Public transport operator Surfside Buslines, which currently runs 53 services under contract to the Queensland government under the TransLink banner, has been selected to provide Gold Coast locals with pre-booked on demand services as part of a two year trial.
The on demand transport trial services will be integrated with the TransLink network, meaning that customers will be able to transfer to buses, trains and trams using the existing electronic ticketing system.
“I committed to delivering more accessible transport options to the northern Gold Coast suburbs, and today we are one step closer to making that a reality,” local member for Gaven Meaghan Scanlon Scanlon said.
“Surfside bring a wealth of experience as a public transport operator and as part of a network that also provides similar on demand transport trials in New Zealand.”
The company has been contracted for a two-year trial period, using fully-accessible Hino Poncho minibuses.
The trial will begin next year for locals within Nerang (West), Highland Park and the Pacific Pines suburbs and will connect them with other public transport options, essential services and shopping precincts.
Ms Scanlon said on demand transport aimed to bring together small groups of people wanting to travel at the same time, picking them up near their homes and taking them to selected locations within the trial areas.
People in the trial areas will be able to travel to train stations, town centres and shopping malls.
“On demand transport will help to fill the gap between regular bus services and more personalised services such as those offered by taxis or booked hire services,” Ms Scanlon said
Making public transport flexible and responsive
Matthew Campbell, Executive General Manager for Surfside Operator Kinetic, said Surfside was excited to expand its offering in the region.
“The geography of the Gold Coast is diverse and so are the travel needs, and it’s important that through our partnership with TransLink we continue to offer public transport options that are responsive to customer feedback and travel behaviours,” he said in a statement.
“As cities become increasingly intelligent and public transport users seek flexibility, demand responsive travel has an important role to play in the region’s broader public transport system and this is something we have experienced in other cities where we have operated similar trials.”
Customers will also be able to book services through a range of options including the Translink On Demand app, which will let customers pre-book and manage their bookings easily, track where their service is and receive real-time notifications.