The contract for Mansfield Mt Buller Bus Lines to provide Carpark Shuttle, Village Shuttle and Valet taxi services at Mt Buller ended after the 2018 snow season. The RMB subsequently ran a public tender to award a new long-term contract on a competitive basis. The contract was awarded to TravelSafe Australia Pty Ltd, which will provide transit services from the 2019 snow season.
They key elements to note are:
- Day Carpark and Village Shuttles will continue to be provided on a complimentary basis, operating the same hours as 2018.
- Visitors will be able to use a new function on the Mt Buller App to track Day Carpark and Village Shuttles and their estimated time of arrival at any bus stop.
- Valet taxis will continue to be provided on a fee-for-service basis, operating the same hours as 2018. Fares have been retained at the same level as in 2018. The best option is to purchase tickets online prior to arrival, which is 20% cheaper than buying on / after arrival.
- Valet taxis will continue to collect visitors from the overnight carparks on arrival and transfer them to their accommodation. Visitors can book transfers back to their car on their day of departure via phone or via a new function on the Mt Buller App. Visitors who use the App will receive courtesy updates on the arrival of their Valet taxi, so that they can wait in comfort.
- Accommodation providers will still be able to book Valet taxis for their guests over the phone. Major accommodation providers will also be provided with a login to the reservation system so they can book Valet taxis for their guests online.
- A new Snowplay Express Service will run between Mirimbah and Mt Buller on the 8 peak weekends of July and August. Visitors will be able to book a carpark at Mirimbah and reserve their seats on a complimentary service to / from the village. The cost of a carpark will be only $36.80 when purchased online in advance, and wheel chains will not be required. There will be at least 3 buses running each day, departing approximately every 30 minutes. Up to 6 buses may run depending on demand, which would mean departures approximately every 15 minutes. Visitors will need to reserve a specific departure time when heading up from Mirimabah and down from the Village.
- TravelSafe will have a transport office in (or close to) the Village Square.
- TravelSafe has appointed Katie Head as its Operations Manager. Katie has many years of experience at Mt Buller and in arranging transportation for major events such as the 2010 Winter Olympics, 2012 Summer Olympics and the 2013 USA Presidential inauguration. Katie commenced on 15 April 2019, and displayed 2 new vehicles and the new TravelSafe App in the Village Square on 20 April. She will be making appointments with major accommodation providers to answer any specific questions.
- As the new transit contract removes previous restrictions, the RMB is looking to progressively encourage additional transit options such as “snow limo” services and coach operators being able to guarantee drop-off / collection in the Village Square.