YOUNG Marong residents believe a bus link with Bendigo would give elderly people, high school students and non-drivers more independence.
Siblings Madison and Liam Giofrelle have begun a petition calling for a public transport link to Marong.
Nearly 500 people had signed by Friday evening.
Liam, aged 17, and Ms Giofrelle, aged 19, began the petition because the town has no public transport, beyond passing V/Line services.
Ms Giofrelle said Marong residents were at a disadvantage, without a way of getting in to town but by driving.
Where it was a small town when Ms Giofrelle grew up, she said Marong had now expanded.
She said it was a big problem, particularly for elderly people, single parents and school students.
But Ms Giofrelle said seven kilometres away Maiden Gully had a regular service, which could be extended.
Two or three Bendigo - Sea Lake V/Line services pass through Marong each day, mostly mid-morning or late evening. The area is serviced by the Bendigo school bus network.
Mr Giofrelle said the V/Line services were too infrequent to be usable.
While now Ms Giofrelle drives, growing up she was forced to rely on her parents - both full-time workers - to get to work, sport and any after school functions. Her younger siblings still need this.
Ms Giofrelle said a bus service would connect Marong's elderly community members to Bendigo, without them having to rely on others. She said it would give high school students more independence, cut down on emissions and remove congestion.
The petition has received a "crazy" response from the community, Ms Giofrelle said.
Marong Community Action Group president Heather Wearne said the town's entire community believed residents needed access to public transport more frequent than the Bendigo - Sea Lake bus.
Mrs Wearne said she was impressed to see young people championing a cause that they were passionate about.
She said the times the V/Line service passed through Marong were inappropriate for most locals to commute by.
Mrs Wearne said all the town asked was to bring the Maiden Gully bus service out to Marong. She said this fit with City of Greater Bendigo policies around 10 minute communities.
"We have a really growing community [in Marong], our community's doubled in the last five years. And we've got a lot of young families that have moved into going into school," Mrs Wearne said.
"Those kids who are going into school, those kids who are getting jobs in Bendigo, are totally reliant on parents to get them into town.
"Our senior citizens if they don't have access to a care are pretty much bound to the Marong community."
Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards said she planned to advocate for more services of all kinds to Marong, as one of the biggest growth areas in Bendigo.
She praised Ms Giofrelle and Liam for advocating for the needs of their community.
"The need for additional services is without question. It's an obvious need and it will become and increasing need into the future," Ms Edwards said.
"I commend those young people for starting the petition to have additional public transport to Bendigo and to Marong in return."
A Department of Transport spokesperson said the department took a range of factors into account when prioritising service routes.
The potential number of passengers, suitability and safety of the road network for bus operations, the development of a direct and easily understood network, associated costs and the effect on existing passengers were among these.
"The Department of Transport continues to review and invest in bus networks in regional areas to ensure we're delivering the best possible services for passengers," the spokesperson said.
Bus services in Bendigo were last reviewed in 2018.
To read the petition, visit: bit.ly/marongbus
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