Seventy trips a week is becoming the norm for the Dannevirke community vehicle which has recorded another successful year.
In his report to the annual meeting of the Dannevirke Community Vehicle Trust chairman Bob Dresser said it continued to be a good news story as more use was being made of the service which provides affordable transport to all members of the community.
"This excellent service is thanks to our drivers, committee members and trustees, all volunteers, who are all working well with our service providers, the Dannevirke Information Centre, for communications, and Naylor Lawrence and Associates for financial services," Dresser said.
However, because of the success of the service the trust's operating costs continued to increase.
"In March 2018 we added an extra day to our service, Wednesday, making it four days a week and the popularity continues with our service being booked up all day every 15 minutes on some days. Seventy trips a week is not unusual."
Dresser said the trust was looking seriously at having two cars working on certain days which would mean having a volunteer driver on standby.
Total trips over the past 12 months was around 2388, compared with 1640 trips the previous year.
Dresser said while the majority of clients were elderly, 50 children travelled with adults and 71 journeys were for medical appointments.
In September last year Scanpower loaned the trust a new Hyundai Ioniq electric vehicle which was publicly presented outside the information centre on a wet and cold day.
"Well-known identity and regular user of the service, Norma Evans, had a special invitation to be there and was the first client to use the car."
Drivers underwent training in the electric vehicle which went into regular service the same month.
After some research the trust implemented a trial period of a service to and from the Norsewood area.
Dresser said few people used this service but the trust persevered and it has now become part of its 20-kilometre radius service from Dannevirke which started in May.
"As with last year we have about 29 volunteer drivers available but at times we can be short of drivers when a number are not available for various reasons."
The trust maintained the profile of its service by having both community cars taking part in last year's Dannevirke Christmas parade. They were also on display at the Wheels with Attitude event and the Dannevirke A&P Show. The trust was also represented at the 2019 Tararua District Expo earlier this year.
Health and safety is an issue that is always on the trust's meeting agenda and this and other trust policies have been reviewed.
"Where necessary the trust continues to make improvements to its systems."
In his report Dresser extended thanks to Scanpower for the loan and continued use of the electric vehicle.
"To our volunteer drivers, thank you for your interest and volunteering. You are great ambassadors for the trust."
He also thanked trust members Jan Moulder, Denis Tatere, secretary Debbie Webster, Moana Beveridge, Graeme Phillips, Terry Hynes, Ray Bradey and Ross Macdonald for their interest and trust commitment.
Dresser also thanked the trust's many sponsors who get the service started and for their continued interest. They are Gwen Fairbrother, KB Ford, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Tāmaki nui-a-Rua, Monty Fairbrother Charitable Trust, Charities Services, Infinity Foundation, Tararua REAP, Dannevirke Tyres, Dannevirke Community Board, Horizons Regional Council, and Scanpower.