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New bus service trials get green light - Marlborough District Council

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Marlborough District Council’s Assets and Services Committee agreed in principle today to fund bus service trials, with a new Renwick to Blenheim return service, expanded Blenheim commuter routes and Blenheim to Picton return service options. Council will now enter into a formal negotiation process with bus service providers to confirm pricing and the final routes.

Deputy Mayor Terry Sloan welcomed the decision.

"I’m confident we’ve found a workable solution to providing more bus services for our growing population. Many people participated in the public survey earlier this year, and that gave us some strong indications of the public’s preferences."

"We won’t be able to please everyone. Unfortunately an airport bus service is cost-prohibitive - we can’t afford to service every arrival and departure from the airport."

A sub-committee of councillors - Mr Sloan, Mark Peters and Jenny Andrews - worked with staff who ranked the proposed trial service options as:

1. Renwick service (peak and off peak) - four weekday return trips, plus a Saturday service

2. New Blenheim commuter services (peak) - half-hourly between 7.30am and 8.30am, and 5.15pm to 6.15pm.

3. Picton service (2 days per week, off peak).

"These services can be accommodated within the funding allocation of $300,000, with a trial period of 18 months."

"All the proposed routes and timetables are yet to be finalised. The Renwick service is proposed to be a mix of peak commuter and off-peak services, requiring four return trips on weekdays and two on Saturdays," Councillor Sloan says.

"Service provision costs will be offset by fare revenue and financial assistance from NZTA at a base rate of 51%, subject to meeting all funding criteria."

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