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Published: 2007-09-20 00:00:00

Hamiltonians can ride the city’s buses for free this Saturday as Environment Waikato gets in behind the international World Car Free Day.

Buses in Raglan, Huntly and Taupo will also be free.

“Providing free bus travel this Saturday is our way of helping to further promote the idea that bus use is a great way to reduce traffic congestion and air pollution,” said land transport operations manager Russell Turnbull.

“Free rides make it easier for people to show their support for World Car Free Day. And it will give people who don’t normally use the buses a chance to try out our services without paying a cent.”

Promoting more buses, to more places, more often in Hamilton and elsewhere is a key part of Environment Waikato’s strategy to help unclog roads in the Waikato’s major city and to reduce vehicle carbon emissions contributing to climate change.

A range of new and expanded services is to be introduced over the next few years in Hamilton.

“We want people to get on board,” said Mr Turnbull. “Unclogging roads and reducing vehicle emissions helps make Hamilton a more attractive place to live. That can have spin-offs for community well-being and the city’s ability to attract the workers it needs to help keep the economy humming.”

The last free bus day for Hamilton – held in May to celebrate achieving more than two million city passenger trips in one year – saw Saturday patronage climb to more than double its usual level.