29 April 2016

Solutions to improve the reliability of the Rotorua Cityride bus service have been identified by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council following extensive consultation with Rotorua Lakes Council, Focus Group Users and the NZ Transport Agency.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council will add three extra buses to the current service to ensure that service timetables are met.

The reliability of the bus service was an issue identified by customers and confirmed through investigations carried out by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council and service provider, Reesby Rotorua Ltd, says Regional Council Public Transport Sub-committee chair Lyall Thurston.

“Rotorua customers have told us that buses are struggling to meet the service times, in some cases running considerably late, which we believe has contributed to a significant drop in passengers using the Cityride service,” says Councillor Thurston.

“Confidence in the reliability of our bus services is our primary objective. Many members of the community both able bodied and the disabled rely on the bus, and we want to ensure the services we provide caters for their needs.”

Funding for the three extra buses will come from making changes to the existing service and from the NZ Transport Agency, he says.

“The proposed changes include discontinuing public holiday services and extending the frequency of Saturday services from 30 minutes to hourly, was supported by the majority of Rotorua bus users in a recent survey.”

He says all Cityride services will continue to do the inner-city circuit of Fenton Street, Arawa Street, Amohia Street and the Central Mall, to support the work of Rotorua Lakes Council to revitalise the inner city.

Councillor Janet Wepa who represents Rotorua Lakes Council on the regional public transport sub-committee says, the additional buses will help address the concerns of local passengers about the current service.

“The increase in buses to the network is a positive step by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council and should help with issues of reliability that is the biggest concerns to patrons.”

Councillor Karen Hunt says improving the Cityride bus service will help attract and develop the inner city.

“This is really important for us to achieve our goal of developing a vibrant city heart that attracts people and activity. Rotorua Lakes Council will support the Bay of Plenty Regional Council by putting in additional bus shelters at Arawa Street, the Central Mall and a new mid city stop on Fenton Street,” says Councillor Hunt.