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Published: 2008-10-01 00:00:00

About 40,000 older people in the Waikato are eligible for free travel on off-peak public transport services in the region from today, including on buses in places such as Hamilton and Taupo.

Environment Waikato and other councils around the country are being funded to provide SuperGold Card holders with free off-peak travel on scheduled public transport services.

Regional Transport Committee chairman Norm Barker of Environment Waikato said the council had worked hard to ensure its ticketing systems on buses were ready to handle the SuperGold card inclusion straight away. All that the SuperGold card holder needs to do is show the driver their SuperGold card. "It’s that easy," said Cr Barker.

"As bus use in Hamilton and elsewhere increases, we wanted to make sure SuperGold card holders can take advantage of the new discounts regime from the start. The scheme fits in very nicely with our efforts to improve transport options for the elderly and the disabled in the region."

The New Zealand Household Travel Survey shows the majority of people aged 65 and over do most of their public transport travel during off-peak hours, making an estimated eight million trips per year on buses and trains.

Cr Barker says most scheduled public transport services in the Waikato will be eligible for the free off-peak travel concession for SuperGold Card holders. The relevant off peak hours for SuperGold card holders using buses in the Waikato are 9am to 3pm and from 6:30pm to the end of service on weekdays, and any time on weekends and public holidays.

A full list of eligible services in the Waikato is available by going online at

www.busit.co.nz, by phoning 0800 4 BUSLINE or asking at the transport centre on the corner of Bryce and Anglesea Sts.

 

The SuperGold card is available to all eligible New Zealanders aged 65 years or over and those under this age who receive the New Zealand Superannuation or the Veterans Pension. The card was launched in August 2007, providing access to business discounts, government and local authority services, entitlements and concessions.