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Published: 2007-02-09 00:00:00

Rototuna resident Brian Cooney reckons Environment Waikato’s new bus services are “the best thing ever to happen in Hamilton”.

“They’re great, particularly for people like us who are trying to live on superannuation,” he said.

“The prices are manageable for older people and the services are great.”

There were only a few houses in Alconbury Drive when Brian and his wife Janet moved there six years ago. Since then the suburb has proved hugely popular and the empty lots around them have filled in fast.

This rapid growth has prompted Environment Waikato to create a new bus service for the area’s residents.

The new Rototuna service will be launched on February 3 to provide more frequent services to north-east Hamilton.

The bus will travel up Hukanui Rd and loop around Rototuna, providing a direct link to the Rototuna Shopping Centre on the corner of Horsham Downs and Thomas roads. It will then head to town, stopping at Westfield Chartwell on the way. The service will run from 6.30am-7.35pm Monday to Thursday, 6.30am-10.15pm on Friday and 7.30am-6.05pm on Saturday.

It complements the Northerner, a loop service from Chartwell to the northern suburbs, which visits Callum Brae Dr, Rototuna Rd, Caversham Dr, Farringdon Ave, Somerton Rd, St James Dr and Huntington Dr.

Brian is already a big fan of the Northerner, which takes him to Chartwell, where he can catch another bus to town. The Rototuna service will make getting to town even easier.

“We go into town quite regularly – for everything from shopping through to the hospital,” he said.

Brian also regularly uses Environment Waikato’s city bus services to travel to his tennis club and visit his son.

“I printed out all the different routes on our computer and I take them with me in a folder so I always know when the next bus is coming.”

Environment Waikato is rolling out a range of upgrades to Hamilton’s bus services on February 3. Most city routes now have extended timetables, running half-hourly until after 7pm and delivering more services at lunchtime, in the evening and on Saturday.

For more information about bus services call 0800 4 BUSLINE (0800 4 287 5463) or visit www.busit.co.nz.