Track city buses with lat­est app

Hamilton Press - - OUT & ABOUT - EL­TON RIKIHANA SMALLMAN

New track­ing tech­nol­ogy will make re­dun­dant the days of ner­vously wait­ing for a bus to ap­pear... and won­der­ing if you just missed one.

Waikato Re­gional Coun­cil is up­grad­ing its fleet so Hamil­ton pas­sen­gers can track buses in re­al­time with a Smart­phone app.

There will be no need to ar­rive 10 min­utes early and no rea­son to think you’ve missed your ride al­to­gether.

The app is one of a raft of changes be­ing put into place over the next five months, said Waikato Re­gional Coun­cil public trans­port man­ager An­drew Wil­son.

‘‘The changes are aimed at mak­ing bus travel eas­ier for pas­sen­gers by pro­vid­ing real-time travel in­for­ma­tion and stream­lin­ing routes and ser­vices,’’ Wil­son said.

As well as the app, other tech im­prove­ments in­clude a trial of new real-time in­for­ma­tion street dis­plays at some bus stops in the city.

There will also be new and re­fur­bished buses with on-board CCTV cam­eras and free wifi for pas­sen­gers. That will be phased in be­tween now and Jan­uary 2018.

Changes in bus routes are un­der way and pas­sen­gers who reg­u­larly use the ser­vice should be aware, WIl­son said.

‘‘The changes will have im­pli­ca­tions for some ex­ist­ing users, so it’s im­por­tant peo­ple un­der­stand how the changes might af­fect them.’’

A num­ber of routes will be re­designed and will come into ef­fect on Septem­ber 30.

Some routes will be merged with oth­ers so higher-de­mand ar­eas can be bet­ter served. Other routes will be sim­pli­fied, mak­ing them more direct. In all, 14 routes will be af­fected.

The Or­biter, Hamil­ton’s busiest route, will run ev­ery 15 min­utes be­tween 6am and 6pm, Mon­day to Fri­day, and ev­ery 25 min­utes or so from 6pm to 9pm on the same days.

More seats will be avail­able on the Or­biter at peak times, but near Univer­sity of Waikato, it will skirt around the old route on Knighton Road and Clyde Street, by­pass­ing Old Farm and Cameron roads.

The Or­biter will will cease to run on Peach­grove Rd be­tween Ruakura Rd and Clyde St, but stu­dents will still be able to catch the Or­biter school-as­sist bus.

Low pas­sen­ger num­bers on the No.15 Ruakura bus will see it with­drawn from use. For full de­tails, go to busit.co.nz.

Waikato Re­gional Coun­cil is up­grad­ing its bus fleet, in­cor­po­rat­ing a new travel app.

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