'On Demand' public transport trial at Woy Woy in 2018 to inform state roll-out

Picture: Paul Harris
Picture: Paul Harris

On Demand public transport will be trialed on the Central Coast next year, using a combination of taxis, hire cars and community transport vehicles to collect passengers who book a journey.

Data from the trial, on the Woy Woy peninsula, will be used to inform future public transport improvements across the state’s transport network.

The trial will operate in five geographical pick-up zones covering more than 60 pick-up points including people’s homes, and bus stops.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast, Scot MacDonald, said On Demand transport would change the way people used public transport.

“In a first for NSW, On Demand public transport services will begin to arrive where and when people need them,” Mr MacDonald said.

“We know people want to manage their own time and become less reliant on timetables. On Demand public transport will allow people to book a vehicle to pick them up from home or a convenient nearby location like a bus stop. They will receive a booking confirmation and an estimated pick-up and drop-off time at their chosen transport hub.”

The new service will also connect customers with existing transport hubs and Woy Woy train station.

“The aim of this new public transport service is get you to and from Woy Woy rail station with ample time to make it to Sydney or the chosen destination, and it will be there to pick you up from the station on your way back,” Mr MacDonald said.

The trial was welcomed today by Central Coast Council.

“This announcement recognises there are obstacles our residents encounter in order to use the public transport on offer,” council administrator Ian Reynolds said.

“This trial will help our Peninsula community to reach their public transport hub destination quickly and easily, without the worry of getting a commuter car park spot.

“If the trial is successful, we could see multi-car families go to single vehicles, saving costs and having a great alternative to the other options potentially available such as walking and cycling to the station.”  

Mr MacDonald said it was good news for the Central Coast to be one of the first areas to experience the new service.

Community Transport Central Coast, the private providers chosen to run the Central Coast pilot, said that the CoastConnect On Demand pilot project would bring social, economic and environmental benefits to the Woy Woy peninsula.

“We expect that some families will gain back time in the morning by not having to run a family member to the train station,” CEO of Community Transport Central Coast, David Murry, said.

“It will also reduce costs for other families if they don’t have to make trips to the station in the family car or the dedicated car they use just for getting to the station.”

Fares for the Woy Woy peninsula CoastConnect pilot will be set at a standard rate of $3.10 for trips of less than 3kms, and $4.10 for trips greater than 3kms for a one-way journey.

Half price fares will also be available for concession card holders, including pensioners, seniors, students and apprentices.

The On Demand services will begin in early 2018 and will operate Monday to Friday during the peak times of 5am to 7.30am, and 5.30pm to 7.30pm.