After tomorrow, the last bus on six of Geelong’s bus routes will leave the city centre before sunset on six days a week.
Spokesman for the Public Transport Users Association’s Geelong branch, Tim Petersen, said these six bus routes will join five others that the sun has already overtaken.
When daylight saving starts on Sunday, the sun will begin to set just before 8pm. From Monday to Thursday, the last buses from the city on the East Geelong, Belmont, Drysdale, Ocean Grove and Queenscliff routes will leave at around 7:20 pm, almost 40 minutes before sunset.
“On Saturdays and Sundays, the last buses on these routes leave the city even earlier. Only on Friday will the majority of services ‘stay up’ past sunset, but even then, most run until only 9pm,” Mr Petersen said. “No service will run after sunset on seven days a week.”
“Proper public transport systems start running before 6am and keep running until midnight seven days a week. Even in the 1930s, when Geelong was regarded as Sleepy Hollow, our trams ran until midnight.”
“The fact that our buses now fail to keep running even during daylight hours is outrageous. With high petrol prices and concern over global warming, it’s high time our public transport was brought up to useable standards.”
With the State Election approaching, the PTUA has been supported by over 1000 people who signed a petition calling on the major parties to upgrade the appalling level of bus services in the region. Mr Petersen said such poor services made it impossible for Geelong residents or visitors to rely on public transport to serve their travel needs.
“People don’t go to bed when the sun goes down. Hospitality workers, shift workers and even people going out to the most popular movie sessions are left stranded by our sub-standard services,” Mr Petersen concluded.
Other last buses (Monday-Thursday) that the sun has already overtaken:
Route 12 Lara – last bus from city departs 5:10pm. (Sunset overtakes in late June)
Route 55 Newcomb – 6:10pm (mid-September)
Routes 35/36 Newtown – 6:25pm (early October)
Routes 40-43, 49 Rollins Rd via West Geelong – 6:35pm (mid-October)
Routes 50-51 Hamlyn Height Herne Hill – 6:40pm (mid-October)
Other last buses (Monday-Thursday) that the sun will overtake:
Torquay Route – last bus from city departs 8:10pm (Sunset overtakes in mid-November)
Route 30 Thompson Rd/Corio – 8:15pm (mid-November)
Routes 62,64,67 Breakwater/Whittington – 8:36pm (early December)
Routes 16 Deakin Uni/Waurn Ponds – 8:41pm (mid-December)
Media coverage of this story: Geelong Advertiser, 30/10/2006: Commuters ‘left in the dark’