A large crowd turned out to a seniors forum to give their opinion to Mayor Paul Pisasale and Federal member for transport Rachel Nolan about bus service changes.
A large crowd turned out to a seniors forum to give their opinion to Mayor Paul Pisasale and Federal member for transport Rachel Nolan about bus service changes. Rob Williams

Mixed reviews of taxi service

USERS of the much-maligned FlexiLink taxi service that replaced a number of dumped Ipswich bus routes will have their first formal meeting of the year this month.

TransLink says its figures show the service is running well with nearly 90 per cent of booked taxis arriving on time, but some residents complain the service is not a suitable bus replacement.

North Ipswich resident Louise Fullarton, who helped organise the commuter protest meetings against the introduction of the taxi plan, said feedback she heard was overwhelmingly negative.

“People just want their buses back. The FlexiLink system just isn’t working,” she said.

A meeting for commuters will be held on February 26, with the idea of taking a bus to parliament to protest the system just one of the items to be mooted.

Numerous commuter meetings were held last year before the changes were introduced on December 13.

Ipswich MP and Transport Minister Rachel Nolan fronted a meeting for affected seniors later that month, and said commuter feedback would be listened to.

Regular FlexiLink user Travis Burrell, 86, from Tivoli, said the taxis he booked were late about “eight out of 10 times”.

“I always allow 10 minutes because I know they have other customers and traffic, but when it gets to being 30 minutes, an hour, or an hour and 20 minutes late, it does get frustrating,” he said.

A TransLink spokesperson said in its first two weeks, more than 1500 people used the FlexiLink service with 86 per cent of services running within 10 minutes of the booked time.

They said the number for bookings and enquiries was now a free number (1800 882 662).

“TransLink will continue to monitor the uptake and work with the Community Reference Group to provide the best service possible,” a statement said.

“Since FlexiLink’s inception in Ipswich, there have been 74 calls regarding the service to the TransLink call centre, including positive feedback about improvements to services.”

The 505, 510 and 523 routes were scrapped in the bus timetable shake up last year while a number of other routes were merged.

More bus routes were added and weekend services expanded on other services as part of the timetable changes.

 

A meeting for commuters to discuss the FlexiLink system will be held on Saturday, February 26, at Banjo’s Bar and Function Centre on Bell Street from 2pm.



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