Illawarra residents gathered in Wollongong to tell the state government they want more frequent bus services that connect the entire region.
A bus passenger forum was held at Wollongong City Diggers on October 13 as part of the state government's Bus Industry Taskforce to improve services.
Cringila resident Hala Matar told Parliamentary Secretary for Transport, Dr Marjorie O'Neill that bus services should be upgraded to every half-hour in the suburb.
"If I miss the bus I have to wait a whole hour ... I have to leave the house two hours prior to get to a destination or get to an appointment," she said.
The NSW Government will meet with business stakeholders and local government to take the next steps to improve the services.
"These bus passenger forums will feed directly into the task force, and this will provide key recommendations for this area," Dr O'Neill said.
"We really want to put passengers back at the heart of decision-making when it comes to service delivery in local areas."
Unanderra woman Shirley Robinson said commuting by bus can be difficult for her husband with vision impairment.
"It can be really hard. If the bus is running late, or if the bus drives straight past [him]," she said.
She suggests people with a disability could be given a fob that they directly scan at the bus stop. This would theoretically light up the bus stop sign to alert the driver.
Member for Wollongong Paul Scully said bus services need to improve for new and growing areas like Dapto.
"We've got to have public transport services that meet the demands of a growing city, but also have the flexibility to change as demand profiles and the desires of people to move around change," Mr Scully said.
An M1 express bus service from Dapto to Wollongong or Shellharbour to Wollongong is one idea brought forward by Port Kembla woman Jess Whittaker.
Annette Rayner would like Wollongong to adopt a similar system to Newcastle's former fare-free bus zone which provided free transport in certain metro areas during the day. The program ceased in 2018.
The Unanderra woman would also like bus routes changed to reduce the number of buses going through Burelli Street in Wollongong in the afternoons.
The Mercury asked Parliamentary Secretary for Transport Dr Marjorie O'Neill about the privatisation of NSW buses.
"We have made a commitment as a state government that there would be no further privatisation under us, and that is something that we are deeply committed to," she said.
Some residents are looking for a greener future like Port Kembla resident Jess Whittaker who wants to take her bike on the bus in the future and Berkeley woman Julie Marlow who hopes to see more electric buses.
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