Have you ever been riding or walking the O’Keefe Rail Trail and suddenly needed transport means back to your starting point? Perhaps you were planning for a one direction only, or had a bike mechanical problem, maybe your walking shoe had a ‘blow out’ and you couldn’t go any further along the trail? What’s next, an urgent phone call hoping for an answer in seeking help!
The State Government has approved the implementation of providing bike racks on the PTV buses, called the ‘Bikes on Buses Program’. Limited funding in 2019 was allocated for a conversion of a total of 62 buses, which included the Bendigo urban area bus routes. Yet unfortunately this program’s roll out for 2020 has been delayed by the COVID19 pandemic.
The Friends of the Bendigo-Kilmore Rail Trail noted that the Bendigo – Heathcote PTV bus service, which includes some Bendigo urban suburbs, was not included in that Bendigo roll out. So the group made a specific submission request to local member Jacinta Allan MP, for this bus route to be included in the program. Such was not only to encourage integrated active transport for people serviced by this bus route, yet also to add an important transport option for users of the O’Keefe Rail Trail.
Success!! The Minister of Public Transport Ben Carroll has advised the Friends group that the Bendigo – Heathcote PTV bus service will be included in the Bendigo Bikes on Buses Program roll out, once assessments etc have been conducted by the Department of Transport. While mentioning ‘later in 2020’, a specific implementation date for this service is yet unknown. This facility will provide a limited capacity of 2 bikes in a front rack mounted on each bus, which is great news for users of the popular O’Keefe Rail Trail that has seen significant increases in use during 2020.