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Published: 2007-12-12 00:00:00

Ongoing growth in the number of passengers being carried on Hamilton’s buses reflects the increased value the public is getting across a range of services.

Latest figures for November put the number of passenger trips at 293,712, up 18.5 per cent on the same month last year. The financial year to date total is up by almost a third (30.6 per cent) at 1.47 million.

“The CBD Shuttle and Orbiter services continue to be very popular, both significantly increasing in customer numbers when compared to the same month in 2006,” said land transport operations manager Russell Turnbull.

 “But off-peak services in Hamilton continue to rise at a greater rate than peak services, which is generally a positive sign as people use the capacity currently available in the middle of the day. Saturday services are also continuing to grow well, in line with the rest of the network.”

And there was a significant jump in people aged 60 or more using the Hamilton network – their numbers were up more than 50 per cent last month.

Outside Hamilton, use of the region’s bus routes managed by Environment Waikato grew by an average of 3.5 per cent. Star performers included Paeroa to Hamilton (+19.4 per cent), Taupo’s urban bus service (+16.8 per cent) and the Huntly and Raglan service also showed increased patronage.