Keep the Gong Shuttle Free
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For the last five years, around 3.3 million people per year have caught the free Gong Shuttle bus around Wollongong. Operating on Bus Route 55, the Gong Shuttle is a relatively new, yet essential, part of our city's infrastructure. Whether you're a cash-poor uni student who needs to get to class, an urban professional, or simply a tourist looking for a great way to get acquainted with the City of Wollongong, the regular buses have become an ingrained part of life here.
Transport for NSW and the New South Wales State Government want to make this service paid. Standard OPAL fares will apply from 29 January 2018. Transport for NSW argue that this will assist in making the service less crowded and will remove any passengers attempting to shirk on fares by not taking a more appropriate paid route.
But Wollongong needs this service. Issues with a lack of parking are already rife, and making the service paid will not only drive traffic congestion up, it will make travel around Wollongong completely inaccessible to thousands of people. This includes more than 30,000 University of Wollongong students who rely on this service to get to campus and attend classes.
Crowding may be an issue - but this is purely because so many people rely on this service to get around.
Making the Gong Shuttle paid might decrease crowding. It will, however, make getting out and about inaccessible for too many people. And a bus service with no passengers would be much more of a waste of money for Transport for NSW than a free bus could ever be.
Please sign this petition to call on Andrew Constance and Transport for NSW to reverse this decision.
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