Australia: Angry commuters 'misled' over bus services - PressFrom - Australia
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AustraliaAngry commuters 'misled' over bus services

13:26  14 august  2019
13:26  14 august  2019 Source:   9news.com.au

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Angry commuters in Sydney's northwest say they were misled over the cancellation of bus services once the metro began operating.

It's caught out Baulkham Hills MP and Police Minister, David Elliott, in an embarrassing gaffe that's led local councillors to call for him to apologise to his community.

A number of bus services that travelled directly to the City via the M2 were cancelled or modified within weeks of the Metro starting operation. It's led to some commuters being forced to spend more time trying to get to metro stations, or having to hop from one bus service to another to get a direct service into town.

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A young commuter 9News spoke to at Bella Vista metro station this morning used to catch the 607X bus directly into the city after a short walk from her home.

"It used to take me 45 minutes to get into the city. Now it takes me like, it's added an extra 25 minutes to my commute," she said. "The 607, a lot of the community rely on that service. The fact they've canned that, from Kellyville, especially. So, now my dad has to drop me here (Bella Vista) for me to get to work on time. There was no consultation so we could go in and talk about our concerns."

Local Labor candidates made this a key issue in the lead up to the March State election – directly targeting local Liberal MPs.

In February this year, David Elliott hit back, posting on his Facebook page: "For those of you who have been asking about comments by the ALP about my Electorate, here's a "Fact Check": There is no "secret plan" to stop bus services to the city after the Norwest Rail is operating. Why would a private bus company surrender a service that is in demand?"

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Transit Services . Subway. Bus . Bus . CharlieCard or CharlieTicket .00. Commuter Rail One-Way Valid on: Commuter Rail. Commuter Rail. Search for a line. When autocomplete results are available, use up and down arrows to review and enter to select.

And then on March 22, the day before the election, another post: "Baulkham Hills residents can rest assured that there is no "secret plan" to reduce bus services along the M2. Residents who commute from the south side of the new Metro will still require this service."

After the services changed, a number of people replied asking why there was a reduction in bus services.

One local Labor councillor, Ryan Tracey, called for the MP to apologise.

In a leaked email, the staffer writes to his boss: "Clr Tracey is planning on asking you to apologise for the service adjustments in the new timetable after we said there were no secret plans to reduce bus services along the M2. If it comes to it though, we can spin this."

Today the MP said the changes were all part of a normal, annual review of bus timetables.

Angry commuters 'misled' over bus services© AAP Angry commuters 'misled' over bus services "Of course, every time public transport patterns change, people are inconvenienced and that's why I've made repeated representations to the Minister for Transport on behalf of my constituents that have been inconvenienced and that can always be picked up next time there is an annual review, if not before," Mr Elliott told 9News.

"I always said that there would be some changes to the timetables and the routes when Metro came."

But the opposition is having none of it.

Opposition leader, Jodi McKay, attacked the MP saying: "David Elliott needs to explain why he went to the election on a lie. He's obviously now trying to spin his way out of it. But it's his community that has obviously been terribly inconvenienced and feel let down."

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