27 August 2020

Tauranga school students will get another year of free bus use following a Bay of Plenty Regional Council Public Transport Committee Meeting today.

The Tauranga schools fare free trial commenced on 27 January 2020, and was intended to end 18 December 2020 and was established to see whether free fares for students can assist in Tauranga’s traffic congestion.

The committee agreed today to extend the free service until December 2021.

Committee chairman Cr Andrew von Dadelszen says In June 2019 there were 46,252 student trips and this increased to 60,280 in June 2020.

“COVID has had a big effect on our bus patronage but it was great to see a 30% jump in use by students year to year,” Cr von Dadelszen says.

Bike racks on Tauranga buses are also seeing a significant increase in usage and Cr von Dadelszen says it shows multi-modal travel, combining cycling with Public Transport.

“Use of these bike racks has increased by over 60% from July 2019 to June this and supports patronage growth,” he says.

In June 2020 the bike racks were used 790 times compared to 483 times in July 2019.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council also reviewed the SuperGold Card free travel trial period and it has been extended until 30 June 2021 on all Bayhopper and Cityride services.

During the trial period eligible card holders (aged 65 and over) will have free bus travel on the regional network from 9:00 am on weekdays and all day on weekends and public holidays.

For further media information, please contact Matt Hunt, Communications Team Leader, Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Matt.Hunt@boprc.govt.nz