Bay commuters to benefit from bus boost

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Passengers enjoy their last ride on the Deco City Discoverer bus service yesterday. Photo/Paul Taylor
Passengers enjoy their last ride on the Deco City Discoverer bus service yesterday. Photo/Paul Taylor

Bus commuters travelling between Hastings and Napier should experience fewer delays from today with the boosting of the frequency of peak-time services on the main route between the two cities.

Hawke's Bay Regional Council is adding two additional buses to the goBay Route 12 service between Napier and Hastings during peak morning and afternoon periods to meet heavy commuter demand on the route.

The additional buses have come at the expense of another service between the two cities, the Route 10 express service, which was cancelled from last Friday. Passenger numbers on the Route 10 service fell by 12 per cent last year, prompting the council to make the decision to shift resources to Route 12.

"We have been able to respond to meet the increased patronage for the early morning and afternoon peak-time Route 12 services between Napier and Hastings," council transport manager Anne Redgrave said. "I am sure the change will relieve the inconvenient delays and frustrations that people have been experiencing with the Route 12 service."

Increasing passenger numbers and the withdrawal this year of some Ministry of Education bus services had added to full buses, delays and late arrivals on the route at peak times, inconveniencing passengers.

A review of the goBay bus network is under way and will form part of the Regional Public Transport Plan due in 2015.

Total passenger trips reached another record high in 2013 with 789,277 trips recorded, up 8.7 per cent compared with 2012.

Meanwhile, yesterday was the final day of operation for Napier City Council's under-used Deco City Discoverer bus service targeting tourists.

The council voted last month to discontinue the loss-making service and put the buses up for tender.

The two customised art deco-style buses, Veronica and Belle, completed their last circuit of Marine Parade, Ahuriri and Westshore yesterday.

Napier Mayor Bill Dalton said last month that lower than forecast passenger numbers combined with high maintenance costs meant the service was not a viable venture for the council to continue operating.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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