Getting to Whanganui Vintage Weekend will be easy, with Connect – Horizons Regional Transport and Whanganui District Council announcing increased and free public transport services.
Horizons Regional Council’s manager transport services, Mark Read says Te Ngaru The Tide will be running an extended timetable, while all urban bus services in Whanganui will be free Saturday to Monday.
“We know Whanganui Vintage Weekend is massive for the city, with people traveling from near and far to be part of the party. We’re excited to give people free and efficient ways to get across the city,” he said.
“The Tide will run on its Friday timetable on Saturday as well – every 20 minutes in both directions from 7am until 7pm, then hourly until the last service leaving at 11pm.
“This means you can get to and from Whanganui Vintage Weekend events easily no matter what time of day you need to travel.”
There will also be some changes to routes due to the Vintage Weekend street pedestrianisations. Between Wicksteed St and Trafalgar Square, buses will take Guyton St and St Hill St, avoiding closures on Drews Ave, Ridgway St and Victoria Ave.
All services will run on their Saturday timetables on Monday as it is a public holiday.
Whanganui District Council’s representative on Horizons’ Passenger Transport Committee, Anthonie Tonnon says using public transport is an era-appropriate way to enjoy Whanganui Vintage Weekend.
“In the middle of last century, the average Whanganui resident took 70 trips on public transport per year – many of them on the tram and bus routes between Aramoho and Castlecliff, along which The Tide service travels today,” he said.
“That’s much higher than today, though public transport use in Whanganui is growing, with 14,934 trips recorded in November 2023 – more than double the 7,287 trips recorded in November 2022.
“The Tide has been a big reason for that increase, with the 8,515 trips recorded on The Tide in November making it the most popular bus service in the Horizons Region that month.”
Mr Read says it is also now cheaper to catch public transport in Whanganui thanks to Connect’s new fare capping system.
“If you catch eight bus rides in a week in the city, the rest of your trips that week are free.
“You have to pay with a Bee Card to access fare capping, but cards are available for free on buses until the end of February.”