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Metro believes that relocating Launceston’s CBD bus interchange away from their current position in St
Johns St would be detrimental to bus patrons and may hurt city businesses.
The vast majority of Metro’s service runs for routes from the city to the surrounding suburbs currently
commence or terminate at the St John St interchange.
Each year we have more than 470,000 boardings on services from the CBD interchange by commuters,
students, shoppers, people coming to the city to access health and other services and visitors.
Our concern is that proposals to relocate the bus interchange away from the CBD, as floated by the
Launceston City Council at the CityProm Members event last week, could make bus travel less
convenient and may deter people from travelling into the city on buses.
Among the options floated include retaining the current bus stop and interchange with some relatively
minor changes, relocating those services to the Cimitiere Street Transit Centre, making St John Street
one-way and locating bus stops and shelters in the centre of the street to remove congestion from
footpaths or moving services to some other transit centre location.
Crucial to any decision will be to understand what bus patrons, businesses and the Launceston
community actually want, so we agree that broad consultation should be a key element of the City Heart
Project and encourage bus passengers and others to make their views known to the Council.
Mass public transport provides many social, economic and environmental benefits. Public transport
helps address social exclusion by making transport to services more accessible. It reduces traffic
congestion and pollution and businesses benefit from the number of people who start or finish their
journeys in the city.
One of Metro’s key goals is to increase bus patronage. We aim to achieve that by making bus travel
more convenient and a better experience through initiatives like the introduction of Greencard, and
Journey Planner, the progressive replacement of old buses with modern, low emission and wheelchair
accessible buses and security cameras to improve passenger safety.
We’re also reviewing routes across the state with the aim of speeding up travelling times and improving
the reliability of published bus service times. Metro knows from its own surveys of bus patrons that as well as bus fares, convenience and regularity
of services are also major factors in people’s choices of whether to use a car or take a bus.
Imagine the traffic and parking problems that would arise if many people, instead of travelling on buses,
chose to come into the city by car.
Or, instead of going into the city at all, decided to go elsewhere to shop.
We are currently working with Launceston City Council and CityProm on a Bus Interchange Review group
and are more than happy to continue to work with them and the Department if Infrastructure, Energy
and Resources to find ways to improve facilities and services in Launceston’s CBD.
However, Metro’s strong preference is to retain the current interchange but to improve the service for
passengers and the amenity for adjacent businesses and pedestrians.