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Published: 2010-06-02 00:00:00

Environment Waikato has confirmed two new buses will be used to help ease congestion on the crowded Orbiter route from the start of the 2011 school year.

During annual plan deliberations today, councilors agreed to spending more than an extra $120,000 on providing the two buses.

The decision follows significant overcrowding problems involving school children on the Orbiter’s before and after school services.

The extra spending will be funded by raising the child concession fare from $1.30 to $1.50 and increasing Hamilton passenger transport rates by an extra 26 cents per $100,000 of capital value.

Regional Passenger Transport Committee chairman Norm Barker said after the meeting that using a mix of increased fares and extra rates to fund the additional costs struck a sensible balance.

"It means we will be charging the school children contributing to the overcrowding a bit more, as well as having Hamilton ratepayers in general supporting a valuable community service."

A minority of four councilors from the council’s Rates Control team voted for the increased costs to be funded entirely from fare increases.