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New bus service to benefit Shirley residents

New bus service to benefit Shirley residents

Doing the weekly grocery shop should be a whole lot easier for many Shirley residents from next Wednesday 10 September.

A new bus service – ‘The Shirley Shopper’- will make its first trip at 9.30am next Wednesday, travelling a circuit of Shirley streets and taking residents to The Palms shopping centre.

The service will operate on Wednesdays and Fridays, leaving from The Palms outside the Shirley Library/Service Centre, every hour on the half hour from 9.30am until the last trip at 2.30pm. It will be free for the first week and after that will cost $1 for adults and 50 cents for children one way.

Passengers will be able to ‘hail and ride’ the bus as well as catch it at bus stops.

Shirley/Papanui Community Board, The Palms and Red Bus have worked together to offer the new service and help Shirley residents gain easier access to shopping, community facilities and other services.

Community Board member, Councillor Ingrid Stonhill said the area to be served by the bus was chosen in response to requests from the community. The potential benefits of this type of bus service were also identified in a ‘Community Needs Analysis of the Shirley Area’ commissioned by the Shirley/Papanui Community Board.

“The area that we have selected has a low ratio of motor vehicles per family, with a high proportion of the community being young parents and retired people,” Cr Stonhill said. “Until now many people have had to rely on friends or paid for taxis to take them to the shops but this service will offer them far more freedom of choice.”

Red Bus chief executive Greg Campbell said Red Bus was pleased to be working in partnership with the Community Board and The Palms. “Our team is really looking forward to meeting local residents on this new service.”

‘The Shirley Shopper’ will run for a three month trial period. “For it to last, we really need people to support it,” Cr Stonhill says.

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