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Published: 2014-04-08 00:00:00

The process to look at the future shape of public transport in the region has taken another step with approval for targeted discussion with stakeholders about the way ahead.

The regional public transport plan development committee – which includes regional council and local council representatives – had a wide-ranging, high-level discussion yesterday on the types of issues to be considered in formulating a new plan.

These included how much fares contributed to the costs of buses in the region, fare levels and discounts, bus infrastructure, and bus branding and marketing.

A new draft plan is due to be written by the end of the year for public consultation with a finalized new plan set to be ready for adoption by June next year.

“Staff will first hold discussions with a group of stakeholders before we look at holding wider discussions with interested parties and the public on the way ahead,” said committee chair Lois Livingston of Waikato Regional Council.

“Buses are a vital part of regional transport services, particularly in Hamilton, and the process of developing our new plan provides an opportunity to look at where any improvements or adjustments can be made to our operations.

“Once we’re ready for wider consultation, we’ll be really keen to hear what interested parties and the public have to say so that we can incorporate their thinking into our final decisions,” said Cr Livingston.