Tenders open for bus service
‘‘it was exciting to be only a few weeks away from the commencement of the service’’
Waikato Regional Council is calling for tenders from bus operators for a bus trial in Thames.
Tenders will close on October 15 and the service is scheduled to start on October 30 subject to a final go-ahead from the successful bus operator.
The bus trial will run for six months, and if it’s successful, council may extend the service for a further 39 months, subject to funding.
The public bus service is the brainchild of Denis Tegg, who presented a proposal for a sixmonth trial to the Thames Community Board earlier this year.
The trial includes an hourly Monday to Friday bus route from Tararu to Parawai via the central business district at a cost to rate payers of $39,000.
If successful, an application can be made for a New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) subsidy of 51 per cent, which would mean the service would cost rate payers an estimated $29,500 per year.
According to council’s tender document, council is looking for providers with a proven ability to deliver public transport services.
‘‘Providers should have a good track record in the provision of public services, having demonstrated a commitment to providing high quality and professional service to customers.’’
Applicants will be evaluated on quality and price.
Council requires that the bus have a minimum of 14 seated passengers and the operator will have to keep to the proposed timetable.
Tegg said it was exciting to be only a few weeks away from the commencement of the service.
‘‘The council, with help from sponsors Richardson’s Real Estate, Thames, will soon make every effort to publicise the service, the timetable, location of bus stops etc,’’ he said.
‘‘Then it’s up to the public to really support the bus service during the six-month trial to ensure that the service continues for another 39 months beyond that. The motto will be use it or lose it.’’