More than a week after announcing Gong Shuttle fares, Transport for NSW has finally met with key organisations in the region.
A Transport for NSW official met with senior staff from the University of Wollongong, Wollongong City Council and Destination Wollongong on Thursday morning.
A university spokesman said its representatives said the decision was unacceptable and reiterated concerns expressed by Vice-Chancellor Paul Wellings.
“These included the lack of consultation and the decision’s widespread flow-on effects on the community and on university students and staff, particularly regarding local traffic impacts,” the spokesman said.
The spokesman said the Transport for NSW official “advised the decision had been underpinned by a survey”.
“UOW has asked Transport for NSW to provide a copy of that survey and the resulting data and has asked Transport for NSW to respond to the university’s concerns within three weeks,” the spokesman said.
A Transport for NSW spokesman said the meeting was “an opportunity for stakeholders to voice their concerns directly with Transport for NSW”.
“However, we did confirm that introducing a fare is the fairest way of reducing congestion on the Wollongong Shuttle and helping to spread the load across the network,” the transport spokesman said.
Keira MP Ryan Park lambasted the government over the late consultation.
“The fact they forgot to talk to the university before making this decision shows just how stupid the minister and this government really is,” Labor’s spokesman for the Illawarra said.