Timaru Hyperlink service might go in sweeping public transport modifications

ECan's MyWay will use LDV and Mercedes Sprinter vehicles.


ECan’s MyWay will use LDV and Mercedes Sprinter autos.

If Timaru’s new “on demand” bus service proves profitable the city’s hottest route might additionally disappear together with the Grantlea, Watlington and Gleniti providers.

The round Timaru Hyperlink route was launched in 2013 as a part of main modifications to the city’s bus service however is beneath risk as Setting Canterbury pushes forward with a trial of an on demand service known as MyWay.

The MyWay service, utilizing LDV and Mercedes Sprinter autos,. would permit passengers to request a bus to choose them up at a set location by way of a smartphone app or calling a name centre.

The popular Timaru Link service could also be replaced if the "on demand" public transport trial proves successful. (File pic)

John Bisset/Stuff

The favored Timaru Hyperlink service is also changed if the “on demand” public transport trial proves profitable. (File pic)

An ECan spokesman stated its pilot will begin February 17 with a small group of employees, after which lengthen to a full group of round 150 group members on February 24, operating via to April 19.

From there, a year-long trial of the service will start on April 20, which can see the Grantlea, Watlington and Gleniti routes changed by the on-demand public transport service.

“Relying on the success of the trial, the hyperlink service can also get replaced later this yr,” she stated.

Of the 186,491 complete journeys in Timaru in the course of the 2018-19 monetary yr, 101,685 passenger journeys had been on the Timaru Hyperlink service. 

ECan deputy chairman Peter Scott, of South Canterbury, stated the early phases of the pilot had been very important for data gathering.

“It is vital to know what works and what does not.”

He was conscious of the doable strikes to take away the Timaru Hyperlink service if the trial was profitable.

“However it’s about doing issues in phases. We have to have a versatile service that caters to as broad a consumer group as doable, and we wish to make it simpler for extra folks to make use of the service.”

Scott stated he was conscious that many college college students used Timaru Hyperlink as a way of attending to and from college.

“But when something, the on-demand service might be extra accessible for them.”

ECan public transport group engagement advisor Isabelle Bromham​ stated if the trial is profitable, the lnk service will probably be withdrawn later this yr, and two additional Timaru College bus providers will probably be added for college kids who use the Hyperlink.

“We’re investigating whether or not there could be demand for a delegated MyWay College Service for these college students, and we’ll inform faculties  of the plan earlier than the top of Time period 1.

“When they’re travelling outdoors of the Timaru college bus hours, college college students are welcome to make use of the MyWay service.”

Scott stated he want to see passenger numbers enhance to round 200,000 for the preliminary 12 months of the trial.

“That could be an formidable goal, however now we have obtained to actually push on ahead with this. On the identical time, we have additionally obtained to be versatile, and make modifications if mandatory.”

Ought to the 12-month trial show profitable, Scott stated he want to see different councils take it up in some type.

“We have had a number of assist from the NZ Transport Company and Timaru District Council on this.”

Bromham stated the utmost mission value is $2.18 million. This consists of the price of persevering with to run the present service and a 15 per cent contingency. 

The NZTA will fund 51 per cent of the mission’s pilot and year-long trial. 

Ritchies has received the contract for operating the trial MyWay service, whereas worldwide know-how agency By way of will present the know-how.