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Improvements to New Plymouth’s bus service have put more “bums on seats” – and now the service provider wants to know what new and old passengers think.
Citylink passengers are invited to take part in an online survey about their bus service and its future, following on from a targeted customer satisfaction survey earlier this month.
The survey can be found at www.trc.govt.nz/citylink-survey-2012/ or by going to www.taranakibus.info and clicking on the link. It can be completed anonymously, but those who supply contact details will go into a draw for one of six Citylink SmartCards loaded with $50.
“We’re really pleased at the increase in patronage since Citylink was upgraded and expanded two years ago,” says Rob Phillips, Director-Operations for the Taranaki Regional Council, which contracts Tranzit Coachlines to operate the service.
“Now we’re asking New Plymouth people what they think of Citylink. This will help us decide on future levels of service.”
He says current economic conditions are challenging for all public transport providers and the Council’s funding partner, the New Zealand Transport Agency, has indicated that funding levels will be under pressure in the coming three years.
“We need to ensure the service is as efficient as possible. This might mean cutting back in some areas where patronage is low, and extra services in areas where we see potential demand. The online survey includes an opportunity to voice an opinion on some ideas along these lines.”
The improvements in May 2010 included an increase from four to nine peak-time routes, extra coverage including The Valley, Glen Avon, Whalers Gate and Ferndale, greater frequency of services, earlier and later services, and electronic ticketing across the entire network.
Annual passenger numbers have grown nearly 40%, from 400,808 in 2009-10 to a projected 553,000-plus in the current financial year that ends on 30 June.
The online survey runs until Wednesday 18 July.