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Thames Connector bus service extended after successful trial

11 May 2018

Passenger numbers during the six-month Thames Connector bus service trial have been strong enough to warrant the service being extended for a year, with the possibility of it being extended for a further two years if demand holds up.

The trial ran from December 2017 to May 2018 with an average of 49 passengers catching the Thames Connector each day. A daily record was set in late April with a passenger count of 94.

The service is run by Thames Taxis through a contract with Waikato Regional Council. Because the service has been deemed a success, it qualifies for a 51% subsidy from the New Zealand Transport Agency.

Fares are just $2 per trip for adults and $1 for children 16 and under. Children under 5 travel free. Super Gold Card holders also travel at no charge on presentation of their card.

The 17-seater bus makes five return trips every weekday between Bupa Tararu and The Booms Ave Bupa Care Home in Parawai, with stops at key points in town along the way including the library, the pool, the War Memorial Civic Centre, the hospital, Goldfields Shopping Centre and much more.

For the full route and timetable go to www.tcdc.govt.nz/thamesconnector.

"By providing low-cost, reliable public transport to popular and convenient locations in the Thames CBD, we're offering mobility to people who otherwise wouldn't be able to get out and about so easily," says Thames Community Board Chair Diane Connors.

"It's also about investing in our future, and building social inclusion and connectivity in Thames," says Mrs Connors. "That's why we've called it Thames Connector."

From 14 May the following changes will be made to the bus route and schedule:

  • The bus will travel into Richmond Villas and stop outside the main reception.
  • The route will incorporate all of Fergusson Drive, Karaka Road up to Sandes Street, and Heale Street between Bank and Fenton Streets.

Minor timetable changes will also be made to allow for these changes.

The Thames Community Board approved $39,000 for the trial in 2017 and Richardsons Real Estate contributed $10,000.