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Published: 2015-03-20 00:00:00

Waikato Regional Council’s free park and ride bus services are back for this month’s Balloons Over Waikato premier event, the Nightglow.

Five routes will run between key Hamilton locations and the University of Waikato from 4.15pm on Saturday 28 March, with the last bus leaving park and ride sites at 7pm. Event patrons will also be collected from and dropped off at official ‘event bus stops’ on route when they signal the drivers. 

People will be able to board buses from:

  • Melville High School (Collins Road)
  • Frankton Primary School (Rifle Range Road)
  • Grosvenor Park, Rototuna(roadside parking in Thomas Rd)
  • the Harrowfield end of River Road (roadside parking along route)
  • the CBD (roadside parking along route).

At the conclusion of the Nightglow, buses will leave on a continuous, as-available basis until all event-goers have boarded for their return journey.

If rain postpones the Balloons Over Waikato event until Sunday 29 March, there will still be park and ride services available.

“The Nightglow attracts thousands of people of all ages and we’re pleased to be able to get people safely to and from the event again this year,” said the regional council’s acting public transport operations manager, Terry Darvill.

“Last year, we had more than 14,000 people take advantage of our free services to the Nightglow. Our buses play an important role in easing congestion on roads in the vicinity of the event and save people the hassle of finding parking.

“Providing the free services also encourages new users onto our buses, which hopefully leads to people choosing to use public transport long after the event.”

Mr Darvill said the council had been working closely with event organisers and the contracted operator, Go Bus, to make sure arrangements are in place for the safety of event patrons and smooth operation of the bus services.

Meanwhile, bus services will operate as normal on the day of the event, but there may be some delays for the late afternoon Orbiter, 13 University, 17 Hamilton East Uni and Night Rider buses due to the Nightglow. 

Visit www.busit.co.nz for full details of the park and ride locations and pick-up points, or call 0800 4BUSLINE (0800 4 2875 463).