$85,000 pilot program for public transport

ON THE MOVE: Independent Frome MP Geoff Brock, right, with Michele Pole and Jared Kent who are embracing new horizons for people with transport needs.
ON THE MOVE: Independent Frome MP Geoff Brock, right, with Michele Pole and Jared Kent who are embracing new horizons for people with transport needs.

Are you looking for transport – who you gonna call?

For the next 12 months, the answer to the question is Michele Pole who is the public face of an $85,000 first-ever pilot program to investigate Port Pirie’s transport needs.

Ms Pole is busy setting up a landline for her role as co-ordinator of the program.

After research called for by Independent Frome MP Geoff Brock, and conducted last year by industry body Bus SA, the state government funded the trial of a Regional Accessibility Committee in Port Pirie and districts. 

The committee will help move people in the Port Pirie region who are without or have limited access to mobility options, including the regular town service, taxis, or community services, as well as those offered by the Northern Passenger Transport Network based in Melrose.

The aim is to improve options and share information. Transport providers will come together with potential clients in a model that is based on benefits for locals. 

Clients will be helped under the title Moving People Pirie which will act as a journey “broker”, matching a traveller to a trip provided by a provider, or where necessary, getting that person to an existing service. All trips will have a cost, but passengers may seek subsidies. 

Bus SA appointed Ms Pole to coordinate the program. Bus company Kent Group’s Jared Kent has agreed to provide office facilities for her at their Esmond Road depot as well as chair the committee.

Moving People Pirie can be contacted at 0447 873 977 or hello@movingpeoplepirie.org.au

Mr Brock said the program would “audit” all modes of transport, including taxis and buses.

“I don’t think they are all being fully used – can we do it better?” he said.

“This is the first time that this has ever happened that I know of. We are trying to eliminate the ‘silo’ mentality that has been happening for years. You would be surprised how much value is out there.” If the program is successful, it could be rolled out across the state. It will be just a phone call away.