A new bus service is being trialled to connect isolated communities in the NSW Central West and NSW South West Slopes with essential services in the ACT, with stops including Civic, Canberra Railway Station and Canberra Hospital.
The weekly service, which launched on Friday, June 26, is offering residents improved connectivity and more travel choices.
The return service is set to run from Wyangala – home of popular summer playground Wyangala Dam – from 7:30 am each Friday.
It will stop at the small communities of Darbys Falls, Cowra, Koorawatha, Bendick Murrell, Murringo and Boorowa before heading to Canberra, arriving at Civic at around 10:55 am, Canberra Railway station at 11:05 am and Canberra Hospital at 11:20 am.
The return service will depart Canberra Hospital at 2:30 pm, following the same route to reach Wyangala at around 6.20 pm.
A similar bus service will also operate from Tumut to Wagga Wagga each Wednesday.
This bus services will depart Tumut at 8:00 am, with stops at Adelong, Grahamstown, Tarcutta and Ladysmith, before arriving at Wagga Wagga Station at 10:00 am, Wagga Wagga Base Hospital at 10:04 am and Wagga Wagga Marketplace at 10:15 am.
The return trip will follow the same route with the first departure stop at Wagga Wagga Marketplace at 2:25 pm and the final stop at Tumut at 6:40 pm.
An existing Wagga Wagga to Canberra service operates five days a week.
All services are a NSW Government initiative.
Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said the Wyangala-to-Canberra service, operated by LiveBetter community services, will be a game-changer in the way locals are able to move around, making it easier to get to important medical appointments, buy groceries and stay connected to family and friends in outlying towns.
“We are so excited to welcome this service because it will give our more isolated communities greater access and connection to vital services in larger centres,” said Ms Cooke.
NSW Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said the NSW Government had awarded contracts to six local transport operators to connect isolated communities with major regional and city centres.
“These trials deliver on our election commitment to provide better transport connections for small communities such as Tumut, Conargo, Ashford, Boorowa and Trunkey Creek,” he said.
“For some of these communities, this is the first time they’ve had access to a public transport service and it will really change the way many people move around the regions.”
Transport for NSW will monitor feedback throughout the six-month trial, and communicate with the community on any changes.
These services will bring the total number of trials under the initiative to 13 across the state.
Timetables can be viewed at the Transport for NSW website. Bookings need to be made directly with the operators.
Concession fares are available, including a $2.50 RED ticket.