Public transport is returning to Wanaka, with the announcement Community Networks/Link will launch a second shuttle trial later this year.
Building on what was learned from last year’s service connecting Wanaka and Lake Hawea, the new three-month trial will offer additional routes and expand its schedule from three to five days a week, Community Networks/Link trial co-ordinator Joanna Perry said.
‘‘The trial was a huge success in terms of positive feedback from people both on and off the bus,’’ she said.
While rider numbers were lower than anticipated, Ms Perry said they were trending upwards over time and would likely continue to do so in the second trial as more commuters became aware of the service.
‘‘Awareness raising is the first step, then changing minds, then changing behaviours that eventually results in higher patronage.’’
‘‘Our shuttle trial efforts have captured the attention of a community ripe for new options, and momentum is building.’’
A start date for the new trial is yet to be announced.
Funding will come from the Queenstown Lakes District Council’s climate action and biodiversity plan and Lake Wanaka Tourism.
A report released by Community Networks/Link showed 655 passengers rode the shuttle during the first trial.
Many commuters used it more than once, with the spread of use fairly even between Lake Hawea and Wanaka.