The Andrews Labor Government is lowering bus fares for locals in Heathcote and Junortoun, expanding coverage to five return services each weekday and introducing weekend buses for the first time.
Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan today announced the new seven day-a-week service will start in September, making it easier for locals to get where they need to go.
More regular and additional services will be delivered throughout the week, allowing passengers to catch one of five buses to and from Bendigo each week day.
On Saturdays and Sundays, three return buses will encourage more people to enjoy the popular O’Keefe Rail Trail and boost access to the region.
Following community consultation earlier this year, buses will travel between Heathcote and Bendigo via McIvor Forest Drive, Strath Village Shopping Centre and La Trobe University.
The new route will deliver transport services to a growing pocket of Junortoun for the first time, and will reduce the need for passengers to change buses to get to key health, shopping and education hubs.
Community feedback has also seen timetables adjusted for bus times suitable for Heathcote residents working in Bendigo, such as those accessing special education services and medical appointments at the hospital.
From 23 September, the existing Route 63 from La Trobe University to Bendigo Station will be extended to Bendigo Hospital, providing a service every half hour on weekdays between the station and hospital.
Some Route 71 services will also be extended to Junortoun to improve transport connections between Strathfieldsaye and Junortoun.
A full fare return trip from Heathcote to Bendigo will be halved from $20.60 to $10.80, while concession fares will drop from $10.30 to $5.40 return.
Passengers catching buses to Bendigo from Heathcote, Knowsley, Axedale, Longlea and Junortoun will all benefit from these fare reductions.
Travel information will be available one month before the new services begin at ptv.vic.gov.au.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan
“We’re making bus trips between Heathcote and Bendigo more frequent, delivering more services and making it easier for people to get around.”
“These changes will put more money in the pockets of hard working families and help connect a growing pocket of Junortoun for the first time.”
Quote attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes
“Locals told us introducing Saturday services was a great start, so we’re building on that by extending them all weekend.”