New Te Kūiti Connector service notches up 1000 passengers
22 May 2023, 3:51 PM
Pānui Pāpāho | Media Release (Waikato Regional Council)
More than 1000 passengers have travelled on the Te Kūiti Connector bus since it was launched in February, providing the King Country community with a public transport connection to and from Hamilton.
To mark the launch and give the community an opportunity to find out more about the service, an official event is being held this Thursday, 25 May, at the Te Kūiti isite visitor information centre between 11am and 1pm.
The bus will park at the main bus stop, with the community invited to hop on board for a look, and have their questions answered on everything from connectivity options to the Bee Card and pricing.
Waikato Regional Council’s public transport team will also demonstrate how to use the bike rack and there will be some fun activities available for crafty audiences.
Waikato Regional Transport Committee chair Mich’eal Downard, said the weekday service was already having a positive impact on the King Country community. “We already know of students and professionals who are riding the bus regularly to get to and from their classes and jobs.
“There are also people using the bus to access other amenities in Hamilton, like the hospital and shopping centres, as well as to catch up with family and friends.”
The ‘Number 26’ bus travels from Te Kūiti, through Ōtorohanga, Te Kawa, Te Awamutu, Ōhaupō and stops at locations across Hamilton, including the Waikato Hospital, Transport Centre in the city’s CBD and Wintec Rotokauri Campus. View the timetable online at busit.co.nz/regional-services/tekuiticonnector or call 0800 205 305.
Fares vary depending on distance travelled. There are also concession and fare capping options available for travellers. Those with a SuperGold Concession loaded onto their Bee Card are entitled to free travel. To find out more visit busit.co.nz/fares.
The Bee Card is now available to purchase from the Ōtorohanga and Te Kūiti isite visitor information centres. Using a Bee Card means discounted fares as well as access to the rest of the Waikato public transport network.
The Bee Card can be used on any of the services across the network. Each regional bus service also comes equipped with a bike rack, free WiFi and free transfers to other buses within half an hour of tagging off on weekdays, or an hour after tagging off on weekends and public holidays.
Mr Downard said the King Country has “never been so accessible”, with very limited transport options available for these communities previously.
“Now the regional transport network is growing, we can connect more communities to the places they need to go.”
The Te Kūiti Connector and Tokoroa Connector are the two newest public transport initiatives to be rolled out in the region. They are operated by Waikato Regional Council in partnership with Waitomo District Council, Ōtorohanga District Council, Waipā District Council and South Waikato District Council, as well as tertiary providers The University of Waikato and Wintec.
The trial services have already seen high passenger usage during their maiden voyages to Hamilton. More than 1030 passengers have travelled on the Te Kūiti Connector, while the Tokoroa Connector has carried more than 2200.
Waikato Regional Council’s public transport team has been closely monitoring patronage and feedback, which resulted in some timetable changes in late April.