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Published: 2007-05-14 00:00:00

Environment Waikato's free bus day on Saturday was a roaring success, with Hamilton buses carrying 7131 people.

"That's 72 per cent more than we would normally carry on an average Saturday," said programme manager land transport operations Russell Turnbull.

The busiest route was the Orbiter with more than 1,178 people using the bus to get around the city

Next busiest was Frankton with 529 passengers, many of whom were using the bus to get to the Frankton Markets.

Popular routes such as Silverdale (356) and Pukete (362) also did very well on the day.

And Raglan proved a popular destination with 108 trips taken on this route.

At the Hamilton Transport Centre free entertainment was put on for those waiting for buses by popular singer Corilin Steel, and Ruben the road safety bear also made an appearance.

The free bus day was to celebrate the buses carrying more than two million passenger trips in a financial year for the first time ever as people take advantage of expanded services.

Final passenger trip numbers are expected to be more than 2.5 million this financial year and could exceed 2.6 million, Mr Turnbull said.