Welcome Bay school students using the urban bus route 40 both into and out of the central business district will be able to travel free from February 25.

A Bay of Plenty Regional Council spokesperson said the route has been added to the free school bus trial service for Welcome Bay students which began at the start of term one.

Anyone in school uniform or a child travelling in school times could use the service.

"It is hoped the trial which will run for the 2019 school year can assist in easing Tauranga's traffic congestion," the council spokesperson said.

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"Meanwhile, the regional council has made good progress as it explores alternative school bus options to help make the Tauranga urban service more reliable due to the NZ Bus driver shortage affecting network reliability."