Council bus passengers urge locals to 'use it or lose it'
MONTO pensioner Bill Brown has made good use of the North Burnett Transport Service since its introduction in 2015.
Mr Brown has been plagued with health issues, most recently bowel cancer, and regularly travels to Bundaberg and Brisbane for specialist treatment.
The council service provides biweekly shuttles to Mundubbera, connecting with the popular Bundaberg and Maryborough bus routes.
A return ticket from Monto to Bundaberg costs less than $50 for pensioners.
For some it's a cheap alternative, for others it's their only option.
Sitting at the Monto stop on Lister Street, adjacent to the old rail line, Mr Brown said the disused railway should serve as a wake up call to residents who take public transport for granted.
"People don't seem to realise the bus service exists,” Mr Brown said.
"We lost the Biloela bus, and you only need to look at what has happened to the railway line - that's what happens when people don't use it.
"There's no other choice but a taxi and that will cost you an arm and a leg.
"Young people will need it one day when they're too old to drive.”
Council bus driver Bruce Louttit agreed, saying that because the service leaves town early, some locals were not aware it was available.
"People complain we have no transport but we have this,” Mr Louttit said.
"It's an excellent service and the only public transport we've got left.”
North Burnett Regional Council reinforced their commitment to the service, with outgoing chief executive Mark Pitt confirming they had no plans to scrap the buses.
The Wednesday and Friday morning shuttle services that leave from Monto are available on demand, the council requiring tickets be purchased before 2pm the day prior to departure.
For more information, to view bus timetables or to book your ticket visit www.northburnett.qld.gov.au/bus-service/.