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Published: 2016-03-11 00:00:00

Waikato Regional Council will be operating more free buses and new routes to the Balloons Over Waikato Nightglow later this month.

Free buses will run between 4.15pm and 7pm from five park and ride sites at key Hamilton locations and the University of Waikato for the popular event on Saturday, 19 March.

Event patrons will also be collected from and dropped off at official ‘event bus stops’ on route when they signal the drivers.

People will be able to board buses from:

  • Grosvenor Park, Rototuna – roadside parking, Thomas Rd
  • Frankton Primary School – Rifle Range Rd
  • Melville High School via Hamilton East – Collins Rd and roadside parking in Hamilton East
  • City Shuttle – roadside parking
  • The Base via River Road – parking available in The Base northern car park.

At the end of the Nightglow event buses will run on a continuous, as-available basis until all passengers have made their return journey.

If rain postpones the Nightglow to Sunday, 20 March, park and ride services will still be operating.

“The Nightglow attracts thousands of people of all ages and we’re excited to have buses travelling from The Base for the first time, as well as stopping in Hamilton East,” said the council’s public transport operations manager, Andrew Wilson.

“Last year, we had more than 14,000 people take advantage of our free services to the Nightglow, and this year we’ll be putting on more buses to cater for the growing demand.

“Our buses play an important role in easing congestion on roads in the vicinity of the event and save people the hassle of finding parking.

“Providing the free services also encourages new users onto our buses, which hopefully leads to people choosing to use public transport long after the event,” he said.

Mr Wilson said the council had been working closely with event organisers and the contracted operator, Go Bus, to make sure arrangements are in place for the safety of event patrons and the smooth operation of the bus services.

Meanwhile, bus services will operate as normal on the day of the event, but there may be some delays for the late afternoon Orbiter, 13 University, 17 Hamilton East Uni and Night Rider buses due to the Nightglow.

Visit for full details of the park and ride locations and pick-up points, or call 0800 4BUSLINE (0800 4 2875 463).