Robin Wheatley doesn’t drive and has difficulty walking. But she volunteers every week at the Manly Environment Centre and uses Manly’s Hop, Skip & Jump free bus service to get there.
This month she became the three millionth passenger for the community bus service.
The council-run service also celebrated its tenth birthday, with the buses travelling 2 million kms - or 50 times around the Earth - in that time.
Hop, Skip and Jump routes cover Manly to Fairlight, Seaforth to Balgowlah and Balgowlah Heights to Clontarf, as well as many stops in Manly CBD and the Eastern Hill. The service uses STA bus stops as well as stopping on a “hail and ride” basis where safety permits.
The service makes a huge contribution to getting car traffic off the streets and decreasing pollution. As a bonus, the buses run on biodiesel fuel, which means lower emissions of carbon monoxide and dioxide, compared to standard vehicles.
But for many people their main role is helping the elderly, and people without cars, to live life to the full.
“My bus stop is just opposite the Environment Centre,” Ms Wheatley said.
“The service is terrific. It’s been incredibly helpful for me.”
Ms Wheatley received a bouquet of flowers from Mayor Jean Hay to celebrate reaching the three million passenger mark.
Routes and timetables are available from Manly Council at 1 Belgrave St, Manly and are online at www.manly.nsw.gov.au
Candy Bingham, Manly Ward Councillor on Northern Beaches Council. Background in marketing, public relations and community engagement. Author of five business books. Former Lady Mayoress of Sydney. Aka Candy Tymson.