No more Night Rider

Updated November 7 2012 - 2:29am, first published June 30 2010 - 11:32am

LATE-NIGHT revellers can expect a long wait out in the cold with the Night Rider bus service calling it quits.Under a recent agreement, the operating costs were to be covered by fares from the bus patrons and contributions from the City of Greater Bendigo and late-night venue operators and owners.Chair of the Safe Community Forum Sue Clarke said it was disappointing only three out of the six late-night venues had paid the agreed annual contribution. “At a recent meeting with stakeholders in the Night Rider bus it was clear there was not an ongoing commitment from the venue operators and owners,” she said.‘‘A decision like this doesn’t come easy.‘‘We’ve been working on this agreement for the past 18 months.‘‘Some venues have contributed and there are others that aren’t going to.‘‘We’re certainly looking at other options but there isn’t anything on the table at this stage.’’Bendigo police said it was costing the council and Victoria Police money to run the buses, and the council was now out of pocket.Senior Sergeant Mark Edwards said the service was primarily to pick up night club patrons in the CBD and to make sure they were home safely.‘‘Certainly the feedback I’ve been getting is that it is being used, and the longer it runs the more it would get used,’’ he said.‘‘Pubs and clubs are responsible to make sure it works.‘‘They need to be part of the solution.’’Black Swan owner Andreas Bazzani said his customers were willing to use the Night Rider service. ‘‘People want a ride that will take them home,’’ he said. ‘‘Having said that, taxis have been an absolute nightmare.‘‘People tell me they don’t go out because they can’t get home. ‘‘Who wants to be waiting out in the cold for a taxi?‘‘It’s a shame the service hasn’t been a success but we need to invest in taxis because what we’ve got now doesn’t support the current demand.’’Pug Mahones owner Andrew Lethlean said the Night Rider bus wasn’t getting as much use as it should have.‘‘I think some operators feel the money could be channelled to better areas,’’ he said.‘‘There were also operational problems and it wasn’t promoted well.’’Taxi Association of Bendigo fleet manager Jason Tully said his drivers had supported the concept from the start.‘‘I just don’t think the people have been using it and the main problem is it doesn’t drop people at the front door,’’ he said.City of Greater Bendigo Director of Community Wellbeing Barry Secombe said without the additional contributions, the City of Greater Bendigo could not maintain the service. “However, in conjunction with the Safe Community Forum we intend to investigate other possibilities and hope that we are able to resume a service some time in the future,” he said.

Subscribe now for unlimited access.

or signup to continue reading

All articles from our website & app
The digital version of Today's Paper
Breaking news alerts direct to your inbox
Interactive Crosswords, Sudoku and Trivia
All articles from the other in your area

Get the latest Bendigo news in your inbox

Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.

We care about the protection of your data. Read our Privacy Policy.