The Government has abandoned its interest in attracting bike riders to use ACTION bus services, Greens Spokesperson on Transport, Amanda Bresnan, said today.

Last year the Government removed free bus travel for patrons using ACTION’s bicycle racks, but promised to closely follow how the introduction of a charge would impact on patronage. Answers to Budget questions asked by the Greens have revealed that the Government has not even bothered to do this monitoring.

“This failure to measure the number of people taking their bikes onto buses is another frustrating example of the gulf between the Government’s rhetoric and its actions on providing genuinely improved transport options” said Ms Bresnan.

“In last year’s budget estimates hearings my colleague Caroline Le Couteur questioned Mr Stanhope about collecting the data on numbers of people taking their bikes onto buses. In reply, the Chief Minister said:

I might just say, Ms Le Couteur, that we are very aware of it. We would be more than happy to provide you with statistics. They are quite interesting….We will be watching that closely, Ms Le Couteur.

“Yet as soon as free travel was removed, the Government actually stopped recording the use of bike racks on buses. Now they have no data of the patronage of the Bike ‘n’ Ride service, and no data of how pricing impacts on patronage.”

“Before the 2008 election, the Government also promised to equip all action buses with bike racks, yet only 36% of buses currently have the racks.”

“To add insult to injury the Government admits that buses scheduled to have a rack sometimes arrive without one, leaving cyclists stranded  – why would cyclists consider bike-n-ride if they risk being unable get on the bus?”

“Because of the failure to collect patronage data, we question the Government’s commitment to better transport generally and we fear it will fail on its promise to give people effective and flexible transport options.” said Ms Bresnan