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IA Funding For More Pukekos And Millipedes

IA Funding For More Pukekos And Millipedes To Save 3000 Car Trips Per Day

Infrastructure Auckland today announced it is offering a grant of $360,000 to RoadSafe Auckland for a further 240 Walking School Buses (WSB) over the next three years. This is expected to result in upwards of 3000 fewer car trips per school day by 2005.

WSBs, better known to their patrons under names such as “the Pukeko Express” or “Meadowbank Millipede”, are operated by a group of parents or volunteers who are rostered to walk with a group of children to and from school. Children are ‘picked up’ and ‘dropped off’ at specific areas or ‘bus stops’ on a designated route by a leader or ‘driver’ and a follower or ‘conductor’.

IA Chairman John Robertson said that 40% of morning peak trips in Auckland are education-related. “In that context IA is glad to support WSBs as a very simple yet highly effective way of relieving road congestion”. IA estimates the cost of each WSB trip to be less than five cents. “At that rate, this is likely to be the most cost-effective transport project IA ever funds”, said Mr Robertson.

Of the 277 primary schools in the Auckland region, 37 schools currently have WSBs established through grants from IA. Each participating school has on average two WSBs and 13 children who participate in each bus. This has already provided for nearly 1000 trips per school day.

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