Thumbs Up for the New On Demand Bus Service to Macquarie Park

If you’re fed up with public buses being late or packed by the time they get to your bus stop, you might be interested in a new service being trialled by the NSW State Government called Keoride.

Keroride is a new on demand service to Macquarie Park. The service is available to any person who lives in an 8 km radius from Macquarie Park.  Initially, when this service was first publicised it did not look like it serviced the Lane Cove Council Area (in fact the website does not mention Lane Cove in its FAQ’s).

However, a roving reporter let ITC know that Keoride on demand system is available to Lane Cove residents. We put the call out to see if anyone was using the service and if they liked it.  Olivia (who works in Macquarie Park) answered our call and agreed to tell us about her experiences using the system.

Olivia happily using the new service

How Did You Find Out About the On-Demand Service?

My Macquarie Park workplace promoted Keoride when telling us about the upcoming Chatswood to Epping rail line closure on 30 September 2019.

To begin, I thought it was too good to be true and when I looked at the service map I didn’t realise Lane Cove was included. It wasn’t until one morning when I was walking to the public bus stop on Mowbray Road that I noticed a Keoride Van in my street. A few weeks later, I downloaded the Keoride App, and booked my first ride.  I was hooked, and I have not used my Opal Card since. My commute has become stress free, comfortable, reliable and cost-efficient.

What Does it Cost?

Fares for the Macquarie Park on demand transport trial will be set at a standard fare of:

$2.60 for a one-way journey less than 3kms.

$4.30 for a one-way journey between 3kms but less than 8kms.

$5.60 for a one-way journey of 8kms or more.

Does the Keoride Van Stop at Your House or a Central Spot?

The Keoride Van stops at the nearest corner or public bus stop. For me, it’s about a 50m walk from my door. The Keoride App determines a suitable location where a large van can legally stop and wait.

Does the Keoride Van Have Numerous Pick Ups Before Reaching Epping Road?

Occasionally there are a few other pick-ups, it depends on the time and if the other bookings are on the way to my drop off address. The most number of passengers I have had on my ride has been 3. As the service is only a trial I tend to feel better when others are onboard. I feel guilty when it’s just me! I’d love to see Keoride trail extended long-term and to know the trial is proving a success.

How Long Does It Take You to Get to Work?

On average, from Lane Cove North to Macquarie Park it takes 15-20 minutes, but this of course varies each day with traffic conditions and number of other passenger pick-ups.  You are dropped off at central locations around Macquarie Park.  The smart technology used in scheduling the pickups works out the optimal route.

Is Keoride Permitted to Use the Bus Lanes?

Yes, they do use the Bus Lanes. Keoride drivers are told they must use bus lanes even if they have no passengers on board at the time.

Have You Met Any New Friends Using the Service?

Not yet, but I have got to know some familiar faces who use the service as much as I do now. I also enjoy chatting with the drivers. I think I have met them all now and they are all friendly and love working for Keoride.

Is the Trip Home as Stress-Free?

I use Keoride for my return trip.  When I determine what time, I will be finish work, I quickly go into the Keoride App and pre-book my ride home. As there are only 8 Keoride Vans on the road at present, I usually schedule a few hours in advance to ensure my trip is accepted.

Thank you Olivia for letting us know all about the service and your experiences.

This is a pilot scheme only. The Macquarie Park pilot operates 5 days a week in these timeframes:

Weekday mornings 6am – 10am

Weekday evenings 3pm – 7pm

There are no services on the weekend during the pilot

Transport for NSW is undertaking a number of on demand trials across NSW and will evaluate the various trials once they are complete. It will be interesting to see if it continues.

Do you have a local issue you would like help with? ITC is here to help just email us at [email protected]

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