Passengers say free airport bus to and from Cairns is unreliable
From the Cairns Post, 10th May 2015
CRACKS are starting to appear in Cairns Airport’s free bus service, less than halfway through its three-month trial.
Airport Connect, which started on March 27, has so far attracted 8-10 passengers a day, according to airport data.
But passengers claim the service, which runs a loop from the airport to each side of Sheridan St near the Tobruk Pool, has been arriving up to 45 minutes late and, on occasion, not at all.
The service was a safety initiative implemented after mother-of-two Dinah Boughton was killed when struck by a sedan while walking along Airport Ave in January.
Public transport campaigner Geoff Holland said the service, operated by Sun Palm Transport, was unreliable.
“Sun Palm Transport is not meeting its commitment to pick up passengers from the Cairns North Community Health building on Sheridan St,’’ he said.
“This is serious as people could miss their plane.”
Airport Connect operates each day, going to the airport between 4.15am and 10.15pm, and coming out of the airport from 4.30am until after the last flight for the day.
Mr Holland, who met with airport representatives yesterday, said service was difficult for passengers to hail and ride.
“The Cairns Airport website shows a view of the Sun Palm van from the side and rear,’’ he said. “But if anyone was going to hail it, they need to see a view of the van from the front.
“Also, at night time, identifying the van in a sea of headlights is nigh impossible.”
There also did not appear to be any proactive promotion of the service, he said.
A survey of about 20 tour agencies in Cairns revealed that only three had heard of the service, but have no details.
Cairns Airport CEO Kevin Brown said the two-month review of Airport Connect would be carried out later this month.
“We are implementing a range of improvements and opportunities to further promote the service,” he said.