Online-only cheap bus fares prove popular

By Fraser Mills

Hundreds of tickets have been sold since the launch of a no-frills bus service offering trips between North Island cities for as little as $1.

The services will make travel between Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, and Napier possible for $1, according to Nakedbus.com managing director Hamish Nuttall. Cheap fares between Wellington, Palmerston North and Rotorua are also available.

Four buses per day are scheduled to leave Auckland when the service starts on October 9.

Tickets are only available on the internet.

Selling direct to the public removed unnecessary costs and the savings could be passed on to the customers, Mr Nuttall said.

"Each bus trip will have seats as low as $1 available and the remaining seats will still be much cheaper than what is currently offered by existing bus services.

"The service is designed so that the earlier you book the less you pay."

About 10 per cent of fares were currently $1, but the offer was not a gimmick and in future every trip would have at least one $1 fare, Mr Nuttall said.

The service is aimed at students, independent travellers, commuters and the elderly.

Extra pick-ups would be included outside the University of Auckland and Waikato University to encourage students, he said.

Bus routes and times had been designed for travellers commuting between cities and it was now possible to arrive in Auckland before 9am, he said.

Nakedbus.com would provide an attractive alternative for city to city commuters, he said.

* Fraser Mills is a journalism student at Southern Institute of Technology.

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