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Published: 2006-08-23 00:00:00

Bus patronage in the region broke through the two million mark annually for the first time as it rocketed 9.3 per cent to 2,156,268. This measurement was based on the 2005/06 financial year ending 30 June.

Bus patronage in Hamilton contributed strongly to this, adding an additional 166,030 passengers over the previous year.

The 2006/07 year has also started very well with July patronage figures for the region up 14.17 per cent on the same month last year. That’s a total of 23,823 extra passengers carried on passenger transport in the Waikato region.

”A significant amount of the growth can be accounted for by the launch of two new Hamilton City services last year” said Environment Waikato passenger transport spokesperson Cr Paula Southgate. “The Chartwell Direct and CBD Shuttle started in February and April respectively. Last year’s figures are bound to be outdone again this year with the Orbiter having started mid July, which will surely add significant passenger growth as well.”

“The work we are doing in providing more buses, more often, and making them more comfortable to ride in, is also providing the motivation to people to get out of their cars. This is good for our customers, our environment and the economy.” Cr Southgate said.