A BRAND new community transport bus depot at Albion Park will enable the more efficient delivery of key services within the entire region.
The Shellharbour community transport bus depot was officially opened last Wednesday.
The 2000 square metre facility is located in the centre of Albion Park and includes a storage and amenities building, space for 14 community buses and separate parking for the driver's vehicles.
The 42 square metre building contains a toilet and kitchenette plus shelving for storage. There is also a large open verandah for the buses to be able to park and load/unload under cover.
The $355,000 project was funded by the council with the assistance of $77,000 from the NSW Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care.
"This brand new facility provides our volunteers and staff with a quality resource to accommodate this vital community service," Mayor Marianne Saliba said.
"We are also proud to be part of the Community Transport: Wollongong-Shellharbour Consortium, providing a range of flexible transport options to eligible residents."
The service is in need of more volunteers to ensure the subsidised transport needs are delivered from the Shellharbour office to 98 HACC and Ministry of Transport-approved groups, as well as shopping trips and social outings, which equates to more than 50,000 passenger trips each year.
The service's 51 volunteer drivers and client support people contribute on average about 20,000 hours of community service a year.
Keith Douglass, of Oak Flats, has been a volunteer driver for the past 12 years. The 74-year-old volunteers five to six days a week and said the service was short on drivers.
"I live by myself and it's rewarding just going out," he said. "It's great just to come out and help the community.
"If you're retired and stuck in a rut, this is a good chance to break out of it."
The new depot is located near Centenary Hall at Albion Park Showground.
To volunteer, phone 4256 0091.