Transport for NSW is calling on local residents in Wagga Wagga to help shape the state’s first ‘Bikes on Buses in the Bush’ trial.
The trial will see bike racks fitted to buses on select routes, allowing better connectivity and transition between transport modes and boost access and connectivity across the regional city.
Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said that it is exciting for the City of Wagga Wagga to be involved in the first of what will hopefully be many trials across other regional cities.
“The NSW Government is committed to boosting its public transport offering to help build upon our vision for a safer, stronger regional NSW.
“We want to get this trial right, so we’re seeking feedback from the community, including customers who catch the popular route 960 bus, Wagga Wagga City Council, bike user groups and Charles Sturt University on whether there is an appetite for the service and how best to roll it out,” Minister Toole said.
Bike racks on buses is not a new concept and is commonly seen across Europe, Canada, the US and South America.
Closer to home, bike racks on buses have been in operation in Canberra since 2005. Over 90% of Transport Canberra buses are equipped with bike racks. Each bike rack can hold two bikes (two-wheels, single-seat) and each bike can be loaded or unloaded without affecting the other.
Bike racks on buses have also been trialled in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria with strong support from local councils.
Bike racks on buses enable cycling and public transport to complement each other, increasing the flexibility and reach of both. They are also well suited to lower density cities with good bike riding facilities.
Member of the Legislative Council Wes Fang called on locals to make submissions to help better connect those travelling to work, university or even to and from the many parks and cycleways on offer in the city.
“It’s great Wagga was chosen as the first trial location because it builds upon the 240 extra bus services we received in March last year as part of the 16 Cities Regional Growth Buses Program, and the 45-kilometre shared path that Wagga City Council is delivering across the city,” Mr Fang said.
The Bikes on Buses in the Bush trial will roll out in the coming months, after all feedback has been considered, and run for about eight weeks. If proven successful, further trials will be rolled out across other regional centres.
Customers can have their say throughout the month of March via an online survey.
Image: Boston US, 2015.