25 February 2011

Give FlexiLink a chance: Palaszczuk

NEW Transport Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk says she will follow up on Ipswich residents' complaints about FlexiLink.

Michelle Radunz at the Browns Park rotunda where
bus users discussed the ongoing bus service issues.

NEW Transport Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk says she will follow up on Ipswich residents' complaints about FlexiLink, the taxi service which replaced three axed bus routes.

Many affected residents claim the service is unreliable and will voice their concerns at a meeting tomorrow, with many wanting bus services reinstated.

Under former Transport Minister and Ipswich MP Rachel Nolan, routes 505, 510 and 523 were axed in December last year and replaced with a taxi service, which in most cases has to be booked a day in advance.

Ms Palaszczuk said FlexiLink was currently on trial and its effectiveness would be evaluated once the trial is over.

"I think it's only fair to give FlexiLink a chance before passing judgement. Certainly I'll be following up any complaint about extensive wait times with the service operators," she said in a statement.

One resident who says she has been badly affected by the changes is Vida Leane, 76, who lives in Vale St, Bundamba.

The war widow said she used to catch a bus from a shelter next door to her home, but as she now does not live in a FlexiLink zone has to walk more than 10 minutes to catch a bus from another stop.

Mrs Leane said she was able to live an outgoing lifestyle with the previous bus service, but since it has gone she has found it harder to go out as she pleases.

"I have to walk to and from the bus stop now, and when I do my grocery shopping I have to pull my trolley home," she said.

"I used to be able to catch the bus and be dropped off right outside my door, but I'm not in the FlexiLink zone. I just want the bus back – a lot of us do."

Bus campaigner Michelle Radunz said no improvements had been made to the service.

"People are still having problems with taxis running late, taxis not coming at all, and the drivers say they are having problems, too," she said.

The bus meeting will take place at 2pm tomorrow at the Ipswich Workers Club at 4 Bell St.

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