A Rotorua bus driver has been attacked by a baseball-bat wielding robber at a suburban bus stop.

The aggravated robbery, which happened on the driver's final run of the day, was the second incident of its kind in the last two weeks.

The CityRide driver was less than half an hour away from the end of his shift when a man wielding a baseball bat boarded his bus at Pohutukawa Drive, Owhata, just after 6pm on Wednesday.

Detective Sergeant George Staunton said the driver had been on the regular Owhata/Lynmore route when he was assaulted.

Advertisement

"Money was demanded and then taken," he said. "Predominantly it was just small change."

The driver sustained only minor injuries and did not require medical attention.

Mr Staunton said police wanted to hear from anyone in the area at the time, particularly those who were waiting at the bus stop on the park side along Pohutukawa Drive.

Police are also looking for the float box from the bus. "It's similar to a fishing tackle box, green base, green handle and a cream lid."

Reesby's Buses Ltd is contracted to operate the CityRide services by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council.

A spokesman for Reesby's said there was never more than $200 on board any of the buses.

ROTORUA DAILY POST
19 May, 2017 6:31am
Quick Read

The spokesman, who did not want to be named, said he would like to think this was a "very isolated incident".

"This was the second one in two weeks," he said.

"These are the first we've had in a good three or four years. We get verbal abuse on a weekly basis, that's just part of the job, but you can never train for an incident like this."

A Rotorua bus driver was picking up passengers when he was robbed and assaulted. Photo/Stephen Parker
A Rotorua bus driver was picking up passengers when he was robbed and assaulted. Photo/Stephen Parker

The spokesman said Reesby's had worked hard trying to build a passenger base and get people on the bus.

"People have confidence in us and we'd like it to remain that way," he said.

"These guys [drivers] aren't on a huge hourly rate, but they are working to get the job done and be on schedule."

He said such incidents usually happened when there are no other passengers on the bus.

"The driver has been stood down for the day so he can get himself checked out, collect himself and help the police with their inquiries," he said.

"Our driver safety is paramount and we will certainly be looking into options to make it safer."

Bay of Plenty Regional Council transport policy manager Garry Maloney said the regional council took this incident very seriously.

"We will continue to work with police and Reesby's to ensure the safety of our driver and passengers."

If anybody has information regarding the incident they are asked to contact Detective Rob Hutchins at Rotorua police on (07) 348 0099 or anonymously contact Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.