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Bus service gets thumbs up

Hamilton bus services have improved significantly according to a recent survey conducted on behalf of Environment Waikato.

The Regional Council commissioned independent research into Hamilton's bus services to measure how people ranked the service. The research involved more than 800 people and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percent.

Transport planner Iain China said overall, 62 percent of people rated the bus service as good or excellent – up from 44 percent in 1999.

Most people (90 percent) felt that the community should continue to contribute to the bus service with just over half (52 percent) saying the community share should be collected through rates. Three quarters of those surveyed felt the current average rate to help pay for the bus service ($31 per year) is acceptable with seven per cent suggesting it was too low.

Of the 810 people surveyed, only 24 percent never use the Hamilton bus service. Those who use buses most frequently were school or tertiary students and beneficiaries.

Mr China said Environment Waikato will use the research to help prepare a review of the Regional Passenger Transport Plan. People would be invited to contribute to the review during the consultation phase next March.

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