Bus plan backed

Courtesy of Torch Publishing - 17/11/2004

Bus plan backed

torch_17112004_articleLooking forward ┬ácouncillor Karl Saleh with residents in the Riverwood Community Centre’s bus, which could be used within the council’s new community transport brokerage scheme. Photo by Wendy Kimpton.

Elderly and disabled residents received a boost last week with Canterbury City Council’s decision to back community bus services from February next year.

The council withdrew community access to its buses in 1996, going on to sell one and keep the remaining two vehicles for private council use.

They will now allocate $25,000 a year to a new Canterbury Community Transport plan that will also receive a $10,000 start-up grant.

The money will pay for a bew project worker to find buses in the area and to negotiate with the owners for access to them when they are not being used.

Councillor Karl Saleh who proposed the plan said he is glad the motion has become a reality because residents repeatedly contacted him about the need for the service.

“Increasing access to community transport is crucially important to disadvantaged groups in Canterbury Council,” Cr Saleh said.

The plan is called the Canterbury City Bus Brokerage service and will give non-profit agencies and disadvantaged groups better access to community bus services.

It will also give the vehicle owners a way of making extra money out of their buses.

Canterbury Mayor Robert Furolo said the area has one of the highest levels of aged pensioners in NSW, one of the highest rates of disability support pensioners in NSW and an unusually high rate of children aged zero to four-years-old.

“Theis means there;s a critical need to support Community Transport in our City,” councillor Furolo said.

“The program [means]… we can effectively increase the number of buses available for use, without the need to actually buy more buses.”