Media release: 7 March 2013
The Warkworth and Matakana area is getting a new public transport service called the “The Kowhai Connection.”
The new service is an exciting initiative blending a traditional fixed route public transport service, with modern technology that allows customers to book a ride off the fixed route – through a website or Freephone booking system.
The service is operated with a uniquely branded Gubbs Motors bus. It launches on Saturday 23 March and is a brought to the community by Auckland Transport, in partnership with local project sponsors New World, The Warehouse, RSA and the Hikurangi Foundation.
Auckland Transport’s project manager Simon Milner says “It’s a challenge to provide good public transport to a dispersed population. So we’ve developed the Kowhai Connection with the objective that locals and visitors will find it to be a convenient and affordable transport option.”
The Kowhai Connection will operate 6 times a day weekdays and 5 times on weekends and public holidays. On weekdays the first bus departs from Warkworth at 7am, on weekends and public holidays 9am.
It runs from Warkworth to Snells Beach to Matakana and will do on-request pick-ups and drop-offs to Sandspit and Algies Bay and to Omaha Beach and Point Wells.
The fare (each way) on the fixed route is $3 for adults, $1.50 for children (under fives are free). There’s a family concession (2 adults, 3 children) of $6. For off-route pick-up and drop-off, there is an additional fare of $1.50 payable for each address that is not on the route.
Local transport planner Bevan Woodward, who has been working for the Hikurangi Foundation, in partnership with Auckland Transport on the project, says “It’s been great to work with Auckland Transport. They recognise that we have to do something different if we’re going to make public transport work in our part of the world. If we want to address the traffic issues in our towns we’ve got to provide a viable alternative to the car.”
This is the first service of its type in the Auckland region and is a 12 month trial. If this is successful similar services could pop up on the outskirts of Auckland as an innovative way to bring public transport to more communities.
Details on the new service and the timetable can be found at www.kowhai.org.nz