Bus exchange a debacle
A DECISION to close the Stokes St bus exchange and move all transport routes to Stanley St has outraged bus users who are demanding answers.
Passengers are being forced to brave the elements as a result of Townsville’s revamped public transport plan for the new-look CBD.
Pensioner Ron Dutton, 72, has slammed the lack of seating and adequate shade structures to protect passengers from the weather.
company Transit Australia Group has questioned Townsville City Council’s handling of the situation while the council has accused the transport company of trying to pass the buck.
Mr Dutton said something needed to be done.
‘‘ I am absolutely appalled by the way the whole situation has been handled,’’ he said.
‘‘ I have been in Townsville for about 17 years and moved here when there was no real public transport.
‘‘ Over that time I have been able to watch as the public transport system grew to service the community.
‘‘ The way things are going we might as well go back to square one.’’
The Hermit Park resident relies on public transport to pay his rent and access Medicare facilities in the CBD.
Mr Dutton said the changes were working against progress in the city centre.
‘‘ All the buses used to leave from one area that was equipped with proper protection from the sun and rain.’’
‘‘ Now you are just dumped in the middle of nowhere leaving elderly people to fend for themselves. The centre looks wonderful but this type of situation is only going to keep people away from what we are trying to promote.’’
Both parties have refused to take responsibility for issues which affect up to 1800 passengers a week.
Mr Dutton said the situation was a joke.
‘‘ I have tried to call to lodge a complaint.
‘‘ But every time I get a hold of someone they pass me on to another department,’’ he said.
‘‘ I have seen a young lady with a child strapped over her waist who has been forced to stand out in the hot sun because the new shelter only provides seating for about six people at a time.
‘‘ How is that supposed to cater for the amount of people trying to come and go from the city centre?
‘‘ Somebody has to do something because this is just not right and the people of Townsville deserve better.’’