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Published: 2011-12-09 00:00:00

Raglan students travelling to Hamilton schools will have the choice of another bus next year, with the Te Uku to Hamilton service being extended to begin in the west coast town.

The Te Uku to Hamilton school “assist” service will operate from Monday to Friday during school terms, starting on Wednesday, 1 February 2012.

The service will depart from Raglan at 6.55am, stopping in Te Uku at 7.15am and arriving outside Hamilton Boys’ High School at 8.15am. The return bus will leave from outside the high school at 3.25pm, stopping in Te Uku at 4.25pm and arriving in Raglan 20 minutes later.

Waikato Regional Council transport and policy group manager Vaughan Payne said extensive work had gone into finding a solution for Raglan bus passengers.

“Since earlier in the year we have been working closely with Waikato District Council and the bus contractor to find an affordable and sustainable solution to community requests for increased buses from Raglan.

“The Go Bus driver of the Te Uku school “assist” service has been picking up some students in Raglan on a complimentary basis because he lives in town. But a full service has not been provided through Raglan and the contractor could not guarantee it would continue.

“By extending the school “assist’ service we will provide surety to Raglan students and their parents, while also freeing up space on other buses during school terms,” Mr Payne said.

Costs to operate the region’s bus services are covered through rates, fares and central government funding. The Raglan to Hamilton service is already heavily subsidised, with 60 per cent of the costs covered by both tax and ratepayers.

To help cover the $30,000 cost of the route extension and align prices with other Waikato regional fares, Raglan bus fares will increase from Sunday, 1 January 2012.

BUSIT! fares from Raglan will be $5.90 for adults and $4 for children, while cash fares will be $8.10 for adults and $4.80 for children.

New printed timetables will be available on the bus and at the transport centre in Hamilton’s Bryce Street. Alternatively, visit www.busit.co.nz or call 0800 4 BUSLINE (0800 4 2875 463) for more information.

You can also keep up to date with the latest BUSIT! information via Facebook: www.facebook.com/busitwaikato.