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InterCity Calls for Better Integration

4 July 2006

InterCity Calls for Better Integration of Urban and Long Distance Transport at the Launch of New Zealand’s Largest Coach

InterCity Group unveiled New Zealand’s largest passenger coach to members of New Zealand’s transport and tourism industry and government representatives in Auckland today.

At almost 14 metres long and 4.2 metres high, the new double-decker coach stands about the same height as three cars stacked on top of each other. The king-size 65-seat coach is the first of four InterCity has commissioned to cope with growing demand across New Zealand.

“We’re delighted to be increasing our investment in New Zealand’s national transport and tourism infrastructure with this latest addition to our fleet,” said Malcolm Johns, chief executive at InterCity Group Limited.

InterCity, New Zealand’s largest land transport network operator, called for better integration between urban and long-distance transport to enable better public transport services for New Zealanders.

“Currently, integration of urban and long distance transport is often an after thought,” said Mr Johns. “For example, passengers who want to be able to take public transport directly from Browns Bay on the North Shore to Hamilton East currently have to catch urban transport to Britomart and then find a way with their luggage up to SkyCity to be taken to Hamilton Central, where they then need to transfer to urban transport to get to their final destination. There are numerous examples of this nationwide, we have to improve on this if we want more people to opt for public transport.”

100 per cent Kiwi owned and operated, InterCity Group has invested more than $10 million dollars during the past three years to enhance, maintain and invest in its national network infrastructure, which connects more than 600 urban and rural communities.

“This coach is the first of four king-size coaches being built by InterCity at a total investment of just over $2.5 million.

These coaches are the largest vehicles built in New Zealand for public transport purposes and have the potential to remove 47,000 private motor vehicle journeys from the roads each year,” said Mr Johns.

With InterCity carrying 1.2 million passengers per year (350,000 of which are international visitors) the network is an essential piece of infrastructure for New Zealand’s more than 16,000 tourism businesses, many in provincial New Zealand.

“On the Auckland to Wellington route this coach will be able to carry 30 per cent more passengers using 15 per cent less fuel every year, connecting even more people to various destinations throughout the North Island,” adds Mr Johns.

The new coach operates at emission levels in line with Euro 3 Emission Standards, one of the highest emission standards used in Europe.

Built by Kiwi Coach Builders, the coach features 65 reclining chairs, three video screens, and an on-board toilet making coach travel comfortable for long distance journeys.

The first coach will commence its services in late July and will run between Auckland and Wellington. The bus departs from the Auckland Sky City terminal and will stop at Manukau City, Hamilton, Cambridge, Tirau, Putaruru, Tokoroa, Taupo, Turangi, Waiouru, Taihape, Bulls, Palmerston North, Levin, Otaki, Paraparaumu and will finish at the Wellington Railway Station.

ENDS

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