Bus users will find their Tauranga city centre bus stops just up the road on Durham and Wharf Streets from Monday, June 13.
The relocation of the Willow Street bus interchange coincides with the demolition of Tauranga City Council’s adjoining building starting early next month.
Both steps are required to make way for the development of the new civic precinct – Te Manawataki O Te Papa.
All existing Bay of Plenty Regional Council-funded bus routes will relocate from Willow Street to the temporary interchange.
There will be six bus stops for urban services on Durham Street, and one on Wharf Street outside Baycourt for regional services.
The Intercity bus stop will move from Wharf Street to Willow Street, outside the Tauranga Art Gallery.
The Commission approved the relocation of the interchange in December 2021, emphasising that it is a temporary solution while a new permanent transportation hub is developed.
“We view this as the best temporary solution for our community, until a bigger and better permanent solution is created,” says Tauranga City Council Transport Infrastructure Outcomes Manager Mark Burgess.
Construction works are currently under way on Durham, Spring and Wharf Streets in preparation for the relocation.
Mark says measures to help keep bus users safe at the interchange will include improved street lighting, installation of CCTV cameras and security guards on site.
Improvements to footpaths in Durham Street are being made before the interchange relocates to help make getting on and off the buses safer for the community. There will also be an upgrade of footpaths on Spring and Wharf Streets on the approach from Willow Street to Durham Street and seating added.
Two new raised zebra crossings will also be added either side of the Wharf Street/Durham Street intersection to assist with crossing the road near the interchange. These will also include tactile indicators (raised bumps) to assist people with impaired vision.
The lift in the Spring Street parking building is another option to assist people with access needs to get from Grey Street to Durham Street.
“While this is only a temporary solution, we have worked with disabled members of our community to make sure the site is as accessible as possible for everyone,” says Mark.
“We will be seeking input from disabled and elder members of our community again in our planning for a permanent transportation hub.”
Along with bus shelters, seating and wastebins, the community will also find bike stands and information on bus routes and timetables at the new interchange, as they are at the current Willow Street interchange.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council Transport and Urban Planning Manager, James Llewellyn, says Bayhopper buses will continue to serve the community throughout this interchange relocation and recommends everyone checks before they travel.
“We are working hard to ensure we stick to Tauranga Bayhopper bus timetables as much as possible, but we encourage our passengers to plan ahead and find out which bus shelter on Durham Street their service will now depart from," says Mark.
"Please remember our bus services are still running on Saturday timetables on weekdays, so check our Baybus website www.baybus.co.nz before you travel for the latest information.
"We appreciate bus users’ patience as we do our best to make this change as smooth as possible and apologise for any inconvenience."
Visit the Tauranga City Council website for more information about the central city bus interchange and the civic redevelopment projects.