Weston Creek Community Council has added its voice to the growing list of complaints about changes to timetables and routes for Canberra's ACTION bus network.
Council chairman Tom Anderson wrote to ACT Chief Minister and Opposition Leader Jeremy Hanson last week to outline concerns about changes included in the Network 14 plan, which he said had left residents of Weston Creek and Molonglo facing longer commuting times and more bus changes.
The council argued the use of MyWay card data for planning of new timetables, which came into effect on September 1, fails to adequately consider potential demand, and the changes are likely to see more commuters leave bus services for private cars.
"It was hard to believe bus services in Weston Creek could get any worse, yet, despite all the spin, somehow Network 14 has managed to achieve just that," Mr Anderson wrote.
"In contrast to the ACT Government's often stated policy aim of encouraging people out of cars and onto public transport, Network 14 appears designed to achieve the opposite outcome in Weston Creek."
The introduction of the changes followed weeks of promotion by ACTION and the ACT Government, but some bus passengers have complained to drivers, a special information line and social media about daily experiences.
Drivers were told last week to stop distributing flyers asking passengers to call Mr Rattenbury's office rather than complain to them and the Transport Workers Union said unrealistic run times put increased pressure on ACTION staff.
Mr Anderson said several popular bus services from Weston Creek had been cut, including some to the parliamentary triangle, and additional express services were scheduled too early in the morning to be of use to the majority of passengers working in the triangle or in the city.
He said the one welcome feature of the changes was the new 705 Xpresso service from Tuggeranong to Belconnen.
"Weston Creek already has among the lowest rates of public transport usage in Canberra," Mr Anderson's letter said. The community council "believes that this is largely due to poor bus route design, in particular the lack of direct bus links to the city."
Calling on the government to revisit the changes, Mr Anderson said Network 14 showed "a tale of two cities", where Canberra's inner north and Gungahlin had seen significant improvements.
A Territory and Municipal Services (TAMS) directorate spokesman said last week any changes to public transport services in Canberra attracted concerns from some members of the community.
TAMS Minister Shane Rattenbury's office reported receiving a normal amount of communication from the public last week.
"The nature of the bus network is that it can never run to every individuals specific needs, however we are confident we have developed the best, most effective and efficient network we can with the resources available," the TAMS spokesman said.
"The network has been developed as a result of using MyWay patronage data and a significant community consultation phase involving over 2300 pieces of feedback," the spokesman said. "This has led to ACTION receiving positive feedback from people who are happy with the changes which now see more direct routes, increased frequency of buses, better connections and several new services."