The weekend will be a wake-up call for the government when people with hail-affected cars are forced to use a weekend bus network which is "not up to scratch", the region's public transport lobby group says.
Chair of the Public Transport Association of Canberra, Ryan Hemsley, is calling on the government to provide "practical assistance" for people with hail-damaged cars by significantly increasing weekend services in underserved areas like the Molonglo Valley.
He is also calling on the government to require more bus drivers to work weekends. Mr Hemsley said some people with hail-affected cars would be forced to use the weekend bus network for the first time, and the government could come under extra pressure as a result.
"People are going to realise these services are not up to scratch," he said.
"[The government] has relied on the fact these services are not frequently used by most people."
Mr Hemsley said weekday services had been busier since the hail storm hit, which caused damage to more than 10,000 cars in the ACT. He said there had been long queues to access the R10 bus out of Molonglo since Tuesday.
"This should be a wake-up call for the government," he said. "The key thing is going to be finding a way we can get the frequency of the (weekend) bus network at a minimum of one an hour."
Mr Hemsley said in areas like Molonglo, people only had access to services operating every two hours within a circuitous route on weekends.
The government released an action plan to improve weekend reliability last year, which resulted in many services being temporarily cut. It is not known when these services will be reinstated.
The new network, introduced when light rail launched in April last year, created an ambitious weekend bus network. But the government was unable to operate many of the promised services, with thousands of services cancelled.
At the centre of the problem are driver workforce issues. The Transport Workers Union said the government failed to hire enough drivers before the new network launched, despite warnings there were not enough staff.
But the government said not enough drivers were volunteering to work weekend shifts.
Mr Hemsley said the government should consider outsourcing weekend services and making the EBA "fit for purpose". "At the end of the day they've got to find some way to solve the issue," he said. "It's been a long, slow process."
Transport Minister Chris Steel was asked if he would consider any of the association's proposals.
He replied: "Since the storm, we have been monitoring public transport patronage, and while there has been a small increase in passengers (3 per cent across the entire network), the network has been able to manage the additional load with no need for more services."