Revellers’ ticket to ride

THE Night Rider bus trial has been re-introduced in a bid to crack down on crime and anti-social behaviour in Traralgon.

From 3 June, the service will operate on Sunday mornings.

The Traralgon Central Business District Safety Committee, which includes Victoria Police, Latrobe City Council, licensed and venue operators, Traralgon Taxis, Latrobe Valley Bus Lines and local businesses, believes the Night Rider service would reduce crime in the precinct.

“(It will) take more people off the streets and prevent cues at the taxi ranks, which has been a problem hotspot; we hope the taxis will be more readily available,” Traralgon CBD Safety Committee spokesperson Andrew Legge said.

“The Traralgon CBD Safety Committee has done a good job trying to prevent violence and making the streets cleaner in the CBD for the Sunday morning.”

Three services will operate from the Traralgon CBD for a 12-month trial period on Sunday mornings.

These include Traralgon to Moe, via Morwell from 2.30am, Traralgon to Churchill from 3.30am and Traralgon to Moe, via Morwell from 4.30am.

According to Latrobe Police community liaison officer, Leading Senior Constable Brett Godden, during the 2009 trial Victoria Police’s anecdotal evidence showed a reduction in early morning assaults and crime in the entertainment precinct.

“It made a terrific impact, we had reports assaults were down, and in the surrounding areas… people were saying were a lot quieter,” Ldg Snr Const Godden said.

“The Night Rider bus is something Victoria Police really support because it helps get folks out of the area quickly and safely.

“At the end of the day, we all want to go out and have a good time, but arrive home safely.”

Morwell resident Nikki Brendel welcomed the Night Rider announcement.

“I think its a good idea; usually you have to wait over an hour for taxi and it’s not cheap travelling from Traralgon to Morwell,” Ms Brendel said.

State Member for Morwell Russell Northe said the bus services would be equipped with two security guards.

“I have strongly supported the reinstatement of this service and hope that local people will make the most of the service to ensure we can continue providing the service into the future.”

Services will depart from Stockland Plaza Traralgon and normal public transport fares will apply.