The ACT Government is to re-introduce an improved, cheaper, late-night Nightrider bus service over the festive season.
This year, the service will be run by ACTION and the ticket price has been reduced to $5.
TAMS Minister Simon Corbell said: “Nightrider will run most Friday and Saturday nights in December, with additional services on New Year’s Eve.
“Fares will decrease to just $5 to encourage people to take the Nightrider home as a safe, convenient option to get home after a low patronage level last year.
“The new Nightrider fare is a direct outcome from the 2010-11 trial where customers were discouraged by the higher $10 fare, which for some people worked out to be more expensive than a shared taxi ride.”
The evaluation of last summer’s extended Nightrider found the service was not cost effective over three months. This year’s Nightrider will run similar to previous years before the three-month trial, with services focussed on helping people get home during the busy festive period.
Departing from Platform 7 at the city bus station, eight Nightrider routes will take passengers home every 90 minutes between 1am and 4.45am with extra services to operate on New Year’s Eve. The Nightrider routes will service suburbs in Belconnen, Gungahlin, inner-north, inner-south, Woden and Tuggeranong, dropping passengers at the bus stop nearest to their home.
“The Nightrider buses serve an important purpose, and the Greens have always been confident they can work well for Canberrans, which is why we originally secured this service with changes to liquor laws,” said Greens transport spokesperson, Amanda Bresnan.
“As well as providing a transport service to late-night revellers, the Nightrider buses are an important tool in addressing alcohol related accidents and violence.”
Bresnan commended the Government for its “willingness to reconsider, to review the evidence from last year’s trial, and to reintroduce the service with improvements”.
“A service like this needs some time to grow and for people to learn that it is available and reliable. It is essential that the Government advertises the service effectively, and that it ensures the service has good coverage and is properly priced,” she said.