More trips are being taken on buses in the region with new figures from Taranaki Regional Council showing an 18% rise in public transport patronage in 2023.
The data reveals buses in Taranaki carried a total of 744,037 passengers across 42,973 bus trips last year, showcasing the community's growing reliance on public transport.
The year also saw the Transit app, a free real-time bus journey and planning tool, go from strength to strength and continue to gain popularity among bus users, boasting an average of 16,200 sessions per month.
Council Transport Engagement Manager Cheryl Gazley welcomed the rise in passenger trips as another positive trend for public transport in the region and expected the coming year to see more success stories.
"Over the past couple of years, we've witnessed an incremental shift in attitudes towards public transport, making it a noteworthy topic throughout 2023. It's challenging to alter daily commuting habits, but these statistics suggest we're on the right track.
"We hope to see similar increases over the next few months as more people recognise how easy it is to use the bus."
The positive momentum was further reinforced by the success of public consultation on Better Travel Choices held in September and October. With more than 400 survey responses, the community provided valuable insights that will guide the Council's public transport priorities for 2024.
"We've heard you loud and clear. We will continue to build on the success of our recent initiatives and look forward to bringing new and improved services to the table in 2024,” Ms Gazley added.
“This is a testament to our commitment to delivering a public transportation system that meets the evolving needs of our community."