The Kinglake Ranges risks losing its only public bus service (route 384, formerly route 365) if the service isn’t used and high school students using the service continually fail to touch on, several Dyson’s Bus Company drivers have told Kinglake Ranges News.
Despite extra services, including Saturday, Sunday and public holidays (including Christmas Day and Good Friday) the bus service is now at risk of being cut by the State Government.
John*, a regular driver of the Whittlesea to Kinglake service told Kinglake Ranges News that “most students fail to touch on.” This could result in the service being reduced or cut entirely when the state government reviews usage data.
“Back in the [paper ticket] day, we had to count all the ticket stubs and write up a report every night before I cleaned the bus… these reports were then submitted to government,” John said.
“Thanks to [the] myki system we don’t have to do that [count tickets] anymore, but the government still uses this data to see the viability and usage of transport services.”
“It’s a real problem as many students fail to touch on … even if the bus is one-third full it appears in usage data that hardly anyone at all is using it.”
“Besides there are simply not enough local residents using the [bus] service.”
Kinglake Ranges News has been interviewing and speaking with drivers for three months, with all stating the same concerns.
Another driver, Peter* stated that “If you don’t use it, you’ll … lose it.”
“I watched last time the Kinglake service was cut how angry the local community became with several nasty emails sent to Dyson’s Bus Company and Public Transport Victoria, with driver’s subject to abuse from locals demanding the service be restored.”
“I know the names of some complainants, in fact I know a few of them, but I’m yet to see any of them on the bus.”
Following questioning, the drivers requested their names not be used but asked Kinglake Ranges News to report on this matter and urged the community to start using the service, with all drivers interviewed stating that ‘Kinglake Ranges residents needed to use the service or you’ll [Kinglake] lose it.’
“Students must ‘touch on and touch off’ or they’ll soon be walking home from Whittlesea.”
*Names have been changed.
Text & Images ©COPYRIGHT 2017 Kinglake Ranges News, with thanks to the Dyson’s Bus Co. drivers for their time and information.
NEWS ISN’T NEWS UNLESS IT’S KINGLAKE RANGES NEWS.