Getting to and from work in the city is about to get even easier with earlier afternoon services added to City Of Newcastle’s Park and Ride service.
The afternoon return bus service will start at 3pm from Monday, 2 July - an hour-and-a-half earlier - and run every 15 minutes until 6.30pm.
Regular Park and Ride user Deputy Lord Mayor Declan Clausen said the extra services were a direct result of community feedback.
“We have more than 1,500 registered users and know that there have been 30,000 passenger trips since the service began in November," the Deputy Lord Mayor said.
"Like me, hundreds of people are using the park and ride instead of driving into the city centre to save our hard earned.
"Following the addition of these earlier services, we anticipate the numbers will grow substantially on six extra buses.
“Having car parking across the city centre filled with all-day parkers is not a great outcome for businesses. And it's time for us as a community to look at how we commute and start changing our habits.
“Our Park and Ride service is an easy way to start making these changes.”
Other operational changes to improve the service include more convenient car parking from Monday 25 June.
City Of Newcastle CEO Jeremy Bath said cars would now park on the southern end of the stadium - instead of the northern end - on a better surface closer to the bus stop.
“We have now removed the last remaining impediments to enticing more people out of their cars and onto the bus," Mr Bath said.
"The change to the car parking arrangements is a great outcome - it's closer to the bus stop and on a bitumen surface with clearly marked bays.
“We are also changing the way you pay for the park and ride from Monday. Instead of using our EasyPark app, payment will be via a tap and go EFTPOS facility immediately prior to boarding the bus. This will apply to all users, regardless of how you arrive at the bus stop, or whether you choose to park at McDonald Jones Stadium.
“Park and Ride will remain at just $2.20 despite the extra buses in the afternoon and the improved services. For those who work 48 weeks a year, this reduces your parking costs by more than $1,000, as well as freeing up valuable car parking for the customers that keep our city businesses alive."
Here is a summary of the changes:
From Monday 25 June
From Monday 2 July
- Cars park at the southern end of McDonald Jones Stadium on a bitumen surface (not dirt) much closer to the park and ride bus stop.
- The daily fee of $2.20 will be charged as you get on the bus via a tap and go EFTPOS facility. Users will no longer be able to pay for parking via the EasyPark app. No payment will be required for the return journey.
- We are extending the operating hours of the afternoon bus service to begin at 3pm and operate every 15 minutes. The last bus will continue to leave the city at 6.30pm.