The Street Rider Night Bus Service, delivered in partnership between Greater Shepparton City Council and Victoria Police, will cease as a weekly service as of October 27 2019.
The service will instead operate on peak weekends across the calendar year as identified by Victoria Police, Council and late-night venues.
The bus service is a community safety initiative that has been run by volunteers and local businesses since its inception in 2008.
The original aim of the Street Rider was to reduce the incidence of late night altercations, assaults and disorderly behaviour within Shepparton’s Central Business District, helping people get home safely and quickly.
Council and Victoria Police have undertaken a review of the service in the past 12 months, evaluating the utilisation of the night bus service.
The review found a significant decrease in community usage of the service, with this decline continuing despite an increase in promotional activities by Council, Victoria Police, sponsors and venues.
After usage peaked in 2009 and 2010 with 2200 and 2383 rides, the service was used just 721 times in 2019, an average of 15 people per week.
Greater Shepparton City Council Director Community Kaye Thomson said after taking the current volunteers and sponsors into account, the decision was made to suspend regular weekly operation of the bus and replace it with a service delivered during peak weekends.
“Operation of the Street Rider Bus Service will continue during peak times that have an impact on private transport options, such as Land of Plenty festival and Carols By Barrels,” she said.
“During this time Council and Victoria Police will continue to evaluate the Street Rider Night Bus model and explore alternative avenues for late night community safety initiatives to benefit the current and future Greater Shepparton community.”