Twin City bus service proves a success
Monday, 23 May 2011 10:45 a.m.
The bus service running between Tauranga and Rotorua has proved such a success that the company running it has decided to go it alone as a commercial service without requiring a Bay of Plenty Regional Council subsidy.
Regional Council Passenger Transport Subcommittee Chairman Douglas Owens said the Twin City Express weekday service had been contracted since 2004, and had been subsidised by the Council by about $40-50,000 a year until recently.
When it began it carried about 6000 passengers a year, and now carries about 15,000. In the last year the 22-seater bus has been two-thirds full on most trips.
"The Council saw a need for a service between Rotorua and Tauranga, and providing that service has been rewarded by good patronage. This is a real success for the Regional Council and Reesby Buses. We've grown a service from one that required subsidy to make it work to where it no longer requires subsidy," Mr Owens said.
"The service can now operate without any public funding. The Minister of Transport wants to improve the commerciality of the public transport sector, and we're pleased that in collaboration with Reesby Buses we've been able to play our part."
Reesby Buses manager Dave Reesby said he was grateful to the Regional Council for setting up the service and putting funds in to get it underway.
"A commercial service can't do that initial setting up, so we're grateful that the Regional Council saw the need and got it going. We're also grateful to our regular passengers - students at both polytechnics, commuters and elderly people visiting friends for the day.
"The drivers on this service are also really good and make the service work," he said.
The commercial service begins on 1 June. Passengers won't notice any difference in the service, which runs from Rotorua to Tauranga by 8am and returns in the afternoon after 5pm. The route from Tauranga to Rotorua is also well patronised.