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Bus trial to determine feasibility of public transport in Esperance

Esperance residents will soon have access to a public transport service, with a trial of the TransEsperance bus service starting next month.

The 12-month trial will run in partnership with the State Government’s Public Transport Authority and Shire of Esperance, who will split the costs equally.

Shire president Ian Mickel said Esperance residents had been calling for a local bus service “for some time” but the shire had previously been told the town’s population was not large enough to warrant the service.

He said “attitudes have changed” towards a bus trial, which he expected would be welcomed by residents who did not have their own means of transport.

“It’s going to provide a very good opportunity for people who don’t have their own transport; they can’t get around town easily, so I think it’s time to really assist those people,” he said.

“The (Public Transport Authority) have indicated that our population is large enough and that they’ve looked at some possible routes and they can combine it with their school bus service that they provide in Esperance.

“It will be good to get (a permanent bus service) up and going and I hope the trial will say, yep it’ll work, and we’ll have an ongoing service.”

After the trial, the PTA and shire will determine if a permanent bus service is viable.

A commercial operator previously attempted to establish a community bus service in Esperance but closed because of high running costs.

Cr Mickel encouraged Esperance residents who wanted to have a permanent bus service in the town to take part in the trial.

“Once it’s up and going we’ve got to encourage people that might like to have that service to use that service, to give … us good indications of its utilisation and feedback on its value,” he said.

“Hopefully the people of Esperance find it of value to be able to move around like this and we can then get a permanent service in place.”

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