The ACT government has been swamped with complaints about changes to the city's bus routes, as Transport Minister Meegan Fitzharris admits she had been anticipating a major backlash to the public transport overhaul.
The scale of the community reaction to the revamp of the bus network was revealed when Ms Fitzharris and senior Transport Canberra officials fronted budget estimates hearings on Friday.
The new system has been designed to streamline Canberra's bus network, funneling commuters into major interchanges and rapid routes.
But some services and stops have been axed as a result, forcing passengers to walk further to catch a bus.
Transport Canberra deputy director-general Duncan Edghill told the hearing that the directorate had received more than 4500 items of feedback since the new network went live on April 29, including a mix of complaints, praise and questions.
Mr Edgill could not say exactly how much of that feedback had been negative, but Ms Fitzharris acknowledged there had been blowback from the community about the changes.
"Clearly it has been a massive change, so we expected to see a lot more feedback and we expected to hear complaints from people," Ms Fitzharris said.
"For a number of people, their journey did change [under the new network]."
Liberal Giulia Jones, who is on the committee overseeing the hearings, said many constituents had raised concerns that their complaints about the new network were being ignored.
Ms Fitzharris said her office "acknowledged" each email it received before forwarding it to the directorate to follow up.
The government has already made some concessions, adding extra services to St Francis Xavier's College in Florey and Burgmann Anglican School's two campuses.
"We're genuinely taking this feedback on board," she said. "All the feedback that we are getting will be factored into reviewing the network over the course of the next six and 12 months."
"You cannot have a system that is going to meet everyone's needs all of the time."
Mr Edgill expanded on that point, acknowledging that some commuters would be worse off under an system designed to benefit "Canberra as a whole".
He said the ultimate measure of the system's success was overall patronage numbers, which he was "delighted with".
A feature of the new network is expanded weekend operations, however driver shortages have already forced the cancellation of some services.
Drivers volunteer to work on Saturday and Sunday under the terms of an enterprise agreement finalised in December. The government had pushed for weekend work to be made compulsory, but backed away from the demand amid fears a driver strike could jeopardise the launch of the new network.
Mr Edgill said Transport Canberra was encouraging individual drivers to work on a weekend if it appeared a shortage was looming.
He said the directorate was also running a rolling recruitment campaign which was targeting drivers "who were more inclined to work on the weekends".
"If there are some services that are going to be lost, we try and do it in a way that creates as little issue as possible," he said.