Catching the bus is proving a hassle for tourists and students who live out of the city, limiting job opportunities and entertainment options.

Bell Backpacker owner Sheree Kearney said if their guests wanted to go to Mount Maunganui in the afternoon, "it's a waste of time".

"In the weekend the last bus leaves Tauranga CBD at 5pm. If they want to stay later they have to catch a taxi."

"We have lots of people saying they can't go for dinner anywhere, even a couple having a romantic dinner for their 14th anniversary couldn't get back easily. You have to pay about $40 for a taxi."


She said the timetables also made travelling to jobs at the pack houses in Katikati difficult, due to the bus leaving Judea after the pack house starting time.

"I've got jobs for them, but I can't get them there," she said.

Backpacker Sebastian Sill said finding a job in the Bay was difficult without private transport.

"I can't get to jobs here as work starts at 8 o'clock and the first bus leaves here at half past eight. I have to have a car here."

Chrissi Robinson, of the Te Puke Search Party Charitable Trust, said there were "big difficulties" for young people in the area getting to the polytechnic, but they had received support on the issue from the Regional Council.

"There is no direct route to the polytech, it's just understanding that there is a real need. If there was a bus we could absolutely fill it."

"We would really love more services."

They had discussed the possibility of an urban route around Te Puke with the council, and she said it was good to see a trial of extra bus runs around Paengaroa and Pukehina taking place.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council transport policy manager for Garry Maloney said while the council would like to meet the needs of all people in the region, it was not financially viable.

"Currently we are working with Tauranga City and Western Bay District Councils, the NZ Transport Agency and key transport user groups on a business case for the Western Bay of Plenty which looks at our current and future public transport needs for when the current bus contracts expire at the end of 2017."

Priority One projects manager Annie Hill said the difficulty with public transport was a certain level of uptake was needed for the system to be financially viable, and not enough people were using the service to run into the evenings or more regular runs between Tauranga and Katikati and Te Puke.

She thought the Bay's layout made it more difficult for public transport to move easily around the city, but said the current service was "fairly comprehensive".

Tauranga City Council mayor Greg Brownless said a good way of gauging if the extra bus services were needed would be to trial specific times, like for those with the need to commute to pack houses.

"But it's really important those people who want it, use it."

For more information about the Bay of Plenty buses, go to: