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School bus removal puts pressure on Bayhopper city buses

Friday, 3 February 2012 2:30 p.m.

The removal of Ministry of Education-funded bus transport for Pāpāmoa school students is putting pressure on Bayhopper city bus services into the city.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council Transport Policy Manager Garry Maloney said since the removal of three Pāpāmoa school buses last year, more children who lived in Pāpāmoa were no longer receiving free Ministry of Education-funded school transport to Tauranga Intermediate and Tauranga Boys and Girls Colleges in the city.

"We are aware that our weekday 7:45am route 36 Bayhopper from Bayfair to Tauranga CBD is now under some pressure to accommodate the number of students travelling to Tauranga Intermediate and the colleges and, in some cases people have been left behind," he said

The number of children needing to use the Bayhopper service meant that the buses were often too full for other users. Complaints have been received from parents of school children and regular passengers through www.baybus.co.nz and the Baybus call centre on 0800 422928.

"We were aware that the change would occur, but have been surprised by the sheer number of students, given that there is a new, more convenient direct commercial service operating. The commercial services, operated by Bethlehem Coaches, charge about $4 per trip."

Mr Maloney said Regional Council staff would continue to monitor the situation and work on a solution with all parties involved as soon as possible.

 Ends

 For further media information please contact Garry Maloney on 0800 884 880 or Linda Thompson, Senior Communications Advisor, on direct dial 0800 884 881 ext 8149 or (021) 923 339.

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