Nagambie people may soon enjoy smoother travel to and from Shepparton with the introduction of a new weekly bus service.
The idea was suggested at a recent public meeting, with Strathbogie Shire Council’s support.
Local Nagambie bus company operators Ken and Sandra Comi (of Comi K&S) jumped at the concept, offering to expand their business to include the much-needed service.
But they’ll need local support to see it come to fruition.
The potential service would pick up passengers along High St after the school run finishes, at the Nagambie Caravan Park end, near FW Parris and Sons hardware store and near Young St.
It would then drive to Shepparton, stopping at the Kmart bus terminal, Goulburn Valley Health and Shepparton Private Hospital, with a final stop at Shepparton Marketplace.
Passengers would later be collected from the Kmart bus terminal, returning to Nagambie before school pick-up time.
The service aims to eliminate ongoing struggles Nagambie residents have had with transport to and from Shepparton.
People have reported difficulties travelling by train and coach to Shepparton station, with many forced to take a taxi or walk just to get to different venues around town.
The new bus service aims to save people precious time and money, cutting the number of transport requirements to just one.
At the meeting, Strathbogie Shire Mayor Amanda McLaren also suggested Nagambie Healthcare be approached to run a community bus service around town.
The proposed service would provide transport to medical centres, the supermarket, post office, bank and chemist or to Shepparton medical centres on a weekly basis.
While Nagambie Healthcare chief executive Bronwyn Beadle said the hospital would continue to provide transport to various health services, she said Comi K&S’ proposed service would be better suited for general community use.
‘‘I have discussed our options with the board and put a proposal to council; we are happy to assist with transport but for health related activities, which we actually do currently in a number of ways,’’ she said.
‘‘I think Comi’s bus line with subsidised support from council is a better option for general community use.
‘‘As our funding resources from the State and Commonwealth continue to decline, as a health service we are not in a financial position to fill the general transportation gaps of a rural community.
‘‘I believe it would only be a band-aid for a much broader issue and given that we are in an election year it may be opportune for a lobbying group to get some funding commitments from the pollies.’’
On Ms Beadle’s suggestion, people will continue to lobby all levels of government for introduction of the new weekly bus service to Shepparton.
They will also lobby V/Line to place the coach stop back in High St to support those who struggle to drive or walk.
While Comi K&S are keen to help out with the new service, they’ll be gauging community interest first to see if the service is a viable option.
To express interest about this new service, phone Ken or Sandra Comi on 57942075 or 0429195384.