All Aboard For Free Ticket To Ride

Coffs Harbour City

City of Coffs Harbour’s bold free bus travel initiative aims to help all members of the community, including people who don’t drive.

The free bus travel trial starts on Friday 19 April, and Mayor Paul Amos said it would particularly support older people who no longer drive and unlicensed teenagers who rely on parents to get around, as well as families and all residents.

“This will reach the community with a very broad brush because there’s no need for people to be sitting at home and lonely,” Cr Amos said.

Funded by $20,000 from City of Coffs Harbour and significantly subsidised by local transport companies Busways and CDC NSW/Forest Coach Lines, the program will run through to 14 July.

The initiative – possibly an Australian-first – will offer free bus travel on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays on regular routes (excluding school runs) of Busways and CDC’s Forest Coach Lines linking the communities of Macksville, Nambucca Heads, Bellingen and Grafton with Coffs Harbour.

“This will be a chance for people to get out and experience life and not be stuck at home – and it could be habit forming,” Cr Amos said.

Busways Operations Regional Support Manager Mark Lawrence is onboard with the program.

“There are a lot of options for people to travel within our network, with over 350 bus stops – that can be for things like medical appointments or going to the markets,” Mr Lawrence said.

“This is a great initiative from Council and we hope it encourages the Coffs community to jump on board and make the most of their local bus service for a more connected and sustainable Coffs Harbour.”

CDC NSW Regional Manager – Forest Coach Lines, Dene Petty, said the program had the potential to permanently boost the community’s use of public transport.

“With no limit to how many trips you can take for free, we hope our existing and new customers enjoy the convenience of getting around the region on our buses,” Mr Petty said.

“People are very excited about this, and we’ve had a lot of inquiries already.”

Gayle Ward is a regular public transport user and can barely wait for the start of the promotion.

“I’ve been using Busways for over 15 years to get to and from work and the service is amazing, I love it,” Ms Ward said.

“It will be good if I want to go to the markets or just up to Woolgoolga as well – because everything happens on the weekend.”

For everything you need to know about the initiative, including links to timetables, and the routes included in the free travel initiative visit here.

The bus companies will provide daily statistics on the service’s use at the end of the three-month trial.


Busways Operations Regional Support Manager Mark Lawrence, City of Coffs Harbour Mayor Cr Paul Amos and CDC NSW Regional Manager – Forest Coach Lines, Dene Petty.

/Public Release. View in full here.