Major boost for Ōpunake to New Plymouth bus service

Bus links on the iconic Surf Highway are being improved by Taranaki Regional Council with a major boost to the Ōpunake to New Plymouth route from 1 May.

Commuters and shoppers heading from the coastal Taranaki township to New Plymouth on the Southlink Coastal service are now able to use the service every day from Monday to Friday while a drop-off and pick-up has been added for students heading to Spotswood College. The bus will make stops along the way in Rāhotu, Pungarehu, Ōkato and Ōakura.

The timetable has also been revamped to allow those heading to New Plymouth from coastal Taranaki more time for shopping or an appointment in the mornings and afternoons. Those catching the bus to New Plymouth at 11.30am or from Ōpunake at 1.30pm are eligible to use their Gold Cards.

Chair Charlotte Littlewood says there has been strong community feedback asking for more buses from and to Ōpunake and other coastal towns. Moving to a Monday to Friday timetable provides an invaluable service for those without access to transport, those wanting a more sustainable travel alternative.

“We’re thrilled to be able to increase our bus services from and to Ōpunake. We’ve listened to what people want and providing a daily service, Monday to Friday, means schoolchildren and those heading up State Highway 45 for work will now be able to use the bus,” Mrs Littlewood says.

“We hope the service will be well used by those looking for a sustainable alternative to the car. Hopping on the bus is cheap and easy and means commuters don’t have to worry about parking or paying for petrol and we’d love to welcome you on board.”

The Southlink Coastal service will pick up boarders from Francis Douglas Memorial College for the first time as well as from New Plymouth Girls’ High School, Sacred Heart Girls’ College and New Plymouth Boys’ High School on Fridays and there is the choice of two drop-off points in Ōpunake: Dreamtime or Napier Street.

A one-way trip on the Southlink Coastal bus costs $5. For updates about the service and all other public transport news, see here.  

For updated timetable information, see here [PDF, 680 KB].