The Pring St bus stop is now closed. The drop-off point is near St Andrews Private Hospital.
The Pring St bus stop is now closed. The drop-off point is near St Andrews Private Hospital. Claudia Baxter

Public or private hospital stop?

IPSWICH bus commuters are being asked to choose whether they want to stop at the city’s private or public hospital, but with no option to stop at both.

TransLink is asking route 503 bus users to choose between stopping at the public hospital on Chelmsford Ave or St Andrew’s Ipswich Private Hospital on Pring St, which is also close to other medical services.

Public submissions for the rejigging of the route, which travels from Bundamba to Riverlink Shopping Centre via Eastern Heights, close this Friday.

It currently stops at the front of the Ipswich Hospital, but if St Andrew’s is the preferred option, that stop will be axed, leaving the route 515 to stop at the main public hospital stop.

With both hospitals only one kilometre apart, Robert Dow from commuter lobby group Rail Back on Track said the service should stop at both.

“It’s pleasing to see they are seeking public opinion on any changes,” Mr Dow said.

“They should stop at both. What’s the problem with doing both?”

He said some people going to hospital have mobility issues, and public transport options should help to get patients close to those facilities.

Chris Murphy, who recently left St Andrew’s as CEO, said buses used to stop outside there before the routes were taken off.

“The hospital would support the reintroduction of a service. We have a bus stop there, so a return of service would be good,” Mr Murphy said.

A TransLink spokesman said going to both hospitals is not on the agenda and won’t be considered.

“While it might seem simple to service both hospitals, doing so would mean the bus would have to loop around both St Andrews’ Private and Ipswich public hospitals, which would add substantially to the travel time,” he said in a statement.

The 509 bus stops on Churchill Street behind the hospital.

In other public transport news, “hail ‘n’ ride” bus services are officially over from today.

Ipswich was one of the last areas in south-east Queensland to have a hail ‘n’ ride bus service, and the changes are expected to boost on-time performance.

Passengers must now stop at dedicated TransLink bus stops to board or leave a bus service.

Mr Dow said commuters should now see a more efficient service.

TransLink said they had a 10-week amnesty and ran an extensive awareness campaign involving driver announcements and advertisements letting people know about the changes. 

To tell TransLink what bus route you would prefer, call them on 3338 4439 between 9am 5pm until Friday, or visit the website www.translink.com.au



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