Newcastle park-and-ride bus patronage grows but passenger numbers still under state government predictions

SERVICE: A woman steps off a park-and-ride shuttle bus at Hunter Stadium.
SERVICE: A woman steps off a park-and-ride shuttle bus at Hunter Stadium.

More people are using Newcastle’s park-and-ride bus since it extended its operating hours in July, but passenger numbers are still well short of government predictions a year ago.

The NSW government and Newcastle City Council set up the park-and-ride at Hunter Stadium to alleviate parking shortages in the CBD during light rail work.

The council announced that the service had attracted 21,389 passengers in its first 12 months, though it amended this figure upwards to 29,217 last week.

The new figure equates to a daily tally of about 123 passengers, taking into account weekends, public holidays and other days when the shuttle buses do not run.

The council said on Tuesday that the service has taken about 95 cars off the road every day on average, a far cry from the “300 or more” Revitalising Newcastle forecast in November last year.

The service is paid for by Revitalising Newcastle and managed by the council.