A total of 936 people have used the Nightrider service during its first month of operation, Chief Minister and Minister for Transport Jon Stanhope announced today.

“The main Nightrider service provides eight routes into the suburbs from Civic, with 24 service runs at a total cost of $10,700 per night,” Mr Stanhope said. “A disappointing total of 197 people used this service in its first three weekends at what worked out to be an average cost of $326 per customer.

“The Civic/Manuka/Kingston loop provides eight service runs at a total cost of $870 per night. Sixty-one used this loop service in its first three weekends at an average cost of $86 per customer.

“While nobody could ever put a price on potentially saving someone’s life, it is clear that the service is being under-utilised and the Government will need to review how it operates in the future.

“While take-up was higher on New Year’s Eve with 678 customers (at an average cost of $24 for the route services and $21 for the loop service), the first three weekends only saw a combined 59 customers, 94 customers and 105 customers respectively using the service over the Friday and Saturday night.”

The contract for the three-month trial is has been awarded to the Deanes Tranasit Group and is worth more than $270,000. Revenue in the first month totalled $8,860.

Mr Stanhope said the three-month Nightrider trial is part of the reform of the Liquor Act, which recently received a significant overhaul to include several new laws designed to improve public safety. The Government agreed to trial the service for an extended period of three months.

“I urge people who are planning a night out and who intend to drink to make use of the Nightrider service which will get them home safely for a small flat fee. If people choose not to use it, though, the Government can simply not afford to subsidise it over such a long period of time.”

A full evaluation of the trial, including final analysis of the figures, will be undertaken at the end of summer. Nightrider has been advertised on both print and radio, in bars and clubs and online, including a targeted campaign on Facebook. For more information on bus routes and times visit http://www.transport.act.gov.au/.