Low patronage drives Council to discontinue Loop Bus service

Willoughby City

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Ongoing low patronage over successive years has prompted Willoughby City Council to decide to discontinue its Loop Bus services from 30 June 2022.

A review of the service found that the 22-seat Loop Bus servicing the Artarmon industrial area had, in April 2022, an average of just three passengers per trip. A separate Loop Bus service linking the Chatswood CBD with various local centres had, also in April 2022, less than two passengers per trip.

Council has decided such low patronage figures make the service unviable, and cessation of the service will deliver the Council an annual saving of $345,000.

The Council made the decision following a review which has sought to identify loss-making and under-utilised services provided by the Council which can best be delivered by other organisations.

Council is working with the bus operator and providing information to passengers to transition to alternative transport options.

Savings from the cessation of the Loop Bus service will assist the Council’s budget position and overall service delivery, particularly as it seeks to recover from a range of financial challenges including COVID-19, inflation and higher supply chain costs.

Willoughby Mayor Tanya Taylor expressed her support for her team in making difficult decisions that demonstrated the Council’s commitment to accountability and effectiveness in serving the needs and expectations of the community.

“Our decision on the Loop Bus service has not been an easy one, but represents a prudent and responsible decision which is in the best interests of our residents and ratepayers” Mayor Taylor said.

“It’s clear that the Loop Bus has not met its targeted patronage numbers, with figures showing low patronage even before to the Covid pandemic. Council is listening to the community and investing wisely to ensure the wider community sees return for any public investment.

“We are working constructively with our contract service provider and supporting the remaining patrons of the bus service to transition to alternative and appropriate transport options,” Mayor Taylor said.

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