Wollongong City Council needs to improve bus shelters in the southern suburbs, according to the Greens candidate in this Saturday’s Ward 3 byelection.
But council has already put measures in play to deal with that, including an investigation of every bus stop in the Wollongong Local Government Area.
“I am repeatedly being told by voters that if the weather is too hot, too wet or too windy, the idea of waiting at a bus stop can be very off-putting,” Mr Dixon said.
“On winter mornings, passengers have had buses go past without stopping, because there is no lighting, and they cannot easily be seen by the driver.”
Mr Dixon felt council needed to step up and deal with the issue, which would also help improve public transport in the area.
“Surely it is one of Council’s most basic duties to facilitate both of these goals – by making the bus an attractive and viable all-weather option, it gives every member of the community a reason to leave the car at home, and shop locally,” Mr Dixon said.
However, council has already launched a review of the bus stops in the entire LGA.
Council has put out a tender to review all 1485 bus stops in the LGA to check whether they comply with the requirements of the Australian Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport.
Those that did not comply would be considered for inclusion in council infrastructure delivery program.
Mr Dixon also felt improving bus stops would be the first step in getting better bus routes in the southern suburbs.
“Navigating between the shopping centres in the Ward 3 area using public transport is unnecessarily time-consuming,” Mr Dixon said.
“The routes seem to be designed around the needs of the bus operators, rather than the needs of the user.”
A Transport for NSW spokesman pointed out that, since 2011 two new bus routes – No 32 Dapto-Brooks Reach and No 41 Dapto to UOW – had been created.
Additionally, “service enhancements had been made to routes 31, 33 and 34.
“Bus services are planned using Opal data and feedback from stakeholders, including customers, councils and operators,” the spokesman said.
“It is important to work closely with operators and local road authorities to ensure that any proposed route covers as many customers as possible, while ensuring the safe and efficient operation of a bus.
“For example, sometimes physical constraints may prevent a service from driving along a street.”