Cheap fares bus company expands to South Island

No-frills bus operator nakedbus.com is expanding its operation to the South Island.

The company launched in the North Island in October last year and offers cheap bus fares, some as low as $1, between city to city destinations.

Based on British transport models like Easyjet, nakedbus.com sells tickets on the internet and via text messages sent to customers' mobile phones.

Prices rise closer to departure time but they are as low as $1 if customers book early. A 70c booking fee is also charged.

The company is 30 percent owned by Pavlovich Services, a charter bus operator. The other shareholder, and managing director, is Hamish Nuttall, a transport industry consultant.

The company said today that thousands of people had taken advantage of the super cheap fares, with nakedbus.com forced to add more routes and buses to keep up with the demand.

It said business was growing at a rate of 5 percent per week, and nakedbus.com could now offer the same bargain fares to the South Island -- in the process, creating New Zealand's second national bus carrier.

Mr Nuttall said he was excited by the rapid uptake of his new service.

"It was always our intention to offer a low cost national bus service to New Zealanders but we were thrilled at how quickly Kiwis responded allowing us to bring our expansion plans forward.

"With this extended service we will now be offering 30 buses covering 20 routes with 150 plus destinations. We will keep driving costs down to provide the cheapest fares possible making travel accessible to a whole new market."

- NZPA

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