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1Latest information on the Northern region bus network

A new general access bus network for the Northern region, including Launceston and surrounding towns and regions commenced on 19 January 2020.

The new and improved routes and timetables have reinvigorated the local bus network across Launceston and surrounding regions including the West Tamar, George Town, the Northern Midlands, the north east and the east coast.

The changes were finalised following an extensive community consultation period which occurred from April to June 2019.

The changes have seen more direct routes and more frequent services, and updated timetables that provide more consistent departure times, improved reliability and minimised transfer times.

These network changes balance making services smarter by providing more direct routes which reduce travel times with ensuring the services remain accessible, providing better access to employment, education and other services.

In a big win for commuters across the broader Launceston city area, a new high frequency cross-city route now links the university with Kings Meadows via Mowbray, Invermay, Inveresk, the city, Launceston General Hospital and Six Ways.

Across the region, there are now more services more often to major towns including Legana, Exeter, George Town, Perth and Bridport and improved links for the West Tamar, north east, east coast and Northern Midlands areas, as well as new Sunday services

Additionally, new trial services have been implemented in Riverside/Trevallyn and Waverley/Ravenswood to address concerns raised through the public consultation process.

Services to Mole Creek, Deloraine, Westbury and Carrick are currently on hold along with the launch of the North West network. Consultation on these proposed changes occurred in September and October 2019.

To check changes, including timetables and routes for your services please visit the Northern region bus timetables and maps page

2Public consultation process in the North

An extensive public consultation process was undertaken from April to June 2019 which sought the community’s feedback on both the Metro urban Launceston network and the Northern regional network.

As a result of this feedback some changes to refine routes and timetables were made in order to achieve the right balance between smart route design and reducing travel times while also ensuring the services remain accessible to meet a broad range of transport needs.

During the consultation process we received a total of 388 responses. Of these, 181 related to the urban Launceston network, and 207 related to the Northern regional network.

Click here to view the final Northern bus services review public consultation report. (925KB PDF)

Please note that following the release of the public consultation report, minor adjustments to some routes and timetables were required based on scheduling of bus services and to ensure timetable accuracy.

For Blackstone Heights (route 161) a decision was made to maintain the current section of the route through Neptune Drive and Glover Avenue, rather than remove it as previously proposed.

The frequency of services to Coles Bay also increased compared to what was originally proposed.

3Fares and ticketing changes in the North

Information on fares for Northern region bus service are available here.

Some regional operators - East Tamar Bus Lines (formerly Lees Coaches) and Sainty’s North East Bus Services have moved to a smart card ticketing system. More information on these ticketing changes is available here.

4Further information about the changes in the North

Northern region – towns and regions surrounding Launceston

If you require further information about changes to services in the Northern region, including services provided by Manions’ Coaches, East Tamar Bus Lines (formerly Lees Coaches), Sainty’s North East Bus Services, Tassielink and Calow’s Coaches you can contact the bus service operator directly. You can also contact the Department of State Growth for this information, as well as information about the review and consultation, using the contact information here.

Launceston network

The Metro customer service team is available to help you understand the changes to Metro services, including school services.  Please contact correspondence@metrotas.com.au or ring 13 22 01.

5Latest information on the North West and intercity bus networks

The general access bus network for the North West region, including intercity services between Devonport and Launceston and Launceston and Hobart, will be implemented on 17 January, 2021.

The bus network changes will apply to students travelling on General Access (public) bus services and school bus services in the North West from the start of the 2021 school year. Visit the school bus service changes page to find out more.

The bus network changes to be implemented were finalised following an extensive community consultation period which occurred from September to October 2019. More information on the consultation is provided below.

The changes will see the introduction of a new North West Express service  that will link Burnie and Devonport, with stops in Penguin and Ulverstone, and will operate hourly in each direction on weekdays and Saturdays, and two-hourly on Sundays.

The network will also see an increase in intercity services from Hobart to Launceston and Launceston to Devonport, as well as better connections through to Burnie with the introduction of the new North West Express service.

Another major boost for local communities will see the introduction of Sunday services to population centres including Smithton, Wynyard, Latrobe, Port Sorell, and Sheffield, as well as on key Burnie and Devonport urban routes.

Other key changes in response to community consultation will see route changes in East Wynyard and the retention of the Ulverstone to Burnie service, which allows Penguin residents more opportunities to shop in Ulverstone, and timing adjustments to better align Wynyard and Devonport services with work finish times.

The current general access school days only service between Mole Creek and Launceston will also remain, ensuring access for regional communities like Mole Creek and Chudleigh to Deloraine, Westbury and Launceston.

These changes mean that North West residents will have better access to jobs, education and services across the coast. The North West network is the latest set of improvements we are making to the bus network right around the state.

To check changes, including timetables and routes for your services please visit the bus services are changing page.

6How was the North West network developed

As part of the review of general access bus services State Growth in the North West, State Growth engaged consultants Phillip Boyle and Associates to undertake a detailed review of Devonport and Burnie urban bus networks.

The review included community workshops held in Burnie and Devonport in 2017. After the community workshops, Phillip Boyle and Associates developed a report recommending a new network. The report can be accessed here.

Following the release of the report, State Growth has undertaken further planning in conjunction with the bus operators and local councils to refine the network and develop new timetables and routes.

An extensive public consultation process was undertaken from September to October 2019 which sought the community’s feedback on the North West bus network and intercity services (services between Devonport, Launceston and Hobart).

As part of the consultation process we received a total of 297 responses.

Overall, the consultation feedback showed a high level of support for proposed changes.

After listening to feedback from the community, we have made some changes to refine routes and timetables in order to achieve the right balance between smart route design and reducing travel times while also ensuring the services remain accessible to meet a broad range of transport needs.

View the final North West bus review public consultation report.

7North West bus stop infrastructure upgrades

State Growth has invested in the construction of a number of new bus stops across the North West region, particularly in Burnie and Devonport to support the new network once it is implemented. As part of this process we have consulted with Councils, bus operators and adjacent land owners on the location and design of these new bus stops.

All of these stops are accessible (DDA compliant) making it easier for people with disabilities or people travelling with prams to access public transport.

Information on the location of new bus stops and bus stop removals as a result of network changes will be provided to passengers in early January 2021.

8What are the changes to student travel in the North West?

Changes to student travel in the North West region will commence at the start of the 2021 school year on 3 February. These changes may impact students who use buses to travel to school.

Changes will impact:

  • Students travelling wholly within the urban network of Devonport and Latrobe (operated by Merseylink).
  • Students travelling into Devonport and Latrobe from Baker’s Beach, Kimberley, Railton, Melrose, Spreyton, Turners Beach, Leith, Ulverstone and North Motton.
  • Students travelling wholly within the urban network of Burnie (operated by Metro).
  • Students travelling into Burnie from Wynyard.

These changes follow a state-wide review of school and general access bus services undertaken by the Department of State Growth.

Find out more details about the North West school bus services changes.

9Further information on North West and intercity network

If you require further information about changes to services in the north west region and the intercity services which are provided by Metro, Merseylink and Redline Coaches you can contact the bus service operator directly below:

If you would like to know more about the changes to the North west network, contact Passenger Transport via email at ptscontracts@stategrowth.tas.gov.au or by calling 03 6166 3343.