Bus pa­tron­age in Bal­larat is boom­ing, with hun­dreds of ex­tra pas­sen­gers ev­ery day fol­low­ing Vic­to­rian Gov­ern­ment in­vest­ment

ABC (Australia) - - CONTENTS -

Bus pa­tron­age in Bal­larat is boom­ing, at­tract­ing hun­dreds of ex­tra pas­sen­gers ev­ery day since the Vic­to­rian Gov­ern­ment de­liv­ered more fre­quent, re­li­able and di­rect ser­vices ear­lier this year.

New data shows an av­er­age of 5768 pas­sen­gers used Bal­larat’s bus net­work ev­ery week­day in Au­gust – up 15.6 per cent from the same time last year.

Bal­larat’s big­ger, bet­ter bus net­work com­menced in Jan­uary, as part of the Vic­to­rian Gov­ern­ment’s $100 mil­lion in­vest­ment in bet­ter bus ser­vices for pas­sen­gers across Vic­to­ria.

Bal­larat pas­sen­gers now have faster and more di­rect ser­vices, with the sim­pler net­work of 15 routes op­er­at­ing more of­ten across week­days and week­ends, giv­ing lo­cals bet­ter con­nec­tions to trains and key des­ti­na­tions.

“Th­ese num­bers show lo­cal pas­sen­gers are get­ting on board with Bal­larat’s big­ger, bet­ter bus net­work,” Vic­to­rian Min­is­ter for Pub­lic Trans­port Jac­inta Al­lan says.

“We’re in­vest­ing in the bus ser­vices and fa­cil­i­ties Bal­larat pas­sen­gers need to get home safer and sooner.”

“Th­ese pos­i­tive re­sults show our in­vest­ment in lo­cal bus ser­vices is work­ing, and we’ll keep mon­i­tor­ing usage to en­sure they con­tinue to meet the needs of pas­sen­gers in Bal­larat,” Mem­ber for Wen­douree Sharon Knight says.

Bet­ter bus fa­cil­i­ties for Bal­larat are also in the pipe­line with con­struc­tion of the new $5 mil­lion bus in­ter­change at the re­vamped Bal­larat Sta­tion Precinct to kick off next year.

The new in­ter­change will bring lo­cal buses even closer to Bal­larat Sta­tion – mak­ing it eas­ier for pas­sen­gers to ac­cess the train sta­tion and Bal­larat CBD.

The re­de­vel­op­ment of the Bal­larat Sta­tion Precinct also in­cludes up­grad­ing the her­itage listed Goods Shed, a new state of the art con­ven­tion and events cen­tre, a Quest Apart­ment Ho­tel, shops, restau­rants and a new pub­lic plaza.

Eigh­teen ex­tra train ser­vices a week were added to the Bal­larat line in Au­gust, giv­ing pas­sen­gers more week­day evening and week­end ser­vices than ever be­fore.

Bal­larat pas­sen­gers will also ben­e­fit from the Vic­to­rian Gov­ern­ment’s $1.6 bil­lion Re­gional Rail Re­vival, in­clud­ing $518 mil­lion for the Bal­larat Line up­grade, which will de­liver more fre­quent and re­li­able ser­vices for Mel­bourne’s outer-west.

Above: Bal­larat is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a boom in bus pa­tron­age fol­low­ing gov­ern­ment in­vest­ment

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