A new Whangarei bus route bus will link Whangarei central with Okara Park and Porowini Ave but the public is being warned to "use it or lose it".

The route will be similar to the former Okara loop known as Route One which was trialled when the CityLink service was set up in mid-2008, but dropped after several months due to low passenger numbers.

It will be brought back due to public demand, largely to service the city's increasingly busy Okara shopping centre.

Regional Transport Committee chairman John Bain said the Okara loop route will begin on December 19.


Other CityLink timetables would be updated at that time to incorporate the journey times expected along the Okara loop.

"Until then, we will print posters to be displayed at the Rose Street bus terminus and update the CityLink website with the interim loop route hours," Mr Bain said.

Fares will be $1 per trip and the route will run from Rose Street back to Rose Street with stops at The Hub (Town Basin), The Warehouse (Port Road entrance), MegaSurf and Porowini Ave (outside Pacific Ford Group).

Councillor Bain said while there was apparent demand for the route's re-introduction, as with any public transport route its future depended on users' ongoing patronage.

The CityLink service runs six days a week, excluding most public holidays, and typically carries an average of 1200 people daily on six routes. The reintroduced Okara loop will be the seventh route on offer.

All routes' operating hours up to and during the holiday season and a special $1 service-wide fare promotion on December 22 is available from its website www.citylinkwhangarei.co.nz.