Waipā residents’ use of buses continues to lag behind the heady pre Covid days, figures released by Waikato Regional Council show.
The council hopes the half price bus fares introduced by the government from April 1 until the end of June will stimulate passenger numbers across the region but is concerned driver shortages could stymie its ability to run the services.
In January and February 2020, passenger numbers on regional bus services from Te Awamutu and Cambridge were on the up after months of promotion.
But the same months this year showed a marked decline. Te Awamutu numbers went from 11,900 to 7800 while Cambridge figures were down to 6700 from 9100 two years previously.
Regional council team leader Network Planning and Performance Andrew Carnell said across the Waikato, patronage was down nearly 42 per cent from two years ago.
“Many factors have contributed towards this decline, including increased working from home, self-isolation and isolating with dependents, and perceptions about the risks of transmission on buses.”