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Published: 2014-03-19 00:00:00

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

Five routes will run between key Hamilton locations and the University of Waikato from 4.15pm on Saturday 29 March, 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 board buses from:

  • Melville High School (Collins Road)
  • Frankton Primary School (Rifle Range Road)
  • Grosvenor Park (roadside parking in Thomas Rd)
  • the Harrowfield end of River Road (roadside parking along route)
  • the CBD (roadside parking along route). 

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 30 March, there will still be park and ride services available. 

“The Night Glow is a popular event which attracts thousands of people of all ages and we’re pleased to be able to support it again this year,” said the regional council’s acting public transport operations manager, Ben Barlow. 

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

“Last year, we had more than 13,000 people take advantage of our free services to the Night Glow. Providing the free services encourages new users onto our buses, which hopefully leads to people choosing to use public transport long after the event.” 

Mr Barlow said the council had been working closely with event organisers and the contracted operator, Go Bus, to make sure the service again runs smoothly and arrangements are in place for the safety of event patrons. 

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 the BUSIT website for full details of the Balloons Over Waikato parking locations and pick-up points, or call 0800 4BUSLINE (0800 4 2875 463).