Whanganui's bus service is in need of improved routes and timetable information, Horizons Regional Council has been told.
"People are having trouble with route maps and knowing where the bus stops are," Whanganui resident Lyn Pearson said.
She was one of several residents to speak about the city's bus service at the regional council's long-term plan hearings held in Whanganui this week.
Pearson said some people were not easily able to move short distances from one stop to another.
She suggested a page in the Welcome to Whanganui publication should be devoted to the buses, a big sign should be up at the bus interchange at Trafalgar Square and better routes are needed.
Castlecliff has a pink and a blue route, but only the blue route stops at Whanganui Hospital.
People from other suburbs have to wait two hours for their next opportunity if they miss the bus taking the blue route.
Pearson also said she was seeing queues of traffic leaving Heads Rd between 4pm and 4.30pm.
"No buses service it," she said. "There's obviously a whole untapped group of people that could be using our bus service, but aren't."
Submitter Ross Fallen, speaking for 1500 Grey Power members, said clearer timetables were needed, and not everyone had access to those on the Horizons website.
Heather Marion Smith advocated for free public transport and said it would allow bus drivers to concentrate on driving without worrying about fares.
She would also like more seats at bus stops.
Whanganui district councillor James Barron said Horizons has not planned many transport improvements for Whanganui in the last six years.
In its 2021-31 Long-Term Plan, Horizons proposes a new targeted rate of $170,000 across Whanganui residents. The money would be used to make bus services between Aramoho and Castlecliff more frequent, starting in the 2022-23 year.
Barron thanked the councillors for investing the extra money, but said the two Castlecliff routes do not make sense.
"What we are looking for is not just doing the same with a little bit more.
"Please put the message back to staff. This investment isn't just putting in extra buses on that route. it's about looking at what makes sense for Whanganui and works for people."