It’s been over two and a half years since we began sponsoring the Blenheim Bus Service. We’re delighted to continue to support this vital community service.
Over the last five years, the Blenheim Bus Service has carried around 24,000 passengers annually. This figure represents about 75% of the current urban population of Blenheim.
To bring you a little more detail about the bus and the routes and communities it serves, we caught up with David Craig at the Marlborough District Council.
Blenheim Bus Service – Keeping the wheels turning:
How long has the Blenheim Bus Service been running?
The Blenheim Bus Service was first introduced in January 2005 in collaboration with the Older Persons Forum. It initially ran for just two days a week, increasing to five days a week in late 2007. Saturday services were added in March 2012.
Over this time, how have the routes and services changed?
The two routes were initially designed to cater to rest homes and care facilities and provide access to medical centres (including Wairau Hospital), the CBD, library and supermarkets. From time to time, the Council reviews and makes minor changes to the routes to improve coverage. The north route was extended in July 2013 to service the new Westwood Development at the western entrance to Blenheim, which has large format retail outlets such as Pak’N Save, Bunnings and more recently K-Mart.
What routes does the Blenheim bus currently serve?
There are two separate circuits.
- The North (Springlands/Riversdale) Route
- South (Redwoodtown/Witherlea) Route
One bus services both of these routes, alternating around the two.
Services operate from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on weekdays and from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturdays.
A copy of the route maps can be found on the Council website HERE.
Why is the Blenheim Bus such a lifeline to the communities it serves?
Firstly, Blenheim has one of the highest ratios of over 60’s in New Zealand. There are no commercial passenger services or rail networks to transport people. So, the Blenheim bus is the most affordable transport option for people who do not have access to a vehicle or cannot drive. Above all, the bus service enables those people to participate fully in their community at a very reasonable cost, particularly as SuperGold cardholders travel for free.
How important is the Bayleys Marlborough Sponsorship to the Blenheim bus?
Sponsorship is a critical element of the service as it enables the Council to maintain a modest fare structure and encourage use by low-income earners.
What’s on the cards for the Blenheim bus in 2020?
We consistently review the service’s timetable to ensure that we maximise connectivity, so this reassessment is on the cards.
Furthermore, the Council plans to replace the current Library and Art Gallery on a new combined CBD site. The Blenheim Bus will almost certainly service any new facility, requiring review of any new route connections to the existing services along with some careful traffic management planning.
At Bayleys Marlborough we’re proud to support the local community. We can also support you when you’re selling or buying! Contact us HERE.