Teens endure long commute to school

Long wait: Vanessa Cassar is concerned about her daughter Tiana's lengthy commute to high school in 2018. Picture: Kayla Osborne
Long wait: Vanessa Cassar is concerned about her daughter Tiana's lengthy commute to high school in 2018. Picture: Kayla Osborne

Some children in Oran Park face a longer commute than their parents. 

Students heading to local public high schools via public transport have to travel for more than an hour to get to a school that is 15 minutes away.

This will be the case for Vanessa Cassar’s daughter Tiana in 2018.

“My 12-year-old daughter will have to catch two buses to get to Elizabeth Macarthur High School in Narellan Vale,” she said.

“This is very concerning for a parent who works every day and cannot drive her.

“There ought to be a more direct route to local high schools.”

The closest public high schools to Oran Park are Elizabeth Macarthur High School and Elderslie High School.

By car it takes about 15 minutes to reach these schools from Oran Park, but by bus it can take an hour and a half. 

The population of Oran Park is already more than 5000 people and expected to grow to 16,000 by 2021.

Mrs Cassar said it was unacceptable there was no direct bus for Oran Park students given the number of people with families moving into the suburb.

“There are no public high schools in Oran Park,” she said.

“By the time a high school is built here my daughter will probably be finished school.”

Mrs Cassar contacted Camden mayor Lara Symkowiak and Camden MP Chris Patterson about the public transport issue.

“Mr Patterson’s staff told me the current buses were the only ones available,” she said. “That is not good enough.”

Mrs Cassar has also started a petition, which will appear in the Oran Park newsletter, for local parents to sign.

Camden MP Chris Patterson said he had been contacted by several parents from new suburbs expressing concerns similar to those of Mrs Cassar.

He said he understood their concerns but there was no simple solution.

“Every parent wants a direct route but this just isn’t feasible,’’ he said. “More services will be provided as areas grow.”

Mr Patterson agreed however that a bus trip from Oran Park to Elizabeth Macarthur High School and Elderslie High School shouldn’t take an hour and a half.

He said parents should bring their concerns to him directly, along with the school and the bus company.

“We can look into potential alternatives,’’ he said.

“I will also raise the matter with the Transport Minister.”