THE Labor government has promised to expand coach services for Horsham, Stawell and Halls Gap.
An allocation of $195,000 will extend the Wimmera Community Transport pilot for Horsham, Kaniva and Edenhope residents.
A second daily return coach service between Halls Gap and Stawell will be added to the network from next year. The new service will leave Halls Gap mid-morning and return mid-afternoon.
A new mini bus service will be added to the Horsham town bus network, which will include a ramp to provide access for people with a disability, prams or shopping trolley. The Centre for Participation will contribute $55,000 towards the service.
The pilot is part of the Labor Government’s Flexible Local Transport Solutions Program.
Transport for Victoria will also undertake a review of the Stawell and Horsham town bus networks to improve future services, including community consultation next year.
Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan announced the new services on Monday.
“We’re getting on with the job of better connecting our communities and delivering better and more accessible services to get all Victorians where they need to go safer and sooner,” she said.
“We’re proud to back the Wimmera Community Transport pilot – helping people break down barriers to get out and about and access the services they rely on.”
Labor’s pledge comes less than a week after the Coaltion promised to return passenger rail to Horsham if elected in November’s state election.
Member for Lowan Emma Kealy said she had been a strong supporter of adding additional public transport service links for Halls Gap.
“I have been pushing for additional bus services into Halls Gap for some time and it is fantastic that our efforts have finally been noticed by the Melbourne Labor Government, but only weeks from the election,” she said.
“Today’s announcement pails in significance to the Liberal Nationals $19 billion commitment to transform Victoria’s regional rail network and an additional $4 million to get Western Victoria moving.”