Orbiter service changes coming into effect from October will improve reliability for Hamilton’s bus passengers and provide a more convenient weekend service for shoppers, says Waikato Regional Council.
From Monday 1 October, the Orbiter will move to a timetabled service, giving passengers arrival and departure times at key points on the route, which is just over 35 km long.
The buses have been given more time to complete the route to allow for increased passenger numbers, traffic congestion and roadworks. It will still mean a bus every 15 minutes during peak times, with buses every 20 minutes in the off-peak.
On weekends there will be one bus every 20 minutes between 10am and 5pm, instead of every 35 minutes.
The familiar bus route that circles Hamilton in both directions will remain unchanged.
Policy and transport group manager Vaughan Payne said, “The Orbiter is an important bus route for the city, accounting for around 20 per cent of Hamilton’s patronage with just under one million passenger trips annually.
“We have listened to the feedback from customers and over the past few months have been working hard with the bus operator, Pavlovich, to find a solution to the reliability issues being raised by our passengers.
“A timetabled service will enable people to better plan their trips to arrive on time at work and school, or appointments.”
Meanwhile, a new bus hub is being developed at The Base shopping centre in partnership with Tainui Group Holdings and is due to open from Monday 1 October.
The dedicated area provides improved facilities for bus customers and will enable the Orbiter, Huntly and City Express services to leave the complex more easily, particularly during busy shopping times.
The bus stops previously outside Te Awa will be relocated to the more central location on the site near Heathcotes and will provide good access as the The Base continues to develop.
The new Orbiter timetables will be available from Monday (24 September) at the transport centre, on Orbiter buses and the BUSIT website.