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10 years of free Massey buses

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Horizons Regional Council is celebrating a 10 year partnership with Massey University that provides free urban buses within Palmerston North for internal students and staff.

Horizons transport manager Phillip Hindrup says it’s important that the relationship be celebrated.

"These buses offer a unique service for students in our city and we want to celebrate the relationship with Massey that has resulted in five and a half million trips taken since the start of the scheme in February 2004," Mr Hindrup says.

To celebrate, Horizons’ transport team are teaming up with Massey University to provide an opportunity for student bus users to win great prizes.

On Monday 13 July and Tuesday 14 July, students will have the chance of receiving a prize card which will be handed out at random times to students as they disembark Massey buses at the Massey University Manawatu campus. Horizons staff could be at the Colombo Road bus stop or the Hopkirk bus stop.

Horizons’ transport team will have a stall at Clubs Day July 15 from 10.30am, on Concourse, where winners can collect their prizes.

Those who aren’t instant winners are encouraged to enter a second chance draw, which will ask students to take a selfie on the bus with a few words around why they love using the service and post it to the Horizons Facebook page with the hash tag #TenYearsFreeBuses. Winners announced via Facebook Thursday 16 July.

Massey University Students’ Association President Linsey Higgins hails the success of this system as a result of collaboration between a number of bodies.

"The Unlimited access scheme is a prime example of what can happen when a shared vision is held between the University, Students’ Association and Local and Regional Bodies. This scheme is an undeniable success, and envied by students in other cities with tertiary institutes. MUSA believes that any scheme that enables and enhances access to education is crucial.

Students in cities such as Auckland can pay more than $50 a week on public transport getting to University and part time employment. Our students do not have this burden to bear, meaning they have more time to focus on their studies."

Massey University Manawatu campus registrar Sandi Shillington says the unlimited access bus scheme has been fantastic for the University and its students and staff. "It has enabled numerous people to travel safely - at no cost - to and from university and around the city at any time when the service operates, thus saving money for other things; it has drastically reduced traffic volumes in and out of campus, with the consequent environmental and public safety benefits from reduced pollution, reduced travel times and potentially fewer accidents; and it has meant we have not had to create more car parks on campus.

It has been a very successful partnership for us, that we would like to see continue and, if possible, grow."

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