NSW TrainLink bus service trial shows Tamworth to Newcastle bus service less popular than Dubbo and Port Macquarie

UNDERWHELMING NUMBERS: The NSW TrainLink Tamworth to Newcastle bus service numbers haven't reflected that of community consultation.
UNDERWHELMING NUMBERS: The NSW TrainLink Tamworth to Newcastle bus service numbers haven't reflected that of community consultation.

THE HIGHLY sought after bus between Tamworth and Newcastle is falling short in numbers, averaging just five customers a day.

NSW TrainLink started three, six month trial services in March linking Tamworth with Dubbo, Newcastle and Port Macquarie.

“We have seen customer numbers building for the Tamworth to Dubbo and Tamworth to Port Macquarie services, but patronage on the day return services between Tamworth and Newcastle has not reflected the interest shown by the community during consultation,” a spokesman said.

“NSW TrainLink is keen to ensure these services can be used by as many people as possible and we will be looking at feedback from the community now the services are operating to see where we can fine tune the trials.”

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April figures show the Tamworth to Dubbo twice weekly service is the most popular, with around 30 people jumping aboard.

The Port Macquarie service averages around 10 passengers a ride.

There’s been positive feedback from the community about the new services, but it’s a use it or lose it deal.

“We encourage the community to get on board and help make them a success so they can be operated into the future,” a NSW TrainLink spokesman said.

The services are designed to better connect regional communities, with more access to healthcare providers, businesses, shopping and recreational activities.

Each of the coaches boasts full accessibility with two wheelchair spaces and an on board toilet, while NSW TrainLink continues to operate the existing daily XPLORER train services to Newcastle and Sydney.

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