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Published: 2017-04-11 09:00:00

Larger passenger buses equipped with extra commuter-friendly equipment are due to start operating on the Hamilton-Ngāruawāhia-Huntly run from the middle of next month.

The brand new, larger silver and blue buses operated by Go Bus will replace the current orange-coloured fleet.

Go Bus said it was delighted to have been awarded the contract to operate the new bus services.

“Having operated services in the region for a number of years we’ve got to know the community well and our drivers will be especially happy to  have the opportunity to continue getting people to and from these iconic Waikato towns,” Go Bus managing director Calum Haslop said.

“We are also pleased to be introducing brand new EURO 5 low emission buses to the routes, which are equipped with not only USB charging ports, free Wi-Fi and cycle racks, but also coach style seating and a five camera CCTV system for added passenger safety.”

There will be no changes to the current seven-day-a-week timetable or the route for the services provided by Waikato Regional Council. Its public transport operations manager Andrew Wilson said the service improvements, negotiated as part of tendering processes last year, were part of the regional council’s ongoing drive to make service quality improvements where possible.

“Improving the way our passengers experience our services, such as popular Wi-Fi facilities, will benefit them and help us further increase the number of people we’re carrying. Already the Northern Connector route is one of our most popular,” said Mr Wilson.

Waikato District Council’s general manager service delivery Tim Harty said: “Waikato District Council welcomes the new and improved service offered by Go Bus. Public transport is becoming increasingly important to our communities as the district grows, and it’s great to see this recognised by a service with modern facilities and greater capacity to transport more people.”

NZTA’s Waikato and Bay of Plenty regional director, Parekawhia McLean said: “We are excited to have worked with our partners at the councils to bring a new level of service to the people in these towns.

“We would also like to congratulate Go Bus for coming up with a solution for public transport users that not only shows value for money but also gives these communities a high quality transport option.”