Public transport should be integrated, convenient, comfortable, affordable and accessible.
Whanganui’s urban service Te Ngaru The Tide is proving much more popular than that offered over many years (News, December 8).
This increase in usage is, I feel, largely because of a combination of the following features:
- The frequency of the buses, every 20 minutes, makes a trip to town and back or to Castlecliff or Aramoho easy and comfortable.
- Earlier and later departures are more appropriate for traditional working hours.
- On Friday evenings there is an hourly service until late.
- The buses follow the same route out and back. Consequentially passengers can locate a bus stop more easily and the timetable is easier to understand.
- The service connects two suburbs with no change of buses at Trafalgar Square.
- An easily operated (by the driver) ramp gives safe access for pushchairs, walkers and small wheelchairs.
- The vehicles are comfortable with pleasant interiors and low windows.
- Signage is more visible at bus stops - especially at Trafalgar Square.
The drivers on all bus routes are friendly and helpful.
I understand there are plans to have more bus shelters and clearer departure times at some intermediate stops.
It is not a surprise to me that few people use the Springvale service, as the earliest departure is not much before 9am, the latest is about 3pm, there are less than four trips a day and, as the routes out and back are different, the complicated timetable makes planning a trip rather tricky.
I hope that the success of Te Ngaru The Tide will lead to a change in how the government, district and regional councils and the public approach the need for an improved public transport system, locally and nationally.
Timetables key to increased use
Councillor Vinsen says he has never seen anyone on the bus that goes past his St John’s Hill house (News, December 8). I doubt that he spends much time watching traffic go by; however, it is true that more people would use the St John’s service, and other services, if the times were more frequent or just more sensible.
The Tide proves this - and thank you Anthonie Tonnon and all those who are responsible for such a great service. Whanganui won’t need a multimillion-dollar parking building (News, December 7) when we can organise all our transport properly.
Invest for future generations
I always appreciate discussion on Whanganui’s bus services.
Along with walking and biking, they are my sole transport modes.
I’ve used and enjoyed Te Ngaru/The Tide on occasion but do hope my suburb, Whanganui East, gets more frequent service some day.
What about a route that goes hill to hill?
St John’s, down through Aramoho, over the river then transversing the lower slopes of Bastia and Durie Hill to the city. I know the winding roads of Bastia Hill don’t suit the standard buses - is it time to invest in shorter electric buses?
Maybe this is a way to lessen traffic congestion on Dublin St Bridge.
I know it all comes down to money but investment for future generations needs to be considered.