUSABOUT WAGGA SERVICES
Route 960

Charles Sturt University via Kooringal, Central Wagga and Estella

  • 64 extra weekly services
  • Increased services to operate every hour between Lake Albert and CSU
  • Straightened route now extends to CSU and Estella
  • New Thursday, Friday and Saturday services run until 9pm
  • New Sunday services run from 8am to 6.30pm
  • Route no longer runs via Tatton, TAFE, Railway Street or Red Hill Road between Tamar Drive and Plumpton Road. New Route 969 and improvements to other services provide connections to these areas.
Route 961

Central Wagga to Bourkelands via Mount Austin and Lloyd

  • 41 extra weekly services
  • Adjusted route extends to Lloyd
  • Northbound services into the CBD run via Best Street, connecting at Wagga Courthouse with buses to CSU
  • Thursday, Friday and Saturday services now run until 8.30pm
  • New Sunday services run from 9am to 4.30pm
  • Route no longer runs to Springvale Drive
Route 962

Central Wagga to Glenfield via Ashmont and Turvey Park (counter-clockwise loop)

  • 37 extra weekly services
  • Combined routes 962 and 963 provide services every 30 minutes between Southcity Shopping Centre and the CBD
  • Northbound services into the CBD run via Docker Street and Gurwood Street, connecting at Wagga Courthouse with buses to CSU
  • Thursday, Friday and Saturday services now run until 9pm
  • New Sunday services run from 8am to 5.30pm
Route 963

Central Wagga to Glenfield via Ashmont and Turvey Park (clockwise loop)

  • 47 extra weekly services
  • Together, routes 962 and 963 provide services every 30 minutes between South City Shopping Centre and the CBD
  • Northbound services into the CBD run via Docker Street and Gurwood Street, connecting at Wagga Courthouse with buses to CSU
  • Thursday, Friday and Saturday services now until 8.30pm
  • New Sunday services run from 9am to 4.30pm
Route 964

(discontinued)

  • Adjusted Route 966 replaces Route 964 with buses every two hours, seven days a week, for Estella Rise and areas previously services by Route 964
Route 965

Forest Hills to Wagga via East Wagga

  • 35 extra weekly services
  • New earlier services into the CBD on weekday mornings
  • Thursday, Friday and Saturday services now until 8pm
  • New Sunday services run from 9am to 4pm
Route 966

Central Wagga to Estella Rise via North Wagga and Estella

  • 21 extra weekly services
  • Thursday, Friday and Saturday services now until 9pm
  • New Sunday services run from 8am to 5pm
  • Adjusted Route 966 replaces routes 964 and 968, with buses every two hours, seven days a week, for Estella Rise and areas previously services by Route 964
Route 967

(discontinued)

  • Adjusted Routes 960 and 966 replaces Route 967
Route 968

(discontinued)

  • Adjusted Routes 960 and 966 replaces Route 968
Route 969

Tatton to Wagga via Mount Austin and Turvey Park (Riverina TAFE)

(New route)

  • 140 new direct weekly services between Tatton and the CBD
  • Services stop at TAFE and the Botanic Gardens
  • New Route 969 connects at Lakeside Drive interchange with Route 960 for services to CSU via Kooringal
  • Thursday, Friday and Saturday services run until 8pm
  • Sunday services run from 8am to 5.30pm
  • Morning and afternoon school buses are the only services on this route that run directly between Tatton and Kooringal Mall, and via Railway Street in town
On Demand Bomen service (Route 970)

Suburbs across Wagga to Bomen Business Park

(New trial service)

  • New public transport service to and from Bomen Business Park
  • Runs on weekday mornings and afternoons
  • Offers fixed-schedule services and bookable on-demand options
  • Pick-up and drop-off locations in suburbs across Wagga

COVID-19 and Transport

COVID-19 has thrown up a range of unique challenges for the transport industry. How do operators keep their passengers and operators safe whilst continuing to operate services? Transport for NSW and operators have been working closely with NSW Health to address the challenge of COVID-19 and support the containment efforts.

Across all modes, Transport for NSW has put in place strategies to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

 

Transport for NSW and bus operators have taken steps to reduce driver passenger interactions on buses. This includes blocking off the front seats closest to the driver, closing Opal readers in front of the driver and banning people from standing in front of the wheelchair area. Operators that still accept cash payments have temporarily stopped them, if they also have Opal enabled.

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Image 1 – Matt Tregear; Images 2-3 – Transport NSW Blog Collection

These measures still do leave the driver at risk, however it does reduce the level driver-passenger interactions and therefore the overall level of risk. Due to poor design of Australian buses, we can’t move to block the front door and force passengers on via the rear door like in Europe, as this would fall foul of Australian Disability Accessibility requirements.  Some operators in regional areas don’t have Opal, so they still have to handle cash.

COVID-19 hopefully will be the catalyst to make improvements to our bus services.  All entrances to buses should be fully accessible and all buses in NSW should accept contactless payment, not just buses in Sydney. These are practises that have been standard in Europe for more than a decade.

On light rail operations, doors are now auto opening at all stops. This is instead of passengers having to push a button to open vehicle doors. This stops people unnecessarily touching various surfaces. Across all modes, there is also now additional cleaning. This means that vehicles, stations, stops and wharfs are being cleaned more often and more thoroughly.

COVID-19 has also had the effect of significantly reducing passenger numbers. Usually full buses and trains have been operating empty or with no passengers. Peak hour express services have been particularly effected with people working from home.

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Usually full buses and trains have been operating empty or with few passengers – Transport NSW Blog Collection

There is some suggestion that there may need to be a reduction in services. State Transit has begun reducing the number of services operated by articulated buses. A move to Saturday timetables during the week is also understood to be on the cards. It is simply unsustainable to continue to operate near empty buses for week or potential months.

Here in NSW, transport is largely funded by the state government. There isn’t a high level of reliance on fares to operate services. This is in contrast to places like Queensland or the United States, where transport is often funded at council or county level and are much more reliant on fare collection for continued operations. These areas will likely have a bigger impact on transport from COVID-19.

There is now some suggestion that long distance coach and train services should be suspended. This is because these services see passengers and drivers in enclosed spaces for longer periods of time. This puts these people at higher risk for contracting COVID-19. On the other hand, these services are often vital links for small regional communities. They would likely struggle if their lifelines were cut.

A reduction in aviation has also been seen across new as a result of COVID-19. Most international flights, including all Jetstar, Qantas and Virgin Australia international flights have now been suspended. Domestically, up to 60% of flights have also been suspended.

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All international and a significant number of domestic flights in NSW have now been suspended – Transport NSW Blog Collection

This has led to people stranded overseas, however once again it is regional communities in NSW that are most at risk. REX and QantasLink services to regional NSW are lifelines for many communities, providing freight and trade links. Both of these airlines are reducing flights due to COVID-19, impacting on these communities.

Pandemics like COVID-19 have a significant impact on all aspects of life. Transport, as a shared community experience where people are in close quarters is one area that is particularly impacted. Here at Transport NSW Blog, we intend to keep you up to date with the latest changes due to COVID-19. Stay safe everyone!

 

 

First Insight into South East Light Rail Bus Changes

South-East Bus commuters got a first look at their bus network today, after confidential plans containing the proposal was leaked overnight. These changes are being introduced due to the opening of the CBD and South East Light Rail, in order to reduce service duplication between the tram and the bus network. The proposed changes will begin at some point after the L3 Kingsford Line of the light rail network opens later this month.

Version 3
South-East bus commuters are in for a shake-up of their network from later this year – Transport NSW Blog Collection

It is important to note that this confidential document is a draft document of the changes ONLY and is subject to change. Transport NSW Blog has confirmed the validity of the document with internal sources, which they say is mostly final, but do warn that some changes may occur. Transport NSW Blog has been made aware that an official announcement is to be expected later this week and it is believed that the leak was deliberate leak.

A full list of known changes is listed below;

NEW ROUTES

  • 319 – Maroubra Beach to Bondi Junction via Oberon Street, Randwick Junction and Charing Cross
  • 375 – Coogee Beach to Railway Square via Randwick Junction, Moore Park and Taylor Square
  • 390 – Coogee Beach to La Perouse via Randwick Junction, Kingsford and Maroubra Junction
  • 398 – Clovelly Beach to La Perouse via Coogee Beach, Maroubra Junction and Matraville

CHANGED ROUTES

  • 348 – Wolli Creek to Bondi Junction changed to operate via High Street in both directions
  • 370 – Coogee Beach to Leichhardt changed to operate via High Street in both directions
  • 373 – Coogee Beach to Circular Quay becomes overnight only 373N Coogee Beach to Circular Quay via Taylor Square (11pm – 6am ONLY)
  • 391 – La Perouse to Railway Square becomes La Perouse to Kingsford via Bunnerong Road
  • 392 – Little Bay to Circular Quay becomes Little Bay to Redfern via Bunnerong Road, Kingsford and Green Square
  • 394 – La Perouse to Circular Quay becomes overnight only 394N La Perouse to Circular Quay via Taylor Square (11pm – 6am ONLY)
  • 400 – Bondi Junction to Sydney Airport changed to operate via High Street in both directions
  • All express routes will move to a four digit route number, but will be retained
    • X39 becomes 339X
    • X40 becomes 341X
    • X73 becomes 373X – potential for minor stopping pattern changes
    • X74 becomes 374X
    • X77 becomes 377X – potential for minor stopping pattern changes
    • X92 becomes 392X
    • X93 becomes 393X – potential for minor stopping pattern changes
    • X94 becomes 394X
    • X96 becomes 396X
    • X97 becomes 397X
    • X99 becomes 399X

CANCELLED ROUTES

302, 314, 317, 376, 377, 393, 395, 397, 399, 891, 893, 898, L94, M10 and M50

UNKNOWN ROUTE MODIFICATIONS or NO CHANGE 

At this stage it is unknown if the following routes will have any changes, however that they were included within the scope of the new bus network plan.

303, 307, 313, 316, 338, 339, 343, 353, 357, 372, 374, 396 and 418