Hope for night shuttle bus service

IN THE wake of yet another tragic car accident in theByron Shire area, one local is hoping she can help reduce the area's notorious fatality rate.

Wendy Bithell, of Brunswick Heads, started using her personal work van recently as a night shuttle bus for people in the northern area of the shire to get to and from Byron Bay.

She hopes her shuttle bus will encourage people not to drive their own cars when going out.

“I was in Byron Bay one night having dinner with a few friends and I was staring down the barrel of a $200 night with taxi fares and such,” she said.

“Then I started hearing reports of this area ranking high in road fatality statistics and everything clicked into place.

“Each night I drive into Byron Bay with an empty bus and I come back with an empty bus, so I have a resource being wasted.

“I think why are young kids dying when this bus can be utilised.

“This is a very small community where everyone knows everyone and I saw those three boys the afternoon before the accident.

“I saw how it affected the people around here who knew them and it made me absolutely certain this (shuttle bus) is needed.”

Ms Bithell usually drives her bus to pick up touristsgoing on night nature walks.

After much hesitation, she posted a link about her shuttle service and its discounted fares for people under 25 on a Facebook page dedicated to local youth killed in car accidents.

“I didn't want it to appear I was profiteering, but these young people are just screaming out for a night bus,” she said.

“So I just posted it and I had really positive feedback. Young people don't want to fork out a lot of money on taxis.”

Ms Bithell said she wasn't a taxi service and hoped young people would practice a bit of responsibility and ‘give and take' when it came to booking a ride with her.

She is an accredited bus driver with Transport NSW and has alerted Byron Shire Council of her operations.

Ms Bithell's shuttle bus services Billinudgel, Ocean Shores, South Golden Beach, New Brighton, Mullumbimby and Brunswick Heads.

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