An overhaul of Dubbo's bus network has led to a surge in passenger numbers, new data reveals.
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Preliminary data from Transport for NSW reveals more than 4,200 passengers have boarded regular route bus services during the first three weeks of the improved network, which rolled out on October 16.
That's just over 28 per cent more passengers than the preceding three weeks before the service changes.
The most popular bus route in Dubbo is Route 572 West Dubbo to Orana Mall which has seen patronage double since the service overhaul.
Also seeing "pleasing patronage results" is Route 573, which services Taronga Western Plains Zoo and Delroy Park. The number of passengers taking this service has increased by around 92 per cent.
Route 575, which services South Dubbo and Keswick, has increased patronage by around 55 per cent.
And, the new Sunday services, which are running for the very first time, have had a "promising start" averaging 77 passengers across the day.
Among early users of Dubbo's new bus network was Bamara Care worker Darren Dwyer and his client Rex, who uses a motorised wheelchair. Residents of local aged care facilities have also been enjoying the services.
"All of our public route buses are wheelchair accessible, they lower to the ground, and there's a ramp that makes it easy for anyone with a wheelchair, or other mobility challenge to use the bus," Dubbo Buslines group head of service delivery Chris Moule said.
"I encourage anyone who may not have travelled on a bus since their school days to give them a go."
Ritesh Kumar, a member of Orana Residents of Indian Sub-Continental Heritage, said the 87 per cent increase in bus services has been especially helpful for Dubbo's growing migrant community.
"Coming to Australia and to a regional city, it's sometimes hard to just buy two cars for the family," he said.
"I think good public transport is very important so that if one partner takes the car to work, then the other partner can at least take the kids to the zoo or connect with friends and be connected to the place."
Transport for NSW says it has been engaging with the local community, passengers, and bus drivers to gather feedback about their experiences. They say the new services have been "embraced" by the community and received "overwhelmingly positive" feedback.
They anticipate patronage in areas like Delroy Park, Keswick and Southlakes will continue to increase as the population grows.
"Getting around Dubbo and nearby areas doesn't have to involve getting in a car," Transport for NSW acting director region west Damien Pfeiffer said.
"These new services have been designed so people can catch buses to places they want to get to, at times they want to travel."
For more information about the routes and changes, check out our article on everything you need to know about Dubbo's new bus network.
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