The removal of travel time restrictions on buses and trains will be a game changer for Waikato's ageing communities using their SuperGold card concession.
From February 1, free travel will be available at all times on all Waikato Regional Council bus and train services for Bee Card holders with the SuperGold concession loaded. Until now, SuperGold has only been available on services operating during off peak periods.
"The removal of travel time restrictions will help our SuperGold cardholders keep connected with family and friends more easily," said Regional Transport Connections chairwoman Angela Strange.
"That increased connectedness has the potential to ease isolation and make a big difference to the well-being of our older people."
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Strange said the change would also make it easier and more affordable for people to get to things like health appointments.
"Many of our older people are on a fixed income, and they've told me they're really excited to have the freedom of unrestricted travel at no cost," she said.
For Hamiltonians, it will mean free travel to Auckland on all Te Huia services and by bus to regional communities like Raglan, Te Awamutu, Cambridge and Matamata.
For those people living in rural towns with a bus service, it will connect them to Hamilton for hospital appointments, as well as to the gardens, zoo and shopping centres.