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Good Things Come In Threes On Bus Services

ForNorth Taranaki
Taranaki Regional Council media release
30 October 2008
For immediate release

Good Things Come In Threes On Bus Services

November will bring major enhancements to public bus services in and around New Plymouth.

Introduced by the Taranaki Regional Council which contracts operators to provide local bus services in the region, the changes include:

• New fare-paying technology for urban New Plymouth and Waitara routes, based on smart cards.
• 6pm commuter services on the four urban New Plymouth weekday routes.
• Free off-peak travel on all Taranaki local bus services for people who hold Super Gold Cards. This includes City Link off-peak services, Inglewood-New Plymouth services and all South Link services.

The new smart cards, and free off-peak travel for Super Gold Card holders, will be introduced from Saturday, 1 November.

The new 6pm services will operate from Monday, 3 November, on Routes 333 (Marfell/Spotswood), 444 (Westown/Hospital), 555 (Vogeltown/Frankleigh) and 777 (Merrilands/Fitzroy).

Smart cards available on buses

Drivers of the Tranzit Coachlines City Link buses on the four weekday urban services, the weekday Route 888 Waitara service, and the two weekend services, Routes 222 (NP West) and 999 (NP East), will both sell and recharge the new plastic “smart cards” that store fare money.

The fare is debited when the user simply waves the card over an electronic reader. Travel is automatically at the 10-trip discount rate, and the old 10-trip ticket cards will continue to be available.

The cards will cost an initial $15 to buy, which includes $10 worth of discounted bus travel. The minimum recharge will be $10.

Their benefits include flexibility – they can be used for one-off journeys as well as regular commuter trips – and convenience, with passengers no longer having to worry about having cash on them.

6pm services just the beginning

The introduction of 6pm services on the four urban New Plymouth routes follows a commuter survey earlier this year when passengers and potential users indicated that later buses were needed.

“This is just the beginning and obviously we are wanting to introduce new morning services as well,” says the Taranaki Regional Council’s Director-Operations, Rob Phillips. “We are working through some issues regarding availability of buses for school runs and aim to have concrete proposals in the New Year.

“We’re also looking hard at how we can enhance the Waitara and Oakura services.”

Super Gold trips free for thousands in Taranaki

More than 15,000 Taranaki people stand to benefit from the Government’s move to provide free off-peak bus travel to Super Gold Card holders, Mr Phillips says.

“The 2006 Census recorded that nearly 15,500 people in this region were 65 or over, and the Super Gold Card is also available to younger people who receive New Zealand Superannuation or the Veterans Pension.”

All South Link services (Waverley-Hawera, Opunake-Hawera and Opunake-New Plymouth) and the Inglewood-New Plymouth service fall within the 9am-3pm offpeak period, so they will be free to Super Gold Card holders.

In New Plymouth, City Link services between 9am and 3pm, and all City Link weekend services, will be free to Super Gold Card holders.

For more information, see www.taranakibus.info.


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