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Thursday, 9 December 1971
Page: 4538

Mr Enderby asked the Minister for the Interior, upon notice:

(1)   In relation to his answer to question No. 4390 (Hansard, 2nd November 1971, page 2888) regarding public transport services in Canberra, how is the majority demand assessed to enable his Department to determine the peak hour services to be provided.

(2)   If no meaningful comparisons can be made with other cities, what standard has been chosen as being appropriate to meet the needs of the people of Canberra and how was this standard selected.

(3)   Can he say whether the people of Canberra are as well provided with public transport as the people living in other Australian capital cities.

(4)   Has a decision ever been made to encourage or permit the transport requirements of Canberra to be satisfied more by private transport than by public transport; if so, when and why was this decision made.

Mr Hunt - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   The majority demand is assessed by passenger counts and reports by inspectors and bus drivers. Requests by the public are also taken into account. Loadings are kept under observation and additional services are provided when required.

The established pattern of peak bour services is varied to meet changes in points of passenger concentration. Before new centres of employment open the likely patronage, based on the estimated number of workers to be engaged, is assessed in order to determine the need for additional peak hour services.

(2)   Arising from the 1967 study of the Canberra bus service the method of operation was modified to meet the needs of the growing city more satisfactorily. The operating of the service was determined having regard to route coverage and directness, road design, bus stop spacing, loading, speed, service frequency and capacity to adhere to timetable.

The service is designed to achieve the following standards:

No residents further than one half mile walking distance from a bus stop. Stops at 2/10ths of a mile intervals (except on express services). Thirty minute service during business hours. Peak hour services to meet demand. Ratio of route length to shortest road distance not to exceed 1.2. In the operation of the service the aims also include the achievement of minimum journey times and avoidance of overloading.

Buses are sold after approximately 10 years or approximately 200,000 miles and the new buses offer high standards of comfort and cleanliness.

(3)   As stated in answer to question No. 4390 (Hansard, 2nd November 1971, page 2888) it is

(1)   and (2) doubtful whether there is any basis on which meaningful comparisons can be made. However, related to demand the service provided in Canberra is considered to be of a satisfactory standard.

(4)   There were privately operated bus services in Canberra until 1926. Tenders were invited for the private operation of the city bus service in 1927 and 1932 but no satisfactory contracts could be arranged. There were no later attempts to engage private operators.

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