First students get to school on new Regional Council bus service
Wednesday, 28 January 2015 3:00 p.m.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council helped the first batch of Tauranga’s students get to school this morning as the Schoolhopper bus network officially launched.
The Tauranga school bus network has transitioned to the Regional Council to fill a gap that would have seen more than 3000 school students without an easy way to get to and from school due to the withdrawal of the service last year by the Ministry of Education.
Lyall Thurston, Chair of the Passenger Transport Subcommittee and Bay of Plenty Regional Councillor said this morning’s launch went well.
“We have been fortunate to have a staggered start to the launch of the service, in line with the staggered start to the school year and we are pleased with how the first 20 routes operated this morning,” he said.
Next week all 46 routes will be operating with an estimated 3000 students expected to use the service.
Cr Thurston said every year there are a few issues to be smoothed out in the first weeks of term and that the Regional Council will be looking at them as they arise.
He said importantly, if a Schoolhopper bus passes your stop because it is full, wait at the stop as another bus will be sent to collect you.
The Regional Council is interested in feedback from students and parents about the Schoolhopper routes and stops that are currently in place.
“These have been developed from information provided to us from the Ministry of Education and bus operators based on last year’s data, however we realise that each year there is a change in numbers of where people live and in the numbers of those using particular services, so we will be looking at every route in next few weeks of and making adjustments where required.
“If we do look at making an alteration to a route we will make sure this is communicated in advance to the students using the particular route and the school(s) involved.
“If people would like to provide us with feedback they can do this in one of three ways: by calling 0800 4 BAY BUS, by emailing email@example.com or by visiting www.baybus.co.nz/schoolhopper and filling out the online feedback form.”
Helpful feedback includes thoughts on the timings, where the stops are (or aren’t located) and improvements to the route.
Parents and students can find out more about the Schoolhopper routes at the website www.baybus.co.nz/schoolhopper. The service is free for Term One.