A PROPOSED revamp of Warrnambool’s bus network to allow workers to use public transport instead of their cars has become a city council election issue.
The upgrade depends on state government allocating an extra $1 million a year in subsidies and mayor Jacinta Ermacora is calling for the next council to push the issue.
Cr Ermacora, seeking a third term on council, said a better bus system would have major benefits for residents and reduce reliance on cars.
“I believe council should take a lead in advocating for good services for residents living in our suburbs,” she said. “Current arrangements do not meet the needs of workers, with services focused on transporting children to school.”
Warrnambool Bus Lines lodged a submission with the government in 2008 seeking extra subsidies to bring in new buses to ferry workers from Warrnambool and district.
Bus lines publicity manager Brenda Hampson said there was no extra capacity to cater for a workers’ pick-up.
“Our buses are locked into doing school routes,” she said.
Cr Ermacora said a revamp would have capacity for 500 people to travel to the CBD or Gateway Plaza for work.
“Even if only 200 people use the service that would mean 200 less cars on the road and 200 all-day car parks available to others,” she said.