Taking the first ride is Sharon Knight MP Member for Wendouree and Cr Des Hudson Mayor of Ballarat.

BALLARAT now has a new City Circle bus thanks to Ballarat City Council and the Andrews Labor Government. Member for Wendouree, Sharon Knight, said the bus service, which will be trialled for six months, would relieve congestion, benefit retailers and boost the local economy by providing a free, convenient way for locals to get to Ballarat’s Central Business District.

The bus will run every 10 minutes from the Health Precinct near Drummond Street, along Sturt Street to the Bridge Mall. It will run between 8:00am and 7:00pm (excluding some public holidays) until 3 April, when daylight savings ends. Services outside of the daylight savings period will run between 10am and 5pm, seven days a week. The trial has been funded through a $150,000 contribution from Ballarat City Council and $50,000 from the Andrews Labor Government through the Transport Investing in Regions (TIIR) program. “Ballarat’s a growing city and we all know it is getting tougher to find a carpark in the CBD,” Ms Knight said. “The Andrews Labor Government and the City of Ballarat are investing in this trial to look more closely at sustainable transport solutions and to help people move easily around the CBD.” Mayor of Ballarat, Cr Des Hudson added, “The City of Ballarat is very pleased to partner with the Victorian Government to deliver the City Circle Ballarat bus. With 10 stops in 10 minutes, the free, hop-on, hop-off service will help people move easily and safely around the Ballarat CBD.”

“The City Circle Ballarat bus is sure to be popular with visitors who want to see more of the city, shoppers with heavy bags, families with young children, retailers and businesses who will benefit from more customers and clients travelling around the city, people who cannot travel freely on foot, and many CBD workers who will be able to park outside the heavy traffic area and take the free, quick ride to their destination.” TIIR provides grants to delivering practical solutions to local transport issues in regional Victoria. For more information about the City Circle bus trial, please visit www.ballarat.vic.gov.au.