The bus service will be piloted by Young Community Transport for a period of twelve months. At the completion of the 12 months if the service has not been supported by the communities involved it will cease to exist. If patronage is very good it will increase the likelihood of attracting further funding to keep it running into the future.
This project is the culmination of several years of lobbying by both Young and Boorowa Councils and the Southern Slopes Transport Working Group along with the support of Transport for NSW Regional Transport Co-ordinator Alex Codina and will provide residents living in Young, Boorowa, Yass and smaller villages along the corridor, regular access to Canberra which has not been available since the cancellation of the Fearnes Grasshoper service to Canberra and Sydney many years ago.
Community Transport Connect has come to fruition with funding from The "NSW Office for Ageing" ( Family and Community Services, Ageing Disability and Home Care) and Transport for NSW. It is a Healthy Ageing project and is focused on the physically well aged people not reliant on community care. Murrumbidgee Local Health Area has supported the project with the loan of a vehicle for the duration of the 12 month pilot and Young , Boorowa and Yass Community Transport Services are committed to working closely together to enhance the likely success of the project.
The project will target people who are transport disadvantaged, including people unable to drive due to advanced age, distance, health reasons or socioeconomic disadvantage such as retirees on a limited income, younger persons attending education facilities and those without any form of transport of their own, it will focus on increasing independence and enhancing existing transport networks to address access issues across the region.
During community consultations in these communities, transport to and from Canberra has been raised as a major issue. The only form of inter-regional public transport is the Countrylink Service and current timetables require people to book overnight accommodation in Canberra to attend appointments. For people on limited incomes or pensions the cost of accommodation can be prohibitive.
The bus service will provide access to the three major hospitals in Canberra, the Jolimont Interchange in Canberra City to provide connections to bus, train and taxi services, and the Airport and provide a five hour window of time in Canberra before the return trip.
Current plans are for the project to commence on 8 October 2012 but this will be dependent on finalisation of funding legalities over the next few weeks. Young Community Transport is planning two Public Information sessions in Young and Boorowa to launch the project and let the community know exactly how it will be running. The dates for these meetings will be the 18September at the Marie McCormick Community Centre in Young and 20September at the Ex Services Club Pudman St in Boorowa. Both sessions will commence at 2pm and all interested community members, service providers and health agencies are invited to attend.
For further information please contact Young Community Transport on 63821518.