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Published: 2002-02-07 00:00:00

The loss of Tokoroa’s town bus service is putting pressure on transport funding for people with disabilities.

This week’s Regional Passenger Transport Subcommittee heard that Tokoroa’s Total Mobility subsidy scheme was 32 percent over budget by December last year, partly as a result of the ending of the bus service and partly as more people in the area became aware of the scheme’s availability.

The scheme subsidises taxi transport using vouchers for people with disabilities who register with the service. In Tokoroa 234 people are using the scheme and Environment Waikato has negotiated a reduced price for a photo identification.

Since a large number of users had an income of less than $11,500 a year, the cost was prohibitive and South Waikato District Council had agreed to fund them.

A meeting will be held this month to discuss how the increased need for the service could be met.

The opposite situation occured in Taupo where Total Mobility was 30 percent under budget. Only two or three new applications were received each month and there appeared to be a drop in demand for the service. In Hamilton, about 24 new applications were received each month and the city scheme was operating within budget.