New trial bus service makes maiden journey

Barbara Piper was the service’s first and only passenger on Wednesday, using the Tumut to Wagga ride for a day out in the city.

A new trial bus service is now running between Tumut and Wagga each Wednesday, offering single day return services through Adelong, Grahamstown, Tarcutta and Ladysmith.
Transport NSW says the service will run for six months.
“I think it has its place,” said Anthony Goode of Goode’s Coaches last Wednesday, in the middle of the route’s maiden voyage, which only had one passenger.
“It’s obviously not very well patronised at the moment, because it’s its first day, but I think it will provide a little bit of flexibility to the local community and will allow people that need to make doctors appointments, those that are after a day out access to cinemas and if anyone’s keen enough and really likes to go for a swim, they can access the heated pool.”
The bus makes several stops in Wagga Wagga including the Wagga Wagga Base Hospital, Wagga Marketplace and the train station, connecting the Snowy Valleys to trains and busses to Sydney and Melbourne.
Trips on Route 998 can be booked through Goodes Coaches, with the bus leaving the Tumut bus stop on Russell St at 8am each Wednesday. It reaches the Neill St bus stop in Adelong at 8:19am, the Grahamstown bus stop at 8:27am, the Tarcutta bus stop at 9:06am, Ladysmith at 9:40am and reaches Wagga Train Station at 10am.
From the train station, the bus continues to the hospital, arriving at 10:04am, before finishing at The Marketplace shopping centre at 10:15am.
Route 998 starts its return journey at The Marketplace at 2:25pm, making the same stops in reverse order, arriving in Tumut again at 4:40pm.
Duty MLC for Wagga Wagga, Wes Fang, said the service will ensure more travel choices for the community.
“This new service, operated by Goodes Coaches Pty Ltd, will be a game-changer for our community in the way locals are able to move around, making it easier to get to important medical appointments, buy groceries, and stay connected to family and friends in outlying towns,” Mr Fang said.
“We are so excited to welcome this service because it will give our communities greater access and connection to vital services in larger centres.”
Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said the NSW Government had awarded contracts to six local transport operators to connect isolated communities with major regional and city centres.
“These trials deliver on our election commitment to provide better transport connections for small communities like Tumut, Conargo, Ashford, Boorowa and Trunkey Creek,” Mr Toole said.
“For some of these communities, this is the first time they’ve had access to a public transport service and will really change the way many people move around the regions.”
The trial service is one of six new regional trial services. Others include Conagro-Echuca, Goondiwindi-Inverell, Tambar Springs-Tamworth, Trunkey Creek-Bathurst and Wyangala-Canberra. Another trial between Wagga and Canberra is already in place. Adult tickets full return is $20, concession fare is $11 and pension or senior’s card is $2.50.