ANU student Skye Predavec is petitioning the ACT government to establish once more the bus running along Daley Road. The government discontinued the Daley Road route in 2019, but it served as many students’ closest means of public transport. Now Predevac, along with hundreds of students, wants it back.
Skye Predavec (she/her) is a general representative of the undergraduate student union, ANUSA. She pinpoints three main reasons why there should be a bus along Daley Road.
Predave highlighted the cost of living crisis currently affecting most low-income Australians, which includes many university students. The distance to Civic for groceries “forces people to start using the rental scooters or buying expensive groceries on campus” which adds to student costs. The cost of living crisis has hit students particularly hard. Before inflation rose to 7.8% last year, half of students had a personal budget deficit, and 17% regularly went without food. Making transport cheaper and easier, Predavec believes, will go some way to assisting struggling students.
Predavec also argues that a bus would give students better work opportunities: “having better public transport access means… you can get better jobs outside of Civic…”
Lastly, Predavec thinks the bus will help students “coming back home late at night or after a night out …walking quite a long distance to a really unlit, famously unsafe campus.” This is a reference that fact that the ANU is the worst-ranked Group of Eight university for sexual assault and harassment (SASH) and the second-worst in the country.
The petition has already seen a groundswell of student support. Around 400 people have already signed it, while Predavec has been the subject of a number of ANU Confessions and Crushes, specifically for her petition. She described how a number of students “…think that this would actually be really, really life changing for them.” It would also help students with accessibility issues and a number of such students have reached out to Predavec.
The bus itself would run along Daley Road, either as a separate route, or connected to a larger route. The plan would be to have it stop at the currently disused bus stops along the road. The original Daley Road bus was discontinued because of low-use. Predavec’s petition could show a resurgence in those who would use the bus.
When asked whether other Canberrans might resent a student-specific bus route, Predavec cited support from workers in residential colleges for whom it would make an easy commute. Widespread benefits could help to address any possible community resentment. But, she also asserted that “…there are 4000 people living on that back road.” Many of whom lack adequate transport.
The petition itself is being sponsored by Jo Clay, the Greens Spokesperson for Transport. Predavec has reached out to Chris Steel, the ACT Minister for Transport. She described a cold response from his office, “which didn’t really address any of the actual problems which this would solve.”
A spokesperson for the ACT government said that they are considering a response to this petition, and will provide it after the petition closes on the 20th of March.
The spokesperson explained that “Prior to 2019, when former route 3 operated on Daley Road in Acton, only small numbers of students used the service, with most students and other customers travelling to and from the ANU using other routes which are still being provided.”
Other universities, like UQ and QUT also have council supported public transport. The ANU does have a car managed by UniSafe and both students and staff can ask to be driven across campus.
The petition has not run out of steam yet, with both the number of signatories and posts about the petition growing each day. The petition can be found here.
If you have found the contents of this article distressing, please use the following resources:
ANU Student Safety and Wellbeing
(02) 6125 2211
ANU Respectful Relationships Unit
Canberra Rape Crisis Centre, Crisis Line
(02) 6247 2525
(02) 6125 2442
1800 737 732
ANU Disabilities Students Association
ANU BIPOC Department
ANU Indigenous Department
ANU Women’s Department
ANU Queer* Department
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