Illawarra jetset not sold on airport bus

A government trial of an airport bus - run by Premier Illawarra - has been poorly used by travellers. Picture: Adam McLean
A government trial of an airport bus - run by Premier Illawarra - has been poorly used by travellers. Picture: Adam McLean

Barely 100 people have used a new bus route to get to and from the Illawarra Regional Airport.

In October last year, Transport for NSW introduced the Route 59 bus, which would be trialled until July this year.

The route – run by Premier Illawarra – was timed to align with the flight schedules for JetGo services arriving and leaving the airport.

While the bus also stopped at other locations, including Warrawong Plaza, Stockland Shellharbour and Oak Flats station, a Transport for NSW spokeswoman said the thrust of the trial was to offer public transport linkage to Illawarra Regional Airport flights.

On that measure, the bus has not been a hit with travellers.

“Around 2300 trips have been taken on route 59 between October 2017 and March 2018,” the Transport for NSW spokeswoman said.

“However less than five per cent of these have been either to, or from, Illawarra Regional Airport.”

That means fewer than 115 of those 2300 trips were taken by people looking to get to or from the airport.

The spokeswoman said Transport for NSW would continue to monitor the patronage of the bus until the trial ended on July 1.

She did not state whether the government would scrap the service but it seems likely unless there is a massive improvement in usage figures over the next three months.

If the route 59 bus is scrapped, the spokeswoman said commuters who had been catching it to the other areas serviced can take the route 51 and 53 buses.

The route 59 bus has just six stops, starting at the Novotel Northbeach and ending at the Illawarra Regional Airport.

According to the timetable, the trip from North Wollongong to the airport takes 50 minutes.