Discover more from Murray Bridge News
Murray Bridge deserves better public transport, Airlie Keen says
The Murray Bridge councillor and former independent candidate has gone public with her calls for ride-sharing, an on-demand bus service or passenger rail.
This post was originally published behind Murray Bridge News’ paywall. Paywalled posts are unlocked four weeks after publication. Can’t wait that long? Subscribe here.
Ride-sharing, on-demand bus services and passenger trains should all be on the table as transport options for the Murraylands, a Murray Bridge councillor says.
Cr Airlie Keen is campaigning for better public transport for Murray Bridge and Strathalbyn, in whatever form the state government will allow.
That could mean allowing ride-sharing services such as Uber to operate in Murray Bridge; at present they are not allowed any closer than the western side of Callington.
It could mean creating a local version of the “hugely popular” Keoride bus service, which shuttles passengers around Mount Barker, Nairne and Littlehampton.
The service had a 97 per cent approval rating among passengers and had completed 220,000 trips, Cr Keen said.
Residents of the Murray Bridge district have been calling for something similar for years.
Better transport could even mean expanding on a state parliamentary committee’s recommendation and trialling a passenger rail service not only for Mount Barker, but for Murray Bridge as well.
“There is real and genuine transport disadvantage across (the state electorate of) Hammond,” Cr Keen said.
“Services are infrequent and expensive.”
The state government has been seeking public feedback on all forms of public transport across the Adelaide Hills since November.
But Murraylands residents deserved to have their voices heard, too, Cr Keen said.
“I therefore respectfully call on the state government to … conduct a further round of community consultation to ensure the transport needs of the Murray Bridge and Strathalbyn communities are included in the (consultation),” she said in a letter to state Transport Minister Tom Koutsantonis.
She encouraged anyone else with an interest in public transport to email the state Department for Infrastructure and Transport at email@example.com.
Public transport campaign goes back a long way
Cr Keen wrote the letter to Mr Koutsantonis in a personal capacity, not as a representative of the Murray Bridge council.
Public transport was previously one of the key issues on which she campaigned as an independent candidate for Hammond at the 2022 election.
Adrian Pederick, the Liberal MP who won a fifth term in office at the election, promised in the lead-up to keep advocating for a Metro ticketed bus service to Murray Bridge, and for ride-sharing services to be allowed in the district.
Labor will have been in government in South Australia for a year next week.