Lack of research into Gong Shuttle fare

University of Wollongong Vice-Chancellor Paul Wellings felt the government had not done enough research before deciding to introduce fares on the Gong Shuttle. Picture: Georgia Matts
University of Wollongong Vice-Chancellor Paul Wellings felt the government had not done enough research before deciding to introduce fares on the Gong Shuttle. Picture: Georgia Matts

The government gave little thought to how introducing Gong Shuttle fares would affect the region, says University of Wollongong Vice-Chancellor Paul Wellings.

Prof Wellings, who spoke at Monday night’s extraordinary Wollongong City Council meeting, has been a critic of the government decision.

He expressed concerns that it appeared to have made the decision without any concern for the region.

“I can see no evidence Transport for NSW has consulted on the proposed change to this service and no evidence that they have modelled the consequences of the change on the effectiveness of the system and the livelihoods of Illawarra citizens,” Prof Wellings said.

“The removal of the free shuttle will have obvious consequences: fewer services, less convenient timetable, more private vehicles, more congestion, more pollution and increased parking problems.”

Prof Wellings also spoke about the free shuttle service introduced in Newcastle on the same day as the Gong Shuttle fare announcement.

“The Newcastle route is a similar scale to the existing system in Wollongong and highlights the fact that NSW policy makers see the economic benefits of shuttle services and their impact in reducing congestion and increasing liveability,” he said.

The government was contacted for comment.