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Young Leaders getting on board with public transport planning
Young Leaders getting on board with public transport planning

Bay of Plenty Regional Council was delighted to host the Instep Young Leaders' Forum this month, which brought together thirty local secondary students to discuss public transport in Tauranga and the Western Bay.

Regional Council was seeking student feedback to help improve the bus network and inform longer-term planning.  The Young Leaders transport highlights included the current fare-free travel to and from school, electric buses and friendly bus drivers. 

The students recommended rural bus lanes, colour coding buses or display signage to make bus identification easier, improvements to the Transit app and more buses during peak hours. The students recognised the efforts being made to address safety concerns and would like more work in this space to improve safety at bus interchanges and rural bus stops. 

Regional Council’s Transport Operations Team Lead, Jen Proctor, said it was fantastic to receive so many positive comments from the students. 

“It’s really encouraging to hear that we’re on the right track with technology and where the younger generation is wanting to see improvement.  We are now looking forward to better communicating these developments and enhancements while taking the feedback on board for future planning.” 

The Young Leaders’ feedback will help inform the Pāpāmoa-Mount Maunganui bus route improvement work currently underway and the development of the Regional Public Transport Plan that will be out for public consultation in early 2022.  

The next forum will be held in mid-May and the Young Leaders will be meeting with Tauranga City Council.  

The Instep Young Leaders' Forum is a collaboration with all secondary schools in Tauranga and the Western Bay, led by Priority One. This programme is supported by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Tauranga City CouncilWestern Bay of Plenty District Council, Toi Ohomai and the University of Waikato. This programme was established to provide youth with an opportunity to grow leadership skills, networks between schools and to discuss local issues that matter to them.