Environment Waikato was overwhelmed by the response to its new Park and Ride bus service, trialled at last Saturday’s Balloons Over Waikato Nightglow event.
The service allowed people to park their cars at one of eight car parks around Hamilton and take a bus to Innes Common. They were delivered back to the car parks after the fireworks finished.
More than 3000 people used the service to get to and from the event and Environment Waikato’s Land Transport Manager Russell Turnbull was delighted with the public response.
“The buses were such a success we had to call in extras to help – we used 32 in total, which is more than half of Hamilton’s total fleet,” Mr Turnbull said.
“It was a fantastic result and a good signal that Waikato people are willing to support these services when they’re put on.”
Mr Turnbull said the popularity of the Park and Ride service had exceeded expectations, resulting in short delays for some people.
“Some people were kept waiting longer than we would have liked but the majority of people were very understanding and remained in high spirits, which was great to see.
“Because this was a trial service it was very difficult to predict how many people would use it. We will be carrying out a full evaluation that will help us provide an even better service next year. One decision we’ve already made is to have allocated departure points for buses after the event.”