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Published: 2004-08-04 00:00:00

Environment Waikato and Hamilton City Council are taking another look at providing a late night bus service on Fridays and Saturdays after poor patronage on the trial service.

The service operated for three months from mid April but patronage was too low to continue providing late buses. However Environment Waikato’s Regional Passenger Transport Committee member, Hamilton City Council representative Dave Macpherson says the service is not dead yet.

A working party is continuing work on the idea, looking at the optimum time for offering the service.

“We were always aware that timing was a problem for the trial as we were using a bus that was only available between midnight and 3 am. The prime time for shifting people home from the city is after 3 am, so this has not been a true test of patronage.”

He said he was hopeful that the late night bus could succeed if the timing was right, as it was a safety issue for the city.

Cr Paula Southgate said she would welcome a more in depth evaluation of the service as it was an ideal opportunity for partnerships with commercial operations involved in city entertainment.

City representative John Gower said sponsorship was being worked on and passengers would be asked for a $2 gold coin fare so that drivers did not have to deal with change. The service had cost the city council $10 for each passenger who used the service during the trial.

Older passengers had taken to the 60 Plus fare system well in the month it had run, Regional Passenger Transport Co-ordinator Noel Burnie said. About 500 people had exchanged their existing Busit cards for 60+ cards and another 80 or 90 cards had been sold. The only problem had been older people getting on buses and asking for the over 60 fare without the card.