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Published: 2007-02-16 00:00:00

Environment Waikato has smashed its previous record for January bus ticket sales.

Figures just released show ticket sales rising from 90,316 in January 2006 to 147,122 in January 2007.

“That means patronage last month was up by a massive 62.8 per cent on January 2006,” said Environment Waikato land transport operations manager Russell Turnbull.

“According to our records, that’s the biggest patronage jump we have ever had in a singe month.

“We were thrilled with a 36 per cent increase between December 2006 and December 2007, so to climb up over 60 per cent in January was quite exceptional.”

Hamilton bus patronage has been consistently high over the past six months. On a month by month basis, ticket sales were up 9.8 per cent in August 2006 (compared with August 2005), 14.8 per cent in September, 24.7 per cent in October, 24.5 per cent in November, 36.1 per cent in December and 62.8 per cent in January 2007.

Silverdale, Frankton, the Northerner, Glenview and Fitzroy were the best performing services, all up on the previous January.

Ticket sales for Saturday bus services, which were below 6,000 in January 2006, shot up to nearly 8,000 last month.

Overall bus patronage across the Waikato region is up 22.9 per cent for the year to date.