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Published: 2004-09-30 00:00:00

Environment Waikato has increased the number of people using the city’s buses by 12 percent - the largest increase in 10 years.

The Council’s Annual Report said introducing 30 minute bus services to Hamilton had changed traffic patterns around the city, spreading patronage across all operating hours and increasing bus use by 12 percent. As a result of increased frequency, more people were using more services and the results would be monitored over the next year to identify further opportunities for improvement.

The plan to tender for a real time passenger information system had been put on hold as rapid advances changed the type of technology used, and tender documents had to be rewritten to allow tenderers to offer the latest in GPS and GPRS technology.

Environment Waikato’s road safety campaigns also won prestigious international advertising awards in New York and Cannes. The dramatic poster of a young girl plastered on a windscreen won gold awards at three international shows. Eight campaigns were undertaken throughout the year using billboards, radio advertising, posters, stickers and media coverage.

For younger road users, Ruben the Road Safety Bear was given significant funding by the Land Transport Safety Authority to target three to seven year olds. Environment Waikato also provided advice on Safe Routes to School and Walking School Buses.

The Council was also involved in Waikato District Health Board’s “Activ8” campaign, targeting obesity in young children, as well as working closely with Sport Waikato in developing a regional physical activity plan.