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Published: 2008-05-05 00:00:00

Final numbers show more than 100,000 people used Hamilton’s urban buses during the four-day Hamilton 400 event, more than triple the number that would normally be carried during such a period.

The final tally was that 101,080 passengers used Hamilton urban buses from 17 to 20 April, which included a Sunday when city buses don’t currently run.

Normally up to 30,000 people would be carried on urban buses from Thursday to Saturday.

Preliminary figures released soon after the event indicated at least 90,000 passengers used the free Hamilton 400 services, organised by the race’s promoters, Hamilton City Council and Environment Waikato. But the final tally pushed that figure beyond “the ton” mark.

“To have cracked the 100,000 passenger mark on urban services is very gratifying,” said Environment Waikato’s land transport operations manager Russell Turnbull.

“It shows free buses – generously paid for by the organisers - will have a very clear and ongoing role in making the V8s a success for Hamilton.”

Event organisers and the two councils have been particularly grateful to regular bus users for their patience in dealing with route and timetable changes needed for the event.

Mr Turnbull said the bus, walk and bike message had worked well during the event, making it easy for people to get around the city during the V8s.

Environment Waikato brought 18 extra buses into the city for the race weekend, boosting the Hamilton fleet by 30 per cent, with every one needed at peak times.

Further increases to services are already being considered for next year.