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Fab Four Are Free

7 September 2005

Fab Four Are Free

NOW that petrol is fast becoming a luxury item, Horizons Regional Council is ensuring people can get to the polling booths without hardship by offering free buses on election day (September 17) in four centres.

Palmerston North was the first city to provide complimentary access to the polling booths and was quickly followed by Wanganui, Levin and now Ashhurst.

The free day is the result of a suggestion received by Horizons from Te Mana Akonga.

“Te Mana Akonga sent out over 80 letters to City and Regional Councils around the country asking them to consider helping voters get to polling booths on Election Day” said Kaituhono of Te Mana Akonga, Veronica Tawhai.

“Only one Council took up the suggestion to provide free public transport, so we were absolutely thrilled when Horizons Regional Council advised they’d be putting on free buses for the day.”

With petrol prices soaring and car owners being reluctant to use vehicles unless absolutely necessary, Horizons believes that using the bus on election may prove to the community that public transport is a convenient way to travel.

‘We appreciate that travel costs can discourage some people from participating in their communities, including Election Day,” explained Horizons Transport Planning Officer, Renee Smith.

“In order to increase involvement and promote use of the services, we have worked with our transport operators in each area and are pleased to announce that all Horizons supported bus services will be free on Saturday 17 September.”

Horizons Regional Council regularly subsidises bus fares for students, children, the elderly and disabled throughout its region and encourages people to pick up a copy of bus timetables from local libraries, information centres or check out details of the free services online at www.horizons.govt.nz.

ENDS

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