"If we don't use it, we'll lose it," warns Cootamundra's Deputy Mayor, Dennis Palmer, who was among 18 passengers on the first day of the NSW TrainLink coach service from Cootamundra to Canberra on Tuesday last week.
Cr. Palmer, who used the same-day coach service to attend a business meeting, could not speak highly enough of it.
"It's a brand new coach and second to none, with USB ports, reclining chairs, a toilet on board and it's non-stop, taking only two hours to get from Coota right into the middle of Civic," he said.
Among passengers travelling with Cr Palmer were Cootamundra's Erroll and Marie Jarvis, who took the journey just for the day out.
Arriving bang on time at 10.25 am, exactly two hours after their departure from Coota at 8.25, their first question was where the nearest coffee shop was - and then their intention was to enjoy Canberra's sights and sounds until the bus returned to Coota, leaving Civic at 5.25pm and getting back to Coota at 7.25pm.
A spokeswoman for NSW Transport confirmed that the service, which departs from Wagga and connects Cootamundra with Canberra on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, was on trial for six months.
"This is a really fantastic service for Cootamundra but if we don't get enough people using it during the trial period we'll never have it again," Cr Palmer said.
"We've spoken with quite a few people who have heard vaguely of a service linking Wagga and Canberra, but they just don't realise it comes through Junee and Cootamundra three days a week and what a great opportunity it is for townspeople."
With Cootamundra's large aged population, the service is especially useful as it also stops off at two of Canberra's major hospitals, John James (at 10.40am) and Canberra Hospital (10.50), picking people up again from Canberra Hospital at 5pm and John James at 5.10.
Cr Palmer said the service gave Cootamundra people access to cultural experiences of Australia's capital city that will never be available in Coota, and was also great for business people.
"A business person can plug their electronic device into the back of the seat and work while they're travelling, and if they go to a business lunch they don't have to be so cautious about having a glass of wine or two."