Hamilton travellers are on board with their newest bus service, the Meteor, in significant numbers.
The high-frequency service launched on 28 August, replacing the regular-frequency Silverdale (2) and Frankton (8) buses. The Meteor is carrying an average of 9124 passengers each week, which is 85 per cent more than the combined Silverdale and Frankton services. During the same seven-week period last year, the old services averaged 4940 passengers a week.
The numbers also show people are taking to the service at a range of times. Peak time passenger numbers are up 48 per cent and weekday numbers are up 83 per cent. Between its launch day and Sunday, 15 October, the Meteor completed 63,868 passenger trips in the same time that the previous services completed 34,583. At this rate, the Meteor should reach 100,000 in the second week of November.
Waikato Regional Councillor and Deputy Chair of the Future Proof Public Transport Subcommittee Angela Strange says it’s great that the service is working well and giving people good reason to use public transport: “We’re really pleased to see that peak time passenger numbers are up by almost half because the data shows that the service suits people’s busy schedules. As a result, we will be reducing congestion on our roads and our emissions at the same time.”
Waikato Regional Council developed the Meteor following public feedback asking for more frequent services like the Comet and Orbiter. It was designed to be simpler and easier to use with more regular buses and less need for passengers to change services in the CBD.
Cr Strange says, “We are always looking to provide public transport options that work for our communities, and deliver what people asked for. These early passenger numbers are exactly what we wanted to see.”
As of last week, the Meteor extends its northwestern reach to the Rotokauri Transport Hub and shifts onto Commerce Street instead of Lake Road through Frankton.
Meteor at its central city stop outside the Hamilton Transport Centre on Ward Street.