Connector passenger numbers hit record high

August was a bumper month for Taranaki buses, with the Connector setting a new record, big passenger increases across the whole network and a total of more than 76,650 passenger trips.

The Connector continues to be a popular transport option between South Taranaki and New Plymouth, having its best month since the service began in 2014. August’s monthly total was 7,154 trips taken, a 328.1% increase on August 2021 and a 67.9% increase on July 2022.

Taranaki Regional Council Transport Engagement Manager Sarah Hiestand says there has been a notable uplift in patronage with the extension of half-price fares, as well as a shift in who is using the service.

“While the Connector remains popular with students, we’re now seeing more people using the Connector to get to and from work across the region.”

The Connector was not the only bus service to experience a surge in passenger numbers from last month. Citylink had an increase of 79.7% with 69,327 passenger trips taken, while the Southlink Waverley to Hawera service saw a 27.9% increase. Total Mobility also had seen a rise in patronage by 9.67%.

Ms Hiestand says Taranaki Regional Council is committed to delivering the best possible public transport services for Taranaki and is working through a number of initiatives to remove key barriers that discourage people from using public transport.

“It has been a busy year for the transport team, with the introduction of a flat fare structure, a swift and successful rollout of the government’s half-price fares initiative, and amending booking systems just the start.

“We are delighted to be undertaking a full review of all Taranaki bus services and timetables and introducing a real-time app for Taranaki bus users. Over the coming months we will be sharing more details and providing the opportunity for public feedback.”

Those wanting to follow Taranaki public transport updates should follow the Facebook page(external link) and view the public transport pages on the Council website(external link).