Free weekend buses become a reality for Noosa on Saturday as council kicks off a 12-month trial that will see free weekend travel on all existing Translink services operating within Noosa.
Mayor Clare Stewart said the trial is an extension of council’s popular Go Noosa Free Holiday Bus program which operates during the Christmas and Easter holidays.
“We know from the free holiday buses that providing free travel increases the use of public transport,” Cr Stewart said.
“It delivers a significant incentive for residents and visitors to use public transport.
“This has prompted council to offer the free buses every weekend of the year.
“We want to help more people trying to get in to busy locations like Hastings Street, where we know finding a park can be difficult, especially on weekends and during the upcoming Noosa Parade upgrade,” Cr Stewart said.
“For staff working in key precincts on the weekend, it will help them avoid the need to drive, plus save them time and money.”
The free weekend services also offer residents and visitors a unique way to experience the hinterland and popular day-trip attractions such as the Cooroy Butter Factory, Mt Cooroora (Pomona), Noosa Trail Network and a range of local markets, eateries and shops.
This initiative is another step towards council achieving its transport vision of an efficient, free flowing, innovative transport system that enhances resident and visitor experiences, and results in sustainable environmental outcomes.
“With the introduction of free weekend buses, along with the existing Free Holiday Buses, means that free public transport is available in Noosa for approximately 145 days of the year,” Mayor Stewart said.
“That is a significant amount of free travel we are now offering, and we hope to really change the long-term behaviour of travellers, making it second nature to get on a bus to get around.”
The trial includes existing Translink services 626, 627, 628, 629 and 632 covering Tewantin, Sunshine Beach, Sunrise Beach, Noosa Heads, Parklands, Noosa Junction, Noosaville, Cooran, Cooroy and Pomona.
Routes 620, 630 and 631 travel outside of the Noosa Shire Council area and are not included in the free service.
Council will fund the trial under the existing Transport Levy.
“The success of the trial will depend on the uptake and patronage of the weekend buses, so I encourage everyone to get out of their cars and on to the free buses to take full advantage of the trial,” Cr Stewart said.
Download the MyTranslink app, visit Translink.com.au or call 13 12 30.