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Published: 2011-10-07 00:00:00

Almost all the passengers using the region’s buses are satisfied with the services, according to an independent survey for the Waikato Regional Council.

The regional public transport committee was this week presented with early results from the survey, conducted for the council by Christchurch-based research company Customer Care.

One thousand passengers were surveyed across all BUSIT! services in the region during August-September, with overall satisfaction at 98 per cent.

Committee chairman Russ Rimmington said the results had remained consistent with last year’s survey and reflected the council’s commitment to public transport in the region.

“Waikato Regional Council has worked hard with operators and other councils to provide passengers with a reliable, comfortable and friendly service.

“Through the survey we’ve heard from parents who choose to leave the car at home because our buses are affordable and accessible, as well as fun for the kids.

“It is also good to hear from people who have moved to the region and find our bus services, in comparison, more regular, reliable and cost effective.

“Clearly we are doing plenty of things right, with almost five million passenger trips being made during 2010/11 – an increase of more than two per cent on the previous year.”

The survey results indicate that 53 per cent of passengers are aged under 24 and our largest market segment is tertiary and secondary students at 40 per cent. So it is no surprise, then, that 47 per cent of passengers said they use buses because they have no other choice.

Through the survey some passengers indicated they wanted improvements to the comfort of seats and reduced waiting times for buses, particularly during the afternoon peak in Hamilton.

“While the comments from our BUSIT! passengers overall are very positive, we will continue working with bus contractors and partner councils to address some of the issues raised by passengers in the survey.

“Some of these issues have also been raised through submissions on the Draft Regional Public Transport Plan. This month we will deliberate on the submissions received and the final plan will balance financial considerations with the wishes and needs of the region’s city and rural communities,” Cr Rimmington said.

To learn more about BUSIT! services, including how to plan your trip, visit www.busit.co.nz or visit www.facebook.com/busitwaikato.