ACTION’s trial of a rapid bus service between Gungahlin and Kingston had immediate success with a 5.1 per cent increase in patronage from Gungahlin in its first two weeks.

An ACTION spokesman said it had been overwhelmed by positive feedback on the service, which operates every fifteen minutes between Gungahlin Marketplace and the Canberra Railway Station at Kingston.

The spokesman said the service, which began on 16 November, was averaging 1446 boardings per day.

However, other figures provided by ACTION indicated that its overall operating costs were increasing at about twice the rate of patronage.

In 2005-06, daily adult passenger boardings averaged 21,323. ACTIONs operating cost, not including capital expenditure, was then $87.347 million.

In 2008-09, average daily adult passenger boardings had increased by almost 9.5 percent to 23,555. THe operating cost increased by more than 17.8 per cent to $106.299 million.

ACTION General Manager Tom Elliott said there had been a considerable increase in service last year. Even without this, costs increased about 3 per cent a year.

Meanwhile, ACTION has confirmed that Tim Swift, who has acted as general manager this year, had left yesterday.

Mr Swift had been criticised by the Transport Workers Union, which called for his removal earlier this year.

By Graham Downie
The Canberra Times, Saturday 5 December 2009 Page 17.

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