COFFS HARBOUR: Local bus operator, Forest Coach Lines, owned by ComfortDelGro Corporation Australia (CDC), will begin operating expanded services at the end of October, following the announcement of a major public transport boost for the Coffs Harbour region.
Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Jenny Aitchison announced 200 extra services each week were being added to Coffs Harbour’s public bus network from 30 October, through Forest Coach Lines and operator Busways, as part of the NSW Government’s 16 Regional Cities Improvement Program. Upgrades to Forest’s popular Woopi Connect On Demand bus service were also announced.
The improved network will include:
- weekday buses every 30 minutes between Park Beach Plaza, Park Beach, The Jetty and Coffs Harbour CBD
- weekday buses every 30 minutes between Park Beach Plaza, Coffs Harbour CBD, Health Campus, Southern Cross University and Toormina Gardens
- faster and more direct bus services between Coffs Harbour and the northern beach suburbs, with connections to the expanded Woopi Connect service
- new weekday peak express bus service between Macksville, Nambucca Heads and Coffs Harbour, and new weekday, middle-of-day services between Bowraville and Macksville, with connecting onward travel towards Coffs Harbour.
- more weekend and public holiday services
- extra services to Coffs Harbour Airport and
- town bus services made available in the Bambara Drive housing estate for the first time.
The Woopi Connect On-Demand Service, which provides people with a way to live more independent and fulfilling lives by allowing them access to personalised and cost-effective public transport, will extend its hours of operation – including adding a third vehicle to its fleet, longer hours on Saturdays, and new services to operate for the first time on Sundays and public holidays.
It will also now travel to Sandy Beach and further south to Emerald Beach, in addition to its regular routes to communities like Woolgoolga, Safety Beach, Mullaway, Arrawarra, Arrawarra Headland and Corindi Beach.
Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Jenny Aitchison said the extra services represented a 19 per cent increase on the current timetable.
“One of the main benefits will be more regular and direct services, making public transport an even more attractive and hassle-free option for locals and visitors, while at the same time reducing congestion on our roads,” she said.
“The changes are the result of listening to what the community wanted, building stronger partnerships with transport providers and valuing the pivotal role public transport plays in connecting communities.”
CDC Regional Australia Division chief executive officer Tony Hopkins said the partnership with the NSW Government through Transport for NSW would be fruitful for the growing Mid North Coast region.
“This is an exciting milestone for both CDC and the local community. We are proud to support the people of the Coffs Harbour region with better bus services that are quicker and more direct, and to provide a positive public transport experience.
“The extra services have enabled the creation of 22 new full-time jobs, giving our loyal drivers greater flexibility, and the choice of moving to permanent, full-time work for the first time.
“As a large and secure local employer, I urge those interested in joining our team to register via the careers page on the Forest Coach Lines website,” he said.
“Whilst it is great to have heavy vehicle experience, CDC also provides fully paid driver training programs and assistance with free license upgrades for those looking for a career change.”
The new Coffs Harbour bus network commencing 30 October 2023 is available on the Transport for NSW website at transportnsw.info/routes/bus or via the links below. Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the new services can be found here.