Get around with green

Hamilton launches on-demand Friday and Saturday latenight mini-bus

Danielle Zollickhofer For more information on Flex:




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Public transport in Hamilton receives an exciting new addition next week when Waikato Regional Council launches an on-demand bus service for people going out on the town on Friday or Saturday night. Flex, as the corner-to-corner ride share service is called, will initially operate between 6pm and 4am, allowing people to catch a ride from anywhere in the city boundary to the CBD to enjoy the nightlife and get home again. Corner-to-corner means the 16-seater mini-bus will pick you up and drop you at designated street corners, rather than being a door-todoor service. Regional Connections Committee chairwoman councillor Angela Strange says the weekend town centre service is just the start. “When we have more vehicles running, we want to cover more areas and also offer services during the day. In February, we will launch a connection from the CBD to the Hamilton Airport.” There will be four to six mini-buses operating that can be booked through a free app called Flex. Bookings may be made from a week in advance to 15 minutes before. Some of the buses are fully wheelchair accessible. For passengers with a mobility impairment, the service is driveway to driveway. Strange says the on-demand service would be “very affordable” with prices “similar to regular bus fares”. Rides to town and back are $2 each way. The Flex service is just one of several transport changes the regional council has planned. Strange says: “The Comet route [which connects the hospital, the CBD and the base] performed phenomenally, so we are working on a south end expansion and getting [its frequency] down to 10 minutes instead of 15. “We are also working on a faster north-to-cbd connection, the Rototuna Rocket.”