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CityRide improvements result in savings

Friday, 13 March 2015 10:00 a.m.

Improvements to Rotorua’s CityRide bus network are a step closer to being implemented with the awarding of the contract to operate the network for $2.5 million by Bay of Plenty Regional Council.

In addition to benefits to bus users, the new contract with the existing operator Reesbys Coachlines is expected to result in a drop in Rotorua’s passenger transport targeted rate which is currently out for consultation as part of the draft Long Term Plan.

Lyall Thurston, Chair of the Public Transport Subcommittee and Bay of Plenty Regional Councillor said he was thrilled with how the tender process had gone and with the level of interest in it.

“It’s enabled us to start planning changes to the network for July which will benefit both the passengers and the central city,” he said. “Of added benefit has been the competitive nature of the tender, resulting in significant savings which we are pleased will result in a reduction to what is currently out for consultation in the draft Long Term Plan.”

As part of the retender process, several enhancements to the Rotorua network have been approved by the Regional Council. These include having all buses travel on a new loop around the central city and bringing more downtown locations closer to a bus stop to support the revitalisation of the city’s central business district. The new loop will take passengers along Fenton, Arawa, Amohia, Rotorua Central Mall and Victoria Street.

Buses will also have bike racks, and the network will operate on public holidays – the first one being Labour Day.

Buses will continue to be fully accessible to people with limited mobility.

Cr Thurston, a former National President of CCS Disability-Action, said he is delighted at benefits the fully accessible fleet provides to both residents and visitors to the city.

“I have pushed for accessible public transport both here in Rotorua and nationwide for years, and hope that it gives those people with a lived experience of disability and those with limited mobility much greater access to their community.”

Rotorua Lakes Council is to establish a new inner city interchange at Arawa Street, in the section of road adjacent to the i-SITE and library, with the existing Pukuatua Street interchange being removed.

The changes will come into effect in mid-2015 when the new contract for operating the buses will begin.

More information about the CityRide network is available at
Key changes to come into effect mid-2015

The existing Pukuatua Street interchange will be removed and all buses will travel along a larger Fenton, Arawa, Amohia, Rotorua Central Mall, Victoria Street circuit.

Rotorua Lakes Council will establish a new central city interchange at Arawa Street, in the section of road adjacent to the i-SITE and library.

Route 1 (Ngongotahā): to operate via Rotorua Hospital instead of Ranolf Street

Route 2 (Polytech): To be split into two separate half hourly services, one operating to the Polytechnic via Fenton Street and one operating via Ranolf Street

Route 6 (Koutu): to include an additional one-way loop serving Kawaha Point

Route 9 (Springfield): to operate as a large one-way loop by omitting the current end of route loop via Jackson Street and Nikau Street and continuing along Otonga Road and Old Taupō Road to rejoin the existing route north of Hillcrest Avenue

Route 10 (Airport): to operate along Vaughn Road instead of Te Ngae Road on the trip out to the Airport

Bikeracks will be installed on all buses to better integrate public transport with other modes of travel, and to provide cyclists with more opportunities to ride and use the bus
Who is responsible for public transport?

Public transport services (routes and fares) are managed by Bay of Plenty Regional Council. Bus companies are responsible for operating bus services under contract to the regional council.

Public transport infrastructure (bus stops and shelters) is managed by Rotorua Lakes Council (local roads) or the NZ Transport Agency (state highways).