Bill­board boy shares love of rid­ing buses

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

Mata­mata school­boy Le Roy Suther­land is one of the stars of a new ad­ver­tis­ing cam­paign, I’m driven, high­light­ing the ben­e­fits of tak­ing the bus to go shop­ping or catch up with friends in Hamil­ton.

Six-year-old Le Roy, a pupil at Hin­uera School, vis­its his Hamil­ton-based grand­mother, Ann Suther­land, on week­ends and dur­ing school hol­i­days. To­gether, they have a great time rid­ing the buses.

They play games, point out in­ter­est­ing things along the way and use it as an op­por­tu­nity to en­joy each other’s com­pany.

Mrs Suther­land said the qual­ity time she can spend with her grand­son drove her to leave the car in the garage and take the bus in­stead.

The 71-year-old re­tiree lives in the En­der­ley area of Hamil­ton and vol­un­teers at St John and the New Zealand Blood Ser­vice.

She uses buses reg­u­larly for out­ings and ac­tiv­i­ties such as go­ing to the li­brary, shop­ping, get­ting to the blood cen­tre, vis­it­ing friends and go­ing out for cof­fee. She has two bus stops very close to her home and prefers to use the Or­biter to get around Hamil­ton.

‘‘It’s a great ser­vice, so why wouldn’t I use the bus? It gets me ev­ery­where I need to go and it saves the has­sles of find­ing a car park.

‘‘ When Le Roy vis­its we have a great time go­ing on the bus to­gether. We make a whole day out of it, trav­el­ling to The Base or Chartwell to have lunch and a look around.

‘‘Some­times we’ll hop on the bus again to head up to the blood ser­vice at the hos­pi­tal where my daugh­ter works to say hi and per­haps have some af­ter­noon tea, be­fore head­ing home on the bus,’’ Mrs Suther­land said.

The five-month cam­paign fea­tures real Hamil­ton bus users shar­ing why they’re driven to use BUSIT ser­vices on bill­boards around town and the backs of buses.

Waikato Re­gional Coun­cil’s pol­icy and trans­port group man­ager Vaughan Payne said the I’m driven cam­paign was about real peo­ple who re­ally travel by bus, telling their sto­ries.

‘‘We want to demon­strate how the Hamil­ton buses are af­ford­able, will get you to your desti­na­tion and also elim­i­nate the park­ing has­sle.

‘‘ We had more than 4.5 mil­lion pas­sen­ger trips on Hamil­ton ser­vices in 2009/ 2010 and the re­sults from our lat­est independent pas­sen­ger sur­vey show that 98 per cent are sat­is­fied with the ser­vice.

‘‘ With school hol­i­days start­ing, you can bet­ter en­joy the time with your kids by tak­ing the bus to Hamil­ton’s fun des­ti­na­tions, like the zoo, Hamil­ton Gar­dens and swim­ming pools. Or let us drive you to the city cen­tre, Chartwell or The Base to do your shop­ping,’’ Mr Payne said.

Find out more about BUSIT ser­vices by vis­it­ing www. busit.co.nz or call­ing 0800 4 BUSLINE (0800 4 2875463). You can also keep up to date with the lat­est in­for­ma­tion from BUSIT on Face­book: www. face­book. com/ busit­wai kato.

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