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Published: 2010-01-26 00:00:00

The ‘Plan B4 You Party’ message is clearly getting through to Hamiltonians, with a huge increase in passengers on the Night Rider.

December 2008 and December 2009 results show the number of people using the Night Rider, Hamilton’s late night bus service, increased by 148 per cent.

“The increase in patronage is likely due to our promotion work with the CBD’s bars and restaurants who have been fantastic advocates for the service. The recent branding of Night Rider’s two buses has also been a big help making the buses more recognisable,” said Regional Passenger Transport Committee chairman Cr Norm Barker.

“At the end of the day people want to have a good time in town – catch up with friends, and have a few drinks with dinner. Catching the Night Rider makes sense because you don’t need to worry about organising a designated driver. There’s a security guard on board the bus to help ensure a safe journey,” said Environment Waikato land transport operations manager Bevan Dale.

The Night Rider services a number of Hamilton's suburbs. On Fridays, it operates from midnight to 3.30am and on Saturdays from 7pm until 3.30am. Buses start their journeys from outside Coyote’s on Victoria St.

The price is the same as a normal bus fare (BUSIT! card $2.20 or $3 cash) and if passengers present their bus ticket from their journey into town, they can travel on the Night Rider home for free.

Timetables and route information is available at www.busit.co.nz or freephone 0800 4 BUSLINE.