the Breeze

Macleay RSL to Consider Trial Macleay Bus Service.

March 5, 2014

Macleay RSL to Consider Trial Macleay Bus Service. The Macleay Island RSL Sub Branch is considering operating a bus service on Macleay Island on a trial basis.Representatives of the RSL recently met with Redland City Council Division 5 Councillor Mark Edwards, a long proponent of the bus plan.Cr Edwards has been endeavouring to get bus services started on both Macleay and Russell Islands.However, meetings with several operators has resulted in an impass that has been difficult to overcome."Most operators require some subsidy to operate a viable bus service."That is often because of the size of the buses they have in their operations," Cr Edwards said.He said, however, no subsidies would be forthcoming for such services in the short term."The only chance for bus services to start on the islands is for a private operator with a bus that is suitable to a small to medium operation," the councillor said."They would have to be able to survive on the fares paid," he added.It just so happens that the Macleay Island RSL Sub Branch has a 20-seater bus.And the active organisation and fund-raiser is looking for ways to gain additional funds which mostly go toward RSL welfare and charitable donations."We are always looking at ways of raising more funds, and perhaps a small island bus service on Macleay might be a way of getting more work for our bus and raising additional funds," says Sub Branch president Russ Hearps.In meeting with Russ Hearps and committeemen John Green and John Dyer, the councillor suggested that a bus service could be held on a trial basis, perhaps over a one month period."The idea would be to meet major incoming and outgoing passenger ferries at peak times, and to pick up and drop off passengers along the central island main road, with stop-offs at island shopping centres. "Visitors from other islands could take advantage of such a service to see other areas of Macleay Island," Cr Edwards added.It was also suggested that the RSL bus could be utilised to develop tourism on the island, offering an island tour route."Certainly the concept has merit," the councillor said.RSL sub branch president Russ Hearps said that the sub branch would continue its talks with Cr Edwards and others with a view to starting a trial bus service on Macleay in the near future.He said that fares would be necessary but cost-efficient, probably operating on a two-zone structure."A trial period would allow us to assess the potential and possible growth for such a bus service, with the possibility that the service could be improved and extended, chance on support," he said.A further announcement will be made via The Friendly Bay Islander in the not too distant future, following continuing investigations.

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