On-demand bus service in Sutherland Shire to end on November 17

The state government has axed Sutherland Shire's on-demand buses, which were said to be "life changing" for many older and isolated residents.

The decision was announced on Melbourne Cup Day, a traditional time for governments to release bad news while attention is focused on "the race that stops the nation".

Transport for NSW said in a statement the shire service would end on November 17.

The transport authority planned to end the service in June this year, but Transport Minister Andrew Constance intervened and a reprieve was given, with a final decision to be made in November.

The service, which was initially to be a six months' trial, started in October 2017, but was extended because of apparent success.

Operator Transdev said after the initial response the service had been "life changing" for some people, particularly the elderly.

In January this year, state MPs joined in announcing the four zones in the shire had been converted into one, with coverage extended to more suburbs.

A Transport for NSW spokesman said on Tuesday, "The trial was conducted in parallel with existing services and was designed to complement the existing transport network".

"It's important that these trials are conducted to help us learn more about the needs of customers and how they travel during the first and last mile of their journey," he said.

"The Sutherland Shire On Demand service has been testing flexible and easy ways for customers to connect to other public transport and essential services such as shops and medical appointments and we have learned a great deal after operating for the maximum pilot term of 24 months.

"Transport for NSW will use the learnings from this, and other pilots, to look at different ways in which we can make it easier for our customers to get around on public transport."

The spokesman said Transdev Link would cease operations from 2pm on November 17 and customers could plan ahead at transportnsw.info

Existing bus services will continue to operate in the area covered by on-demand buses.

Key bus routes include:

  • Route 477 Miranda to Rockdale via Taren Point.
  • Routes 961/962 Miranda to Barden Ridge and East Hills via Sutherland and Menai.
  • Routes 970/971 South Cronulla and Miranda to Hurstville via Sylvania.