Tauranga Christmas shoppers can take advantage of free bus services over the next three weekends.
The city's bus services, which are managed by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, are being extended over summer and it will be free to travel by bus during the weekends before Christmas.
"This is a way to thank our regulars and we hope people who are not regular bus users will also take advantage of the free service," Bay of Plenty Regional Council acting transport policy manager Rachel Pinn said.
"We've also considered the transport needs of both locals and visitors and have introduced extended weekend and public holiday services.
"We are trying to encourage more people to use public transport to reduce traffic congestion and the impact vehicles have on the environment," Ms Pinn said.
During the 2012/13 financial year there were a total of 1.8 million passenger trips on buses in Tauranga.
BayHopper services will be free on Saturday December 7 and Sunday December 8, Saturday December 14 and Sunday December 15, and Saturday December 21 and Sunday December 22.
Weekend and public holiday services between the end of December and the start of February next year are being extended.
Buses will run more frequently during this time and will run later on some routes. People can go to www.baybus.co.nz for the summer timetable.
Extended services apply December 28 and 29; January 1 and 2; January 4 and 5; January 11 and 12; January 18 and 19 and January 25 and 26; Auckland Anniversary day, January 27; Saturday February 1 and Sunday February 2.