Due to the roadworks along SH2 we have been forced to bring forward the start times of these two routes by ten minutes. This change ensures that our students will arrive at school in good time to start their day. Please click on the links below to check the times for each route:
Better route mapping
Our school buses are now fitted with GPS trackers which has allowed for some improvements in the way manage our school bus system.
Our route timetables are now more accurate and each route map has been updated with the expected arrival times. Parents and students should note that these times are only estimates – on any given day, buses can arrive earlier or later due to traffic, weather conditions and unexpected increases or decreases in the number of students.
We are keen to make this route information even more useful so please send any feedback or suggestions to Greig at EasyBus.
Live vehicle tracking
We are working on making bus positions available via our website. This will allow parents and students to view the vehicle position at any time and make decisions about when to go out and meet it. This will be especially in answering that good old question: “we’re late, did we miss the bus??”
The first version of this is live and operational: during the times the vehicle is on a school run there will be a marker showing on the route map. There are a number of visual improvements that we need to make to the system such as fixing the way the marker icon looks and removing the information panel, so look out for Version 2 in the next wee while.
We have identified a potential improvement to the above routes and will run a trial during Term 2 to see how it works. This will commence from the second week of Term 2.
The S4 route will begin at Westbank Drive and will pick up students along the highway, including at the corner of Work Road. It will then turn into Apata Station Road and pick up at the bus shelter at the corner of Turntable Hill Road. From there it will then travel up Work Road.
The S5 route will begin at the corner of SH2 and Francis Road and will head into Omokoroa. From there it will travel through Pahoia and down Wainui South Road.
Each route will follow the same pattern in the afternoon. Please click on the links below to view the revised routes:
Thank you to all of the families that provided feedback following the first day of operation last Friday.
As expected there were a few teething problems, which is par for the course when making big changes over the summer break. Despite the glitches, we are confident that we are on the right track with the route changes and have a good base from which to make improvements.
Apologies to those families left stranded by a bus running too early. A mixup in communication resulted in two drivers having the wrong start time.
The biggest change to our network from 2018 is the number of students. In 2018 we transported around 420 students each day, with some buses doing multiple journeys. At the time of writing this update, there are 610 registrations. This increase will present a few challenges in the short-term and it may take several weeks to get the routes working as well as they can.
Many parents have asked about designated bus stops. This process will kick off once the route designs are completed. We will confirm our bus lists and begin a process of identifying which students are boarding and where. From there we will carry out a safety assessment of each stop and develop guidelines for parents and students where required.
The Network does understand that the bus routes will not suit everyone in the district. We have implemented a couple of route design principles such as trying to collect students at their letterboxes and reducing the number of right-hand turns from SH2. That said, anyone is welcome to offer feedback on the way in which the routes are designed by getting in touch with us here at EasyBus.
All routes have had their times reviewed and updated timetables now appear on the EasyBus website. These will be further refined as more and more students use the service, and a major review will happen after the primary students start travelling from 7 February.
Our new bus routes have been developed and on Thursday 31 January our drivers will be doing familiarisation training across all of the routes and looking for glitches in our plan. Please check the EasyBus website to find the times for your route.
Some parents have asked about turning points. We have decided to go with the 2018 turning points in the beginning so as to avoid confusion and reduce the risk of mistakes. One of our jobs for 2019 is the develop a set of route design rules that will guide us in future decision-making about where the buses go.
All buses will commence on Friday 1 February for our College students. The drivers have been instructed to start the routes a few minutes later given that fewer pickups should see them running ahead of time. It’s important that you refer to the Easybus website to get an idea of when the bus will be passing your house/road and be waiting at that time. A reminder: we ask that all parents wait with their children to see them safely onto the bus.
We ask for your patience as we trial our new routes and make improvements. Your suggestions and comments are welcome, please click here for contact information.
With the redesign of the school bus routes, there is a chance that the driver that collects your child during 2019 will be unfamiliar with your road and the stops upon it. There are also more than 100 new bus passengers during 2019 and many of these will be living at addresses that have not yet been reviewed for safety.
During term 1 all of the school bus stops will be reviewed for safety using the following safety guidelines. In our network, there are two types of stops: letterbox stops and bus stops. The guidelines will apply to both types and have been established for the safety of students both on and off the bus. Stops should:
- Reduce the need for children to cross the road
- Not be located on a bend, on a crest or in a dip
- Offer enough space for the vehicle to pull over without impeding traffic flow
- Provide sufficient parking for parents where required
- Offer at least 200m of visibility in both directions.
Important note: Our drivers have been instructed not to stop if they have safety concerns. For this reason, it is very important that you wait with your child until they board the bus unless you have complete confidence that the stop is safe according to the guidelines above. If you have any concerns, please contact EasyBus as soon as possible.
Many of you will be aware that from 2019 we have a new bus company providing school bus services in our district. Most of the existing drivers have taken up job offers with our new operator, Uzabus, but there are still vacancies that require filling. Below is a message from Uzabus regarding employment opportunities:
Uzabus have permanent-part time and casual bus driving jobs available now in the Katikati region.
Additional charter work may also be available for suitably qualified applicants.
The position requires a class 2 license and P endorsement.
NOTE: The cost of obtaining the Passenger endorsement will be covered by Uzabus for suitable applicants.
Contact Uzabus today and join a great team in a progressive company!
Contact: Steve Osborne 027 88 99 037 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Applicants for this position should have NZ residency or a valid NZ work visa.
Members of the Katikati community will be aware of the long-standing problem of many school bus routes operating two runs. With the new contract beginning in 2019 we have the opportunity to eliminate this practice as much as possible, with the result being that no students arrive at school earlier than necessary or have to wait after school for the second run.
That’s the upside of the new route designs. The challenge is that these timetable changes are resulting in many more students catching the bus than in 2018. As of 25 January, there are 25% more students registered than were being transported last year. This has resulted in routes being re-designed and many drivers operating on roads that they are not yet familiar with.
All-in-all, this makes the task of designing routes and timetables a very challenging one. The Network asks for your understanding and patience as we work through the inevitable glitches, and encourage you to contact Greig Neilson at EasyBus by clicking here.
The draft routes for 2019 have been prepared and are ready for you to review.
Readers should please note that these are very much drafts and that routes may change as we confirm the students that will be travelling on each service. The exact routes that are travelled, including the start points, will not be confirmed until January.
Please take a moment to review the routes and decide if your student will be a regular traveller during 2019.
If you want to reserve a place on a school bus for the beginning of 2019 please register now.