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Source: Waikato District Health Board

From 16 October access to Waikato Hospital will be easier for staff, patients and visitors thanks to a partnership between Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand and local councils.

Te Whatu Ora Waikato Operations Director for Clinical and Operational Support, Melinda Ch’Ng said the initiative will deliver a 50 percent discount on bus fares for people using their Bee Card to and from Waikato Hospital using the Pembroke St and Hague Rd bus stops.

“This initiative is aimed at improving equity of access to our hospital while contributing effectively to our carbon emission reduction goals.”

“Anyone travelling to and from the hospital using their Bee Card who tags on or off at the three bus stops near Waikato Hospital will automatically have the half price subsidy applied to the fare charged to their card, so it’s better for your wallet and, better for the environment.”

Te Whatu Ora will be covering the cost of concession for a trial of up to 12 months. Ms Ch’Ng said there was sound reasoning behind the investment.

“During the Government’s 50 percent public transport subsidy we saw a 28 percent increase in bus passengers travelling to or from the hospital and in partnership with the Waikato Regional Council, we want to build on that success.

“As an organisation we’re continuously seeking ways to mitigate the effects of population growth, lessen demand for onsite staff parking, care for our staff and help care for the environment by reducing single occupancy vehicle use, be that by staff, patients or visitors.”

The public transport fare subsidy initiative is part of Te Whatu Ora Waikato’s Sustainability Framework and the hospital’s Travel and Access Plan.

“One of the main goals of these strategies is improving access to transport for healthcare for priority populations and by keeping bus fares to and from the hospital affordable, it gives people healthier, more environmentally sustainable travel options.”

Waikato Regional Council’s public transport manager Trudi Knight said, “This is an operationally unique model in our corporate concession scheme that will deliver subsidised fares to passengers travelling to and from Waikato Hospital”.

“The scheme plays a pivotal role in fostering a culture of sustainability and environmental consciousness, and in the case of Te Whatu Ora, it makes trips to the hospital easier and more affordable.”

The Pembroke St stops are serviced by the Comet, Orbiter, 12 Fitzroy, 24 Te Awamutu and 26 Te Kūiti, buses and the Hague Rd stop is serviced by the 25 Taumarunui bus. For more information about Hamilton and regional buses visit or call 0800 205 305.