Go Noosa results steady despite COVID impacts
Council’s free Go Noosa holiday buses have maintained steady patronage levels over the peak 2020-21Christmas/New year period despite the impacts of COVID.
A total of 253,647 passengers enjoyed the Go Noosa Free Holiday Bus service over the Christmas and Easter holiday periods.
According to the Go Noosa 2020-21 Peak Traffic Management Evaluation, a total of 253,647 passengers enjoyed the free service over the Christmas and Easter holiday periods.
Mayor Clare Stewart said it was great to see this Transport Strategy initiative has become established within the community, providing sustainable transport options during our busiest holiday periods.
“Go Noosa holiday buses are proving to be a great success, giving locals and visitors a convenient and free alternative to driving into the Hastings Street Precinct during our busy holiday periods and searching for that elusive car parking spot,” Cr Stewart said.
“And our survey results tell it all with 98% of respondents satisfied or very satisfied with the service and experience which is a great result!” Cr Stewart said.
Our results also indicate a 42% increase in motorbikes/scooters entering Hastings Street compared to the same time last year plus a 4% increase in bicycles year on year.
In addition, more than 50% of survey respondents indicated that if it wasn’t for the free holiday bus service, they would have driven a car or been a passenger in a car, so the service is reducing the impact of day trips and therefore the potential number of vehicles entering Hastings Street.
These results are significant given the impact of COVID on visitation to Noosa over the recent holiday period. Data collected from Tourism Noosa indicates that Noosa’s accommodation occupancy over the period was about on par with the previous non-COVID years, although visitation to the region, including day trippers, was 20% down.
“We know that awareness of the service has increased with ‘catching a bus last year’ being the number one means by which people were aware of Go Noosa,” Cr Stewart said.
“Go Noosa holiday buses are also achieving key objectives of the Transport Strategy including addressing peak time traffic congestion by reducing traffic rather than increasing road capacity and providing services that are designed to give priority to pedestrians, cyclists, scooters and public transport over private cars.”
Go Noosa improved promotion of the service to the community with an increase in roadside digital information boards informing travel choices, including boards at key entry points in Noosa displaying car park availability, Park and Ride, ferry and bus services.
Traffic control to prioritise pedestrian and bus movements has further reduced the bus travel times from Noosa Junction to Hastings Street bus stop demonstrating that it can be faster to park and ride than attempt to drive in and search for a car park.
Go Noosa holiday buses are part of a broader program of transport initiatives which includes encouraging sustainable travel to local primary and high schools, community transport services for the elderly and people with a disability as well as advocating for improvements to public transport and walking and cycling infrastructure.
It is supported by Transport Strategy Steering Group made up of key stakeholders including Zero Emissions Noosa, the Hastings Street Association, Noosa Junction Traders Association, Tourism Noosa, and other stakeholders.