A NEW bus service linking the Monaro to Canberra will officially start on Monday.
The Monaro Transconnect bus will offer a same day return service, five days a week, connecting Delegate, Bombala, Bibbenluke, Nimmitabel, Jindabyne, Berridale, Cooma, Bredbo and Michelago to the ACT.
It will provide an invaluable service for those living in more isolated areas across the region, as well as those wanting to avoid the long drive themselves to Canberra.
Bombala resident John Vincent has given the service the thumbs up after going on a trial run earlier in the month, which checked timelines for the route and schedule.
Mr Vincent used the service to visit his wife at John James Hospital. He said the service eased the pressure of doing the long drive and dealing with traffic in the ACT.
"The four hour round trip is exacerbated by the stress of seeing your wife in hospital; it is a long day and it is very tiring," Mr Vincent said.
"It was wonderful not to have to worry about driving and putting the extra kilometres on your vehicle."
He also found it a great social opportunity. "The drive was pleasant and the trip went quickly."
Mr Vincent said the proposed fare system was very cost-effective from both a financial perspective and also from a physical health angle.
The Delegate Progress Association has also welcomed the new service.
Lack of public transport has been a big issue for the area in the past. With an ageing population, a trip to Canberra for medical reasons often causes great inconvenience. Although some seniors are still driving, a drive to Canberra is often beyond their capabilities and they have to depend on friends or relatives.
Transconnect is a service for all people in Cooma-Monaro, Snowy River and Bombala Shires and is intended to improve transport options for residents to reduce transport disadvantage.
It is anticipated that the Transconnect bus will leave Cooma daily at about 8.15am and will return by 3.30pm. The estimated cost to catch the bus return will be $25.
For more information contact Bombala Council Community Services 6458 4620.