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5 Years of Community Service - Town bus celebrates milestone
Tennant Creek Transport has reached a significant milestone with the Town Service (or Four Dollar Bus as the locals calls it) being in continuous operation for the past 5 years.
Transport Planner David Denmark, back in town for the celebrations, said that the service is the first of its kind in Australia. David came to Tennant Creek in 2012 to work with NTCOSS, local people and agencies to find ways of providing better mobility for residents who do not have ready access to private transport. One of the features of the service is the long-standing contribution of local people particularly Georgina Bracken, Meg McGrath, Ray Willis and Tony Miles who have served on the Tennant Creek Transport Board for most of that time and Prospect NT our longstanding sponsor.
Georgina Bracken, who is the current Coordinator of the service, said that Town Bus, which commenced in July 2014, has never been so popular with locals. The service which is subsidised by the Territory Government as a flexible bus, services the community living areas and other parts of the town enabling residents to get to the IGA Supermarket, the Hospital and other places in the centre of town.
Over the years Tennant Creek Transport has grown and now operates a licenced Minibus service complementing the Town Service.
“This service is wheelchair accessible and allows NDIS participants and frail older people to get around town independently. The service is also available to the general public and last year service carried over 8,000 passengers” Ms Bracken said. There is also a Charter service allowing local organisations to take groups of people to events and assisting workers to get to industrial sites around the region.
Recently Tennant Creek Transport received more good news when it was announced that the group would receive a subsidy from the Territory Government’s Remote Transport Program to enable people to get to and from the Greyhound bus which arrives and departs in the middle of the night. The service, to be called “Greyhound Connect” will operate for two hours a night between 1.00 a.m. and 3.10 a.m. so people can get to the Greyhound Bus Terminal to catch the bus and to take arriving passengers home.
The service operates a fleet of three buses, two of which are wheelchair accessible. Very soon the fleet will be augmented by another wheelchair accessible bus which will operate on the Town Service and the Greyhound Connect service.
“This is a great example of a working social enterprise where money generated by the services is reinvested in new or improved services” David Denmark explained. “At the end of the day the service runs so well because of the commitment of the people involved including the committee members, the drivers Bill, Atama and Jackie, and a very special Coordinator” he added.
Door to Door minibus service starts in Tennant Creek
Tennant Creek Transport has announced the commencement of a door-to-door minibus service to start on the 20th of March.
"Ever since we started the town service there have been some people who would prefer a service that takes them directly to their destination." said service Convenor Georgina Bracken, "Well this is the service for them".
Service planner David Denmark explained that the service would also be a boon to many people with disabilities who also have difficulty getting to the town service bus stops. "The bus we use is wheelchair accessible and can pick people up at their homes and take them right to the door of their destination", he explained.
NDIS participants can also use the service and have the cost billed against their NDIS budget. The service also offers a 50% discount for people who are registered members of the Taxi Subsidy Scheme.
The service will run initially from 9 am to 3 pm (earlier for those catching the morning flight to Alice Springs) Monday to Friday. To make a booking call 0467 335 400.
Town Bus Service starts in Tennant Creek
Tennant Creek residents are now enjoying a new bus service which is running five days a week throughout the town. The service is the first of its kind in Tennant Creek and started just as the town’s only taxi suspended its operations.
Two years ago a report published by NTCOSS highlighted the problems some Tennant Creek residents have in getting around town and accessing essential services such as shopping, the hospital and other services in the centre of town.
In response a bunch of dedicated residents formed a non-profit transport group Tennant Creek Transport (TCT).
The group spent nearly two years trying to set up a bus service assisted by a grant from the Centrecorp Foundation and support from local agencies and Tennant Creek Advisory Board. Earlier this year TCT engaged a transport worker, Charlie Richardson, to apply for approval to run a public bus service and to find and train some drivers. Charlie finished his work in July having set up the town’s first bus service.
The work was then taken over by the two new drivers who have achieved endorsement by the NT Department of Transport and a very hard working committee. Lead by Convenor Georgina Bracken, the group continues to manage the day to day tasks involved in running a bus service. The service uses a bus loaned to TCT by Barkly Arts.
The bus service is open to any member of the public, and its route is designed to make it easy and convenient for people living in the Town Living Areas to get to Tennant Creek’s only supermarket, to Centrelink, to the hospital and Anyginginyi Health Clinic and to other services in the main street. The service also helps to people keep in touch with and visit relatives and friends living at the opposite end of town.
The service has now been in operation for 10 weeks and runs once an hour 5 hours a day, Monday to Friday. Tickets can be bought on board ($4 and $2 for children) or pre-purchased from the Food Barn.
If you want to catch the bus obtain a timetable from the Food Barn or from local community agencies. You can also ring the driver on 0455 033 506.
Look out for the purple bus and jump on board!
Transport Development Worker engaged for Tennant Creek
Plans for a new minibus service for residents of Tennant Creek received a boost this week with the arrival of a project officer to kick-start the process. The Tennant Creek Transport committee has appointed Charlie Richardson to guide the establishment of the service through the next few months.
Committee members welcomed Charlie to Tennant Creek earlier in the month and showed him around and introduced him to community organisations and members. "I've had ten years of running community transport services in NSW but I have a lot to learn about running a service in an area like Tennant Creek, so I hope that local will be patient and give the project their support," said Charlie.
A town mini-bus service should be up and running in a couple of months. One of the aims of the service is to provide a flexible service that can transport people from the town living areas and provide them with access to the shops, services and other transport links.
"Transport is the link between where we live and everything that we do," Charlie said, " A lot of people, especially people with disabilities, older people and people with young kids really struggle to get to the shops and back with their purchases. I am sure it is even harder in the height of summer".
There are a number of hurdles to get across before the service can start and people's input into how the service should run, what fares might be charged and who it will best serve will be important. Charlie and members of the committee met shoppers outside the Food Barn in mid-March to ask what sort of service would suit them.
The project has been funded by the Centrecorp Foundation in Alice Springs.
The committee in charge of the service is dedicated but small and so needs more new members. If you would like to see the service succeed, call Charlie on 0402 913 368 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Based on article in Tennant Creek Times
Annual General Meeting of Tennant Creek Transport Inc. to be held in April 2014
The Annual General Meeting of Tennant Creek Transport Inc. is to be held on the 29th of April at 4 p.m in the Barkly Electoral Office.
People who are interested in applying to become members are welcome to attend. Click on this link for an application form.
At the AGM a report on our activities since we started will be presented and a new Committee of Management will be elected.