Government quiet on Gong Shuttle survey

The government appears reluctant to provide details of the survey that provided the basis for introducing fares on the Gong Shuttle.

A Transport for NSW survey was a key part of the reason it chose to introduce a fare on the Gong Shuttle. But details of that survey are hard to come by. Picture: Georgia Matts

A Transport for NSW survey was a key part of the reason it chose to introduce a fare on the Gong Shuttle. But details of that survey are hard to come by. Picture: Georgia Matts

When it dropped the bombshell via email on November 1, a Transport for NSW spokesperson said it was prompted by complaints of overcrowding.

However Transport for NSW has since declined to provide details of these complaints, or even say how many have been received.

A week later a Transport for NSW official told senior University of Wollongong staff the decision had been underpinned by a survey.

Since then, the Mercury has tried to obtain details of this survey but the government department seems reluctant to give much away.

“Transport for NSW regular monitors all of its contracted services and in response to feedback from customers, a review was started in November 2016,” a Transport for NSW spokesman said.

“As part of this review, an independent survey was carried out which included patronage counts and customer interviews.”

The spokesman declined to answer questions about the time period over which the survey was carried out or on which days it was carried out.

Meanwhile, Wollongong MP Paul Scully has lodged a long series of questions without notice in parliament on the Gong Shuttle.

The questions Mr Scully is asking include several about the cost to change signage if fares are introduced, whether requests for Wollongong City Council and the University of Wollongong came from Transport Minister Andrew Constance and the total drop in patronage when the university and TAFE are on holidays.