Council’s Free Holiday Buses have proven a hit this summer, with more than 200,000 passengers climbing aboard as part of the Go Noosa initiative.
Numbers for the 11-day period from December 26 to January 5 reached 64,506 – almost 20,000 more than during the same period last year.
Mayor Tony Wellington said the positive response to the service, which this time ran for six weeks instead of 11 days, was encouraging.
“We’re tallying the final numbers, but it’s clear that a great many people enjoyed the free bus service, and by doing so helped to reduce traffic and parking demand,” he said.
“Survey results have shown that nine out of 10 people who caught the free buses said they were satisfied or highly satisfied with the service,” Cr Wellington said.
The six-week free holiday bus service was a part of the Go Noosa travel and transport trials aimed at reducing holiday parking and traffic congestion around Noosa Heads.
The Hastings Street Association’s Jan Sinclair said the organisation welcomed the Go Noosa trials, including the extended free bus services.
“While we’ve yet to seek formal feedback from traders, it’s fair to say the word on the street has generally been positive,” she said.
Around 70% of respondents found the car parking and bus signage around Noosa Junction helpful and easy to follow, with the majority naming the Junction as their preferred Park-and-Ride point.
Noosa Junction Traders Association President Michael Tozer said his Association supported park-and-ride and free bus initiatives, as the precinct benefited by way of greater exposure.
More than 1000 people logged on to the Go Noosa App website to check real-time parking availability information. Around 69% of survey respondents said they would have made their trip by car if the buses were not free.
Go Noosa is a partnership between Council, Translink, Sunbus and Noosa News. It was supported by Zero Emissions Noosa, the Hastings Street Association, Noosa Junction Traders Association, Tourism Noosa, Noosa Residents and Ratepayers Association and other stakeholders.
Council will consider a report on the Christmas transport trials in February. To provide feedback on the Go Noosa trials, visit www.noosa.qld.gov.au/go-noosa