Buses will be travelling further north than ever before, with changes to Hamilton’s public transport network kicking off in the new year.
Waikato Regional Council has been looking at how to accommodate a rollout of interim services to Flagstaff North and Rototuna North in response to a large number of requests from residents in these growth areas of Hamilton.
“We signalled new services would begin in 2018, but we recognised more needed to be done sooner, so we’ve been working hard on interim options for residents,” says public transport operations manager, Andrew Wilson.
A new trial bus service – 4N Flagstaff North – begins on Monday, 18 January 2016, travelling from Woodridge, via Cumberland Drive and Thomas Road to Westfield Chartwell. A bus will also travel through to Sacred Heart Girls’ College, via St Paul’s College, Southwell School, Peachgrove Intermediate and Hamilton Boys’ High School during school times.
From Tuesday, 5 January 2016, the RDE Rototuna Direct East and RDW Rototuna Direct West bus services will be improved to provide greater coverage of the Rototuna North area.
As well as retaining direct access to Westfield Chartwell and the CBD, the two services ‘cross over’ to allow travel between Somerton, St James, the Rototuna Shopping Centre, Rototuna North and Callum Brae.
“This improvement provides residents with greater connectivity to the Rototuna community, and also makes more journey options available to them,” said Mr Wilson.
“What’s really exciting is that we’ll be providing buses to three Rototuna North schools for the first time,” Mr Wilson said.
Moonlight Drive and Borman Road will now be served by the RDE and RDW routes, providing new bus access to residents in the northern part of Rototuna, as well as servicing Rototuna Junior High School, Hamilton Christian School and Te Totara Primary.
In response to feedback from some residents on the proposed interim bus services, the RDW service will now operate in both directions, but will no longer travel along Caversham and part of Rototuna Road.
The 4N, RDE and RDW services will operate Monday to Friday only between 6.30am and 9am, and between 3pm and 6pm.
More comprehensive bus services will roll out to the northern suburbs in early 2018. These services were confirmed through the 2015-2025 Waikato Regional Public Transport Plan and will operate seven days a week and around every half an hour.
For more information on the new interim services, including detailed timetables, visit www.busit.co.nz or call 0800 4 BUSLINE (0800 4 2875463).