New temporary schedules confirmed by Waikato Regional Council this afternoon will see regional buses operate as normal and Hamilton’s peak bus services continue too.
However, there will be reduced frequency across the Hamilton network during the off peak as a result of industrial action by Go Bus drivers starting tomorrow (Monday, 19 November).
The regional council has been working with Go Bus to minimise the disruption caused to passengers as a result of the action, and the decision by Go Bus to lock out First Union members.
Last Friday First Union announced that drivers would not collect fares from Monday. First Union represents some, but not all, bus drivers. Drivers that aren’t part of the union would still be collecting fares, creating confusion for passengers and the potential for conflict between drivers and passengers.
Go Bus, who employs the drivers operating on the council’s BUSIT services, believes this represents an unacceptable risk for drivers and passengers and has decided to use only non-union drivers until the industrial issue is resolved.
Council public transport operations manager, Andrew Wilson, said: “There will still be a significant number of drivers to operate our services, so we’ve worked to find the best solution that minimises the disruption for our passengers.”
The 20 Cambridge, 21 Northern Connector, 22 Morrinsville/Paeroa, 23 Raglan and 24 Te Awamutu will operate as normal.
All Hamilton services, including the Orbiter, will run to reduced timetables. Most of the busiest peak time services will be operated at or close to their normal times.
However, buses in the middle of the day and evenings will run to a reduced frequency, with many going hourly instead of every half hour.
Normal fares will apply on all services.
For further information, visit the BUSIT website, www.busit.co.nz(external link), Facebook page www.facebook.com/BUSITWaikato(external link)(external link), or call the 24-hour bus infoline on 0800 205 305.