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Free trips to mark World Carfree Day

5 Sep 2019, 8:30 AM


Whangarei residents are being urged to leave their cars at home and take free public transport instead as part of an event to celebrate ‘World Carfree Day’ later this month.

An annual event, Carfree Days sees people all over the globe encouraged to do without their vehicles for 24 hours in favour of cycling, walking and public transport.

Northland Regional Council Transport Project Officer, Dean Mitchell, says as this year’s Carfree Day officially falls on Sunday 22 September (and Whangarei’s local public bus service CityLink doesn’t operate on Sundays), the event will be marked locally the previous Friday (20 September) instead.

Mr Mitchell says CityLink – through which operator Ritchies runs a fleet of twelve 40-seater buses in urban Whangarei carrying more than 1200 people daily – will offer free trips from 6.00am to 6.30pm on September 20.

Regional council staff will also distribute small giveaways at the Rose St bus terminus the same day.

“Free Ride Day has enjoyed great pubic support in previous years and we’re hoping people will once again get into the spirit of the day and take advantage of the free travel offer.”

Mr Mitchell says Northland’s five public transport services collectively make up the ‘BusLink’ network; Whangarei-based CityLink, newcomer Bream Bay Link, Hokianga Link, Mid North Link (which operates in the wider Kaikohe and Bay of Islands areas) and Kaitaia’s Far North Link.

Aside from the Carfree Day initiative with Ritchies, the NRC recently teamed up with BusLink’s remaining operators – Leabourn’s Passenger Services, CBEC, Hokianga Express and the Kaikohe Bus Company – to make sure their passengers too could enjoy a giveaway promotion.

In the lead-up to New Zealand’s ‘Random Acts of Kindness Day’ on Sunday September 01, the four operators’ ran a ‘lucky seat’ promotion.

‘Passengers sitting in randomly selected seats on designated trips each won a $30 grocery voucher.”

Mr Mitchell says anyone interested in learning more about the Carfree Day should visit the regional council’s Facebook page – www.facebook.com/NorthlandRegionalCouncil

Meanwhile, he says those wanting to check bus timetables in their local area should visit the BusLink website: www.buslink.co.nz

Go to the CityLink website for Whangarei fares, routes and timetables

Car free day - catch the bus on us.