Earlier this year the Hodgman Liberal Government delivered on our commitment to introduce a seven day a week return bus service between the West Coast and the North West.
These changes have been well supported and are part of our plan to ensure bus services more accurately reflect the needs of local communities and provide better access to employment, education and other services.
With broader bus network changes still to be rolled out in the North West, an unintended consequence has been a misalignment of connecting services.
To fix this problem the Government will establish a temporary bus link from TODAY (Tuesday 16 July 2019) between the West Coast and Hobart.
This service, which will be a partnership between Area Connect and Tassielink, will remain in place until the North West network changes are rolled out early next year.
The service will run on Tuesdays and Fridays and will be made up of two services that will meet up at Derwent Bridge, one departing Hobart and the other departing Queenstown.
Transfers to and from Strahan will also be possible using the existing West Coast to Burnie bus service, noting this will require a layover at Queenstown in both directions.
While passenger numbers have been a concern, the service will run regardless of whether there is a booking as the bus will operate as a pre-booked service with walk-up passengers accepted if space is available.
The bus will provide drop-off and pick-up at pre-defined stops with additional pick-up locations along the route available on request, and a ride will cost the same as travel on the previous Lake St Clair bus.
The existing West Coast-Burnie service caters for the vast majority of demand from locals to access healthcare and other services.
The West Coast to Hobart bus service will initially run until January and then be reassessed as part of broader North West bus network changes.
For more information on the new temporary West Coast to Hobart service go to areaconnect.org.au and to book call Area Connect on 1300 651 948
* Area Connect is an arm of Community Transport Services Tasmania Inc (CTST) which aims to provide flexible transportation to serve smaller and more remote communities
** Tassielink Transit will operate the service between Queenstown and Derwent Bridge on behalf of Area Connect