Dubbo residents have spoken up about the lack of buses to the airport, not being able to use public transport on Sundays and uneasy access to available bus stops.
They said there were much-needed improvements in routes, travel times, and frequency of bus services to cater to people with disabilities, people without cars, those who cannot drive, and tourists.
Daily Liberal asked Transport for NSW what is being done to provide equitable access to public transport.
"Having equitable public transport options in regional cities is a priority for Transport for NSW," the spokesperson said.
"The improved bus network in Dubbo seeks to provide more services, more often, in more areas to key destinations. Transport for NSW is working with Dubbo Regional Council on the location of bus stops and will be submitting proposed changes to amend or install bus zones and bus stops in key destinations to improve accessibility."
Responding to queries, Transport for NSW provided new information on what improvements to expect in public transport this year. Their focus was connectivity.
"Dubbo will be receiving better bus services in 2023," a spokesperson said.
"Transport for NSW is considering service improvements including more services throughout the week, improved connections to key destinations, improved connections with NSW TrainLink rail and coach services, faster journey times between Orana Mall and Dubbo CBD, and better servicing for new growth areas."
The above changes were made based on community feedback collected in April last year, as part of Transport for NSW's 16 Regional Cities Services Improvement Program. More than 100 pieces of feedback were submitted by community members and stakeholders.
The feedback suggested improving routes between "key areas" like Dubbo Hospital, Dubbo Railway Station, the CBD and Orana Mall.
"Feedback suggested servicing growth areas in South and West Dubbo, as well as faster and more direct connections between Orana Mall and Dubbo CBD, and earlier and more frequent services, especially on weekends," the spokesperson said.
"A desire for Sunday bus services was one of the many pieces of feedback received."
When questioned about direct connections to the airport, West Dubbo TAFE, and the zoo, Transport for NSW said they were contemplating connections.
"We are considering more direct routes between Dubbo CBD and Orana Mall including services to Dubbo Railway Station and Taronga Western Plains Zoo," the spokesperson said.
"Services currently exist along Narromine Road between Dubbo and Narromine.
"Transport for NSW will continue to investigate opportunities to improve connections to key education centres such as West Dubbo TAFE and Dubbo Regional Airport."
However, Transport for NSW did not state when the contactless payment trial would begin in Dubbo. It was announced to start in early 2023 allowing customers to pay bus fare by tapping their credit or debit card, phone or watch when boarding.