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More buses, new direct route to Balloons Over Waikato Nightglow

Published: 2019-03-19

Waikato Regional Council will operate more free buses and a new direct route from The Base to give people hassle-free transport to the Balloons Over Waikato Zuru Nightglow this weekend.

Free buses will run between 4.15pm and 7pm from five park and ride sites at key Hamilton locations to the University of Waikato for the popular event on Saturday, 23 March. BUSIT's four double decker buses will operate from The Base to the Nightglow.

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 – roadside parking Rifle Range Rd
  • Melville High School via Hamilton East – roadside parking Collins Rd and in Hamilton East
  • City Shuttle – roadside parking along route
  • The Base via River Road – parking available in The Base northern car park
  • The Base Express via Wairere Drive: this bus has been introduced as a result of public feedback, and will run direct to and from the Zuru Nightglow with no stops on route – 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 (24 March), limited park and ride services will operate on this day.

Visit for full details of the park and ride locations and pick-up points, or call 0800 205 305.

“The Nightglow attracts thousands of people of all ages and we’re excited to have buses running directly from The Base for the first time,” said the council’s public transport operations manager, Andrew Wilson.

“Despite the event moving to the Sunday last year due to bad weather, we still had more than 11,000 people take advantage of the free services, and this year we’re 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 beyond 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 these routes will be diverted for the late afternoon Orbiter, 13 University and Night Rider buses due to the Nightglow.