Financially unsustainable


Waikato Regional Council, NZ, considers changes to bus network which is unlikely to be financially sustainable long term

Financially unsustainable
Financially unsustainable

October 4, 2013

The bus network in Waikato, New Zealand, is to undergo improvements over the next year as public transport offered at the moment is unlikely to be financially sustainable in the long term.

The improvements will be considered by Waikato Regional Council over the next year as a 10-month review of the bus network has been completed.

However, any decisions on the bus network will only be made following public consultation, which is expected to occur in 2014 as part of the next review of the regional public transport plan.

The review has been led by the Traffic Design Group (TDG) and has included workshops with community representatives, transport stakeholders and local councils.

Russell Turnbull, of TDG, says the level of public transport currently provided is not likely to be financially sustainable over the longer term.

He says possible changes could include the straightening and merging of routes and modifications to timetables to take account of changing demographics and travel patterns.

The review also identified opportunities to hub services and introduces shuttle services in smaller towns around the main city Hamilton.

Turnbull says the majority of improvements and efficiencies would be made on Hamilton routes, where there are three distinct user groups: education, commuters and shoppers and people aged over 60.

It is expected the new regional public transport plan will be adopted in late 2014 to allow time for new bus contracts to be awarded.

Visit www.waikatoregion.govt.nz/agendas to read the TDG report in September’s policy and strategy committee agenda.

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