Bus company to continue coastal service

Decreased Ministry of Education funding for school transport in the greater Waikouaiti coastal area will not affect the level of service to residents, but some will face higher bus fares.

A recent ministry survey showed a reduction in the number of pupils eligible for subsidised school transport in the area, so the two existing subsidised bus routes were combined into one.

Passenger Transport Citibus, contracted to operate the ministry-funded services, decided to retain the defunct route as a commercial operation.

Director Kayne Baas said the changes, effective from the start of the new school year, would only affect those not already eligible for the ministry-funded service, as their fares would be higher on the commercial route.

"The revised ministry-funded route will allow eligible children to be transported free of charge from Seacliff, Warrington, Waitati and Mt Cargill Rd," he said.

Mr Baas said fare increases would differ according to previous zone-based prices.

In general, pupils attending their closest public school were eligible for transport assistance from the ministry, he said.

The new commercial route would operate from Waikouaiti and include Karitane, Seacliff and Warrington.

Mr Baas said if patronage reached a certain level, it was possible the fares could be reduced. A slight timetable change was necessary to accommodate both services, he said.




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