Commuters were positive in their feedback after the first day of Newcastle’s new park and ride service between Broadmeadow and the CBD.
Almost 100 people used the service on Monday, despite the rainy weather, which took workers from their cars at McDonald Jones Stadium and into the city in the morning, before it returned them in the afternoon.
Several commuters who spoke to the Newcastle Herald said they were pleased with the service and planned to use it again.
Though one passenger said an extra service in the morning, closer to 9am, would be beneficial for workers who started their day at 9.30am.
“It was easy, I got here at about 7am, walked straight up here and jumped on the bus and off we went,” said Todd Lloyd, who lives in Glendale and works in Hunter Street.
Newcastle City Council interim CEO Jeremy Bath said the level of patronage on day one was “a great result, given the inclement weather”.
Mr Bath said council would analyse passenger numbers in the coming weeks to determine whether it needed to “tinker with” the service’s start and finish times.
“Based on the positive feedback from commuters and the continuing increase in registrations, we expect to see patronage rise every day this week,” he said.
“Many people mentioned they were going to share their positive park and ride experience with their family, friends and colleagues.
“One of the interesting lessons learnt today was the number of people who were dropped off at the stadium and made use of the free bus ride.
“Council's view on this is the more people the better using public transport to access the CBD.”
Council, along with Newcastle Transport, Transport for NSW, Hunter Development Corporation, Venues NSW and Revitalising Newcastle, announced the new initiative last week.
It is expected to take up to 350 vehicles out of the CBD daily and save motorists as much as $1400 a year in parking fees.
Commuters must first register for a free permit either online at newcastle.nsw.gov.au/parkandride or by calling council on 4974 2000.