Transport company Go Bus will continue to provide Napier-Hastings bus services for a further nine years after winning the contract that commences on August 1 next year.
The company has been providing the service since February 2009. During that time, there has been significant increased investment in the bus service by both the NZ Transport Agency and Hawke's Bay Regional Council (HBRC), resulting in more frequent services on key routes and a growth in passengers of about 60 per cent.
HBRC has improved passenger information, including online timetables, and with the cooperation of local councils has installed additional bus shelters and improved bus stops, making it easier for passengers to catch a bus.
"The regional council is pleased to continue its productive working relationship with Go Bus and looks forward to building on the improvements that have been made to the service in recent years," said regional councillor Alan Dick, chair of the Regional Transport Committee.
HBRC is required to put the service out to tender every nine years from now on.
"Go Bus is extremely pleased to be awarded the contract to continue operating the Napier and Hastings bus service for the next nine years," says Go Bus managing director Calum Haslop.
"We are very proud of the standard of services we have provided, and the patronage growth that has been achieved over the last six years. We now look forward to continuing the delivery of high quality bus services to the region. We feel very much a part of this community, as a significant local operator and major employer, and are very pleased to have been able to deliver substantial ongoing savings to ratepayers as a result of our low cost operating model. We will be investing over $2.5 million in new vehicles and technology for this contract and expect ongoing growth in these services."