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Bus passenger numbers boom as petrol prices bite

Figures released by Environment Waikato today showed more than 373,000 Hamilton passenger trips in April, up by nearly 190,000 or 103 per cent over the same month last year.

Once the impact of bus use during the inaugural Hamilton 400 V8s event and other special events is stripped out, the underlying increase is still up by a very solid 78,000 or 42 per cent.

Acting land transport operations manager Sue Callis said a combination of factors was fuelling the continuing climb in day-to-day city bus use.

“The big jump in the price of petrol is undoubtedly playing a part. Also, bus use has received positive media comment recently.

“We have planned an ongoing programme of service improvements such as changes beginning this weekend to the Nightrider service that are designed to increase patronage even further.

“The pace and nature of those improvements is currently under consideration but I believe we can expect to see continuing increases in bus use.

“This ongoing growth is very positive for the city as greater bus use helps ease traffic congestion and emissions,” Mrs Callis said.

Meanwhile, in the year to April there were 2.8 million passenger trips in Hamilton, compared to 2.1 million in the year to April 2007, a rise of 28 per cent.

“We are rapidly heading towards the 3 million a year mark in Hamilton,” said Mrs Callis.

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