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Published: 2013-04-04 00:00:00

Waikato Regional Council’s free park and ride bus services are back for this Saturday’s Balloons Over Waikato premier event, the Night Glow.

Buses will depart from five key Hamilton locations to the University of Waikato from 4.15pm, with the last bus leaving park and ride sites at 7pm. Event patrons will also be collected from official event bus stops on route when they signal the drivers. 

People will be able to park their cars at the following five areas:

  • Melville High School (Collins Road)
  • Frankton Primary School (Rifle Range Road)
  • Grosvenor Park (roadside parking in Thomas Rd)
  • River Road shuttle (roadside parking)
  • City Shuttle (roadside CBD parking). 

At the conclusion of the Night Glow, buses will leave on a continuous, as-available basis until all event-goers have boarded for their return journey. If rain postpones the Balloons Over Waikato event until Sunday 7 April, there will still be park and ride services available. 

The regional council’s transport and policy group manager Vaughan Payne said the park and ride operation is designed to prevent major traffic congestion and parking problems around the university itself. 

“Thousands of people take advantage of our free services to the Night Glow and we’re pleased to again be supporting this popular family event this year,” Mr Payne said. 

“Providing the free services encourages new users onto our buses, which hopefully leads to people choosing to use public transport following the event. 

“The buses certainly play a significant part in saving people the hassle of finding parking close to the university. These services get people safely to and from the event, while reducing congestion on our roads. 

“Since late last year we’ve been working closely with event organisers and our contracted operator, Go Bus, to make sure the service again runs smoothly and arrangements are in place for the safety of event patrons,” Mr Payne said. 

Saturday bus services will also operate as normal on the day of the event. However, there may be some delays for the late afternoon Orbiter, 13 University, 17 Hamilton East Uni and Night Rider buses due to the event. 

Visit www.busit.co.nz for full details of the Balloons Over Waikato park and ride services, or call 0800 4BUSLINE.