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Published: 2009-12-08 00:00:00

Students Against Drink Driving (SADD) and Environment Waikato are teaming up in a new effort to keep Hamiltonians and visitors safe while having a good time this coming holiday season.

Two buses used on the council’s weekend Night Rider service are being fitted out this week in a colourful new livery, featuring the SADD logo and bright reflective material spelling out a "Plan B4 You Party" message and the initials of Night Rider. (A PDF of the new design is attached to the email this release was sent in.)

The first of the newly decorated buses will start operating from Wednesday 9 December.

"The Night Rider is ideal for getting home from after work drinks, office Christmas parties, nights out in town or dinner. They mean no one has to worry about being the designated driver," said EW’s land transport operations manager Bevan Dale.

"The buses are also the only service in Hamilton to get you home after drinking that have an onboard security guard to help ensure your journey is safe.

"In October, the Night Rider had patronage growth of 50 per cent on October 2008 and we hope the new bright livery on our buses will help make them an even more visible and integrated part of our city’s nightlife on an ongoing basis," said Mr Dale.

"We’re pleased that Students Against Drink Driving are backing our moves to provide a safe form of after hours travel for those enjoying a night out in town."

Night Rider services operate Friday and Saturday nights and New Year’s Eve (a Thursday this year).

On Fridays, they operate from midnight to 3.30am and on Saturdays from 7pm until 3.30am, The Saturday timetable will operate New Year’s Eve. Buses start their journeys from outside Coyotes on Victoria St.

The price is the same as a normal bus fare (Bus It card $2.20 or $3 cash) and if passengers present their bus ticket from coming into town they can return for free.

There are Night Rider signs on every bus stop on route.

Timetables are available in city clubs and bars or at www.busit.co.nz. Information is also available on 0800 4 BUSLINE.