New Mid North passenger service to launch 01 December

23 Nov 2016

People will have a new way of getting around the mid north shortly with a trial passenger transport service due to officially launch in Kaikohe on 01 December.

Kaikohe Bus Company will operate the 'Mid North Link' service, which is designed to assist them to get to work and make shopping and other apppointments easier.

The Northland Regional Council (NRC) is funding the $280,000 trial and its chairman Bill Shepherd is urging local communities to get in behind it as it's future will very much depend on the level of support it receives.

Councillor Shepherd says depending on the number of people carried, it's hoped the trial will run for up to two years over three routes.

Two of the routes will run seven days a week and are aimed primarily at people wanting to work in the mid-North's horticulture industry or the Bay of Island tourism sector.

A third route will operate twice weekly (on Tuesdays and Thursdays) and aims to help people access medical appointments, hairdressers, banking services and general shopping.

Councillor Shepherd says the trial is an important regional transport initiative his council is thrilled to be able to support and planning is underway for a small event to mark the service's official opening.

Passengers using the service will be ferried in newly purchased 12-seater vans, with fares varying from $3 to $8.50 one-way.

"Ten-trip concession tickets will be available for regular commuters (tickets can be purchased on board) and all three services will offer the opportunity to connect with some inter-regional services like InterCity and ManaBus."

The three routes that make up the trial are:

Route 1 – 'Northern Workers'

Aimed at those working in the horticultural industry; departs Kaikohe at 6.35am, travelling to Okaihau, Ohaeawai, Pakaraka, Kerikeri and Waipapa. Return trip leaves Waipapa 5.15pm.

Route 2 – ‘Southern Workers’

Aimed at those working in the Bay of Islands’ tourism sector; departs Kaikohe at 7.35am and travelling to Ohaeawai, Pakaraka, Moerewa, Kawakawa, Paihia and Waitangi.  Return trip leaves Waitangi 5.15pm.

(Both Routes 1 and 2 will operate seven days and on public holidays, excluding  Christmas Day and Good Friday.) 

Route 3 – ‘Southern Shoppers’

A twice-weekly service leaving Kaikohe at 10am on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Follows the Southern Workers route to Waitangi, arriving at about 11.00am.  It then continues to Kerikeri and Waipapa, leaving Waipapa at 2.00pm for the return leg.

(Route 3 will not operate on public holidays.)

Councillor Shepherd says more details about the trial will be available shortly at www.buslink.co.nz