Bay of Plenty Regional Council has announced changes to school buses on the Tauranga network with Bethlehem Coachlines providing six buses starting on Monday February 25.

These buses will be free for a short-time while ticket machines are installed and will be on routes 701a, 701b, 702, 703, 704 and 808, the council said in a statement.

The new contract has come about because of a bus driver shortage being experienced by Tauranga Bayhopper contractor NZ Bus, the statement said.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council chief executive Fiona McTavish said in the statement discussion with school bus contractors was going well.

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"We are looking at staggering the roll-out of more school buses on the Tauranga network over the coming weeks," McTavish said.

Last week four buses operated by contractor Go Bus were added to the school network.