Survey holds key to bus service
GOLD Coast Airport has surveyed travellers to determine if there is a need for a scheduled bus service from the airport to Byron Bay.
The bus service, if given the green light by airport management and government regulators, could increase public transport options in the Tweed beyond the current Surfside service which stops at Kingscliff.
Shuttlebus operator Steve Carroll, who wants to start up an express scheduled service to Byron Bay, said if demand was sufficient it may be possible to run scheduled buses from the airport to Murwillumbah.
He said he already takes more than 200 people a week to Byron Bay on pre-booked shuttle runs.
Airport boss Dennis Chant stressed any decision to allow extra scheduled bus services from the airport would depend on demand.
If there was sufficient demand to make viable any extra bus service, the operator would be chosen through tendering, Mr Chant said.
He said a question asking if there was a need for a scheduled bus service from the airport to Byron Bay had been added to the airport's latest regular survey, of more than 300 people at the airport two weeks ago.
Mr Chant said the survey results were expected soon. He was commenting after Mr Carroll claimed Gold Coast Airport had refused to allow him to sell tickets at the airport for a scheduled bus service to Byron Bay.
Mr Chant said the airport had never received a proposal from Mr Carroll.
Mr Carroll said he wanted to charge $25 per scheduled bus trip from the airport to Byron Bay and he had a fleet of six 22-seater buses ready to meet every flight at the airport.
He said he had negotiated with Surfside to start up the Byron express service for a three-month tri- al from April this year but airport management had "put its head in the sand" by refusing to allow the service to go ahead.
He said two of his buses were now standing idle.
Mr Chant said Surfside had been advised it had no rights to negotiate for a scheduled bus service at the airport.
Mr Carroll hoped he would have the inside running if the airport decides to tender for a scheduled service to Byron Bay.