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Early Christmas present for bus travellers

Early Christmas present for bus travellers

Rotorua bus travellers will get an early Christmas present this year.

Environment Bay of Plenty, which started up the Cityride service in July, now plans to carry its special introductory fare through into the New Year. Initially, the flat rate fare of $1.50 was only going to run until November.

Transport policy manager Garry Maloney describes the new-style urban service as “a great success”. Bus use has risen nearly every month since July, with 25,000 trips logged in October alone, he explains. Overall, patronage has more than doubled since the green Cityride buses hit the road with a new 30-minute service and more direct routes.

“It’s obviously working well for people but we’re still looking for ways to improve it,” Mr Maloney says. “Next year, we will tweak a few of the routes to improve them. We’re also going to look at introducing a Sunday service, though this may mean cutting back the frequency on Saturday.”

Fares will be increased early next year, when electronic ticketing machines are installed in the buses and smartcards introduced. However, smartcard holders will find the cost of a trip less than it is now, Mr Maloney says.

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