School-led solutions guide bus service

After a lengthy period of discussion and engagement, Bay of Plenty Regional Council has released details around bus services for school students from 2019, ahead of the Public Transport Blueprint roll out slated for December 2018.

Forty percent of feedback received during last year’s Drive Change engagement process on the proposed Public Transport Blueprint were school related and BOPRC public transport committee chairman Cr Lyall Thurston says that feedback was hugely important.

Cr. Thurston says the Blueprint programme is aimed at encouraging the use of public transport by all users, which in turn will help ease the pressure on private transport and infrastructure.

He says Bay of Plenty Regional Council has been working with schools in order to provide information about the upcoming changes to parents, and to develop school-led solutions for their transport needs.

“We heard the messages around children’s safety and traffic congestion loud and clear,” Cr Thurston says.

“These outcomes were school-led and in some cases, like with Greenpark school, they’ve come back to us with what works for them and we have been able to implement these modifications.”

 The changes taking place under the Blueprint will see 27 dedicated school services operating in Tauranga from the start of term one in 2019.

“This will provide students with much greater choice about when and where they travel from before and after school, as well as for the wider community,” says Cr. Thurston.

“Encouraging children to use public transport develops good patterns for life; for example, when they move away for future study, they will be equipped with the knowledge of how to use public transport, ultimately encouraging them to rely less on private vehicles for transport.”

BOPRC is still awaiting confirmation on potential assistance from the Ministry of Education for Papamoa and Papamoa East students attending Bethlehem College and Aquinas College. 

Details around new public Bayhopper routes will be released in coming months.

Click here to see the 2019 school bus routes.