A new bus network for the Sunshine Coast and Nambour is set to go live on 23 January ready for the more than 1400 staff and students at the new Sunshine Coast Health Institute (SCHI).
Minister for Transport Stirling Hinchliffe said the new bus services would benefit the increasing number of health service staff attending Sunshine Coast University Hospital (SCUH) to prepare the facility to receive patients from April.
“The bus network is a win for Sunshine Coast and Nambour customers with route changes, an increased span of hours and more services on weekends,” Minister Hinchliffe said.
"This network delivers substantial improvements which better meet the public transport needs of the Sunshine Coast and Nambour communities.
"The network improvements will mean customers can travel to the new hospital from key locations across the coast including Maroochydore, Kawana, Caloundra and the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC)."
The new SCHI will be a dedicated education and research hub based on the campus of the $1.8 billion SCUH which is due to open in April 2017.
Minister Hinchliffe said the community consultation enabled people to have their say on changes to help shape the final network design.
"The consultation process was a great success with 122 surveys completed for Nambour and 226 surveys for the proposed Sunshine Coast changes," Minister Hinchliffe said.
"This level of participation demonstrates that Sunshine Coast and Nambour residents wanted to have their say on shaping the public transport network.
"TransLink has implemented changes to the timetable based on the community’s feedback.
"As a result of comments TransLink received from the community during the one month consultation period, they have worked with local bus operator Sunbus to revise the proposed timetable.
"TransLink has added additional services and increased the span of hours on several routes across the Sunshine Coast and Nambour networks."
The new route 611 (Maroochydore to SCUH) will operate about every 30 minutes on weekdays with adjustments to the span of hours to allow nursing staff and students to access the hospital during core operating hours.
The Existing route 607 (Caloundra to USC via Kawana and SCUH) will also be upgraded to operate about every 30 minutes on weekdays and hourly on weekends.
"These services will be a vital link for both hospital staff and students," Minister Hinchliffe said.
"Maroochydore, Kawana, Caloundra and Sippy Downs customers will also have access to weekend bus travel to the hospital."
Minister Hinchliffe said Nambour residents voiced their opinions about the existing span of hours on route 610 (Nambour to Maroochydore via Kunda Park) and asked for more services in the morning and evening to connect with Maroochydore.
"TransLink has listened to the Nambour community and increased the span of hours of route 610 to better suit the needs of nursing staff," Minister Hinchliffe said.
"The two new bus routes in Nambour would provide greater access to public transport within developing residential areas such as Woombye, western Nambour, Eastern Burnside and Palmwoods."
Customers will benefit from two brand new routes 637 (Nambour local loop) and 638 (Nambour to Palmwoods loop) replacing route 639 (Nambour area local service loop).
Route 637 will operate about every 60 minutes seven days a week, providing weekend buses for the first time to Western Nambour and Eastern Burnside.
Route 638 will replace the Palmwoods loop of route 639, with greater coverage in Woombye and Palmwoods and will increase its frequency from twice daily to four times a day on weekdays.
To read the community consultation results head online to translink.com.au or call 13 12 30, anytime.
For details about the finalised network, how your journey will change and your new bus timetable, keep an eye on the TransLink website for more information in late October/early November 2016.