Cairns Co-opts Shuttle Bus to Accommodate Passengers

In Customer Service, Featured Home Page News, Harmonisation

Sounds obvious, but some regional airports are only now acknowledging end-to-end service as cruicial to their success.

Exemplar Coaches and Limousines and Cairns Airport team up for shuttle bus service

From the Cairns Post, 5th September 2022
The Cairns Airport has struck a deal with Exemplar coaches and limousines to run shuttle buses from the airport to the Cairns CBD for every arriving flight. VIDEO: Brendan Radke – Cairns Post

A NEW solution to fix the outrageous taxi and rideshare delays at Cairns Airport has arrived with a service expected to speed things up.

For months people have been forced to wait up to two hours for transport across the city as services struggle to keep up with delays.

An agreement between Exemplar Coaches and Limousines and Cairns Airport has allowed them to offer a scheduled shuttle bus service to Port Douglas, Palm Cove and Cairns City called the Cairns Airporter from Monday.

Cairns transport company Exemplar will now meet every plane arriving at the Cairns Airport with a shuttle coach service, after striking a deal with the airport. Exemplar co owners Gordon and Cheryl Wellham. Picture: Brendan Radke

Cairns transport company Exemplar will now meet every plane arriving at the Cairns Airport with a shuttle coach service, after striking a deal with the airport. Exemplar co owners Gordon and Cheryl Wellham. Picture: Brendan Radke

Exemplar Coaches and Limousines director Gordon Wellham said they would begin to manage the transfer desks at both the domestic and international terminals.

“We recognise that Tropical North Queensland is operating at record levels with airport arrivals also very strong,” he said.

“We want to meet that demand and with our fleet and product expansion.”

Mr Wellham said he hoped to move 600 too 800 passengers per day from the airport.

“We’ve got a logistical booking engine where live data will be presented,” he said.

“Our main office has vehicle tracking machines.

“I am sure as we go forward and develop the process and systems – it will continue to improve.

“The way we are doing it is so the bus is constantly moving.”

Cairns Airport chief executive Richard Barker said he still recommended visitors and locals pre-book travel arrangements to and from the airport.

Cairns Airport CEO Richard Barker said this was a good long term solution to the regions shortage of staff, operators and taxi drivers. Picture: Brendan Radke

Cairns Airport CEO Richard Barker said this was a good long term solution to the regions shortage of staff, operators and taxi drivers. Picture: Brendan Radke

“One of the challenges is a lot of operators, aviation, tourism – they all have a shortage of staff,” he said.

Cairns taxis who are the dominant provider don’t have enough drivers. We thought a better long-term solution would be to bring in the shuttle.

“One of the key features of this new agreement is a scheduled city transfer service, which will offer regular coach options between the airport and CBD from morning to night.

He said they would offer the service from the first flight to the last flight and shuttles would be strategically brought around the busier times.

“It is really affordable to get themselves (to their location) and equally it gives the opportunity for Cairns Taxis to fill around the gaps.”

Hassan Amin and Patricia Amin from the Central Coast of New South Wales were impressed with the prompt service that Exemplar provided on their arrival to Cairns. Picture: Brendan Radke

Hassan Amin and Patricia Amin from the Central Coast of New South Wales were impressed with the prompt service that Exemplar provided on their arrival to Cairns. Picture: Brendan Radke

The cost for a trip from the airport to the city would be $20 and $10 for children.

John Negal from Caravonica paid $130 for an Uber from the airport to his house and waited for a taxi for more than an hour.

“I love the place but the transport problem like this – it’s not a good thing,” he said.

On the first day of the new service Hassan Amin from the Central Coast in New South Wales said it was very simple.

“It was a great service, nice and easy,” he said.

“Having transport was definitely a load off my mind.”

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