Waikato towns are set to benefit from a $5.4 million Go Bus investment into its service
Growth in the region and user demand has seen the regional bus fleet upgraded and ready to ply the roads.
Waikato towns are set to benefit from a $5.4 million Go Bus investment into its service including 11 new 49-seater buses. Raglan will get a new timetable and improved service.
Morrinsville, Paeroa, Te Aroha, Raglan, Ngaruawahia and Huntly are the key routes for the new fleet but are designed to run on all council routes.
Go Bus and Waikato Bike racks are a key feature for the new Go Bus buses.
Both Raglan and Huntly provide the second greatest number of users of the regional bus network, said Waikato District Mayor Allan Sanson.
"This is the way of the future," Sanson said. "It's going to be a long time before we get alternative modes of transport like trains and things like that."
New regional buses feature free wifi, USB chargers and CCTV cameras.
The blue and silver buses are wheelchair accessible, have front mounted bike carriers, are more roomy than buses currently in service.
With a total capacity of 70 people, the buses meet Euro 5 low emission standards and are equipped with USB charging ports, free Wi-Fi, coach style seating and Go Bus managing director Calum Haslop said the five camera CCTV system will improve security for passengers.
Veteran Go Bus driver of "20 to 30 years, somewhere around there" Dick Zinsli, 79, is impressed with his company's investment and can't wait to get behind the wheel.
Waikato District Council mayor Allan Sanson and Waikato Regional Council public transport manager Andrew Wilson.
"They are nice and tidy," Zinsli said. "I'm ready to go. You want to pay a fare and I'll give you a ride."
Waikato Regional Council public transport manager Andrew Wilson said the 11 new buses go into service on Tuesday April, 18.
"These are part of a new nine year contract that have been implemented," Wilson said.
Bike racks will prove popular, he said, especially for people travelling to and from Raglan.
"We did a survey in Raglan. One of the things we ask was about bike racks and we were really surprised by the response indicating they would use it.
"Later this year we will be rolling out 30 new buses for Hamilton and they will have a green front and top while new orbiter vehicles will have a purple front and top."
Image source: TOM LEE/FAIRFAX NZ