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Published: 2010-03-23 00:00:00

Environment Waikato is again operating special bus services for people attending the Balloons Over Waikato Nightglow event at Waikato University on Saturday 27 March.

Also, a free Night Rider bus service is being operated as part of the Earth Hour event that night.

Buses to the Balloons Over Waikato will run from five park and ride sites around the city where people can leave their vehicle and hop aboard a bus to the university.

The park and ride sites are at Wintec in Te Rapa, Melville, Grosvenor Park, Frankton primary School and a City site.

The park and ride operation is designed to prevent major traffic congestion and parking problems around the university itself.

Buses will run from the park and ride sites between 3.45pm and 6.30pm. Return buses will run until demand ceases.

The deputy chair of the Regional Passenger Transport Committee Paula Southgate said the park and ride operation had run very smoothly last year with around 8500 people carried on the buses.

"We are committed to helping with transport to this iconic Balloons Over Waikato event and we’re confident things should run smoothly again this year," said Cr Southgate, from Environment Waikato.

"Buses are an important part of traffic management at key events and are an easy and no fuss way for people to get there."

Normal Saturday bus services will also run on the day of the event.

Meanwhile, the Night Rider bus service is free on Saturday night and into Sunday morning as part of the Earth Hour celebration.

"Earth Hour is a fantastic event promoting the protection of our environment. Car use is a big contributor to carbon emissions and taking the bus is an easy way for people to be more environmentally friendly," Cr Southgate said.

More details on the Balloons Over Waikato park and ride services and the free Night Rider are available from or 0800 4BUSLINE.