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More Promotion of Event Buses Needed

Environment Waikato’s Regional Passenger Transport Subcommittee wants to see more promotion of bus services to major events in the city.

This week's subcommittee meeting heard that while extra bus services were provided for last month’s balloon Fiesta, it was poorly patronised. Environment Waikato operated a standard Friday night late service timetable for the Night Glow, and a shuttle bus from the transport centre to Lake Domain.

Passenger transport operations co-ordinator Noel Bernie said while the feedback was positive, only 200 passengers used the 18 services provided, which was not a resounding success.

Fiesta organisers had not promoted the service well enough in their event advertising, and passengers had struggled to find the right buses in the dark after the Night Glow. To operate bus services for any future special events, advertising of the event would need to put much more emphasis on bus services as a means of getting there.

Cr Paula Southgate said services could be run successfully and had been done overseas. The organisers should be working with the Council now to plan for next year's Fiesta.

"We need to show the people of Hamilton that we can do this well.”

Commercial operators representative Craig Worth said the committee needed a "cunning plan", whether the transport was to rugby games or the balloons.

The bus company’s biggest customer was the bus service provided from the airport to the Fieldays gates and the system worked. He said liaison was needed with the organisation several months before the next event and a debrief was needed immediately with the balloon Fiesta organisers.

The committee is to organise a debrief with Fiesta organisers this month to ensure that any future events can successfully use bus transport.

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