Council 'grinch' stops free buses over Christmas
THE Sunshine Coast Council has been labelled a grinch after pulling funding for free buses over the Christmas-New Year period.
Council has funded free buses on the Coast for 10 days after Christmas, at a cost of $500,000, for the past couple of years.
Although Noosa will keep the free holiday buses, Sunshine Coast Council has dropped them and says it will use the funds to improve bus stops for the disabled and provide better information on services.
The free buses have been criticised by some ratepayers who want to see the public transport levy used to improve year-round services, but others are dismayed they have been dropped.
Maureen Darcey, of Kings Beach, said she used the free buses while entertaining children aged four, five and six.
"What's our transport levy for? We pay $40 a year - what's it going to now?" she said.
A Marcoola resident said ratepayers were paying more money than ever before and the council was being "a grinch".
Transport portfolio councillor Rick Baberowski said the free buses had not encouraged long-term public transport use, as hoped.
"Council weighed up that expense and I hope residents will agree that providing long-term disabled access is a higher priority than a 10-day free bus service," he said.