InterCity bus operator Tranzit has set an April 30 deadline for moving out of the dilapidated Pitt St terminal in Palmerston North and, most probably, into The Square.
Managing director Paul Snelgrove said he doubted whether the toilets at the Pitt St building would last that long, and he wanted passengers to have a better welcome to Palmerston North.
The deadline poses a challenge for the city council.
Hopes of establishing a new inter-regional bus facility at the Highflyers car park in Main St are fading, and two other options are being developed, to be presented to councillors in April. Even if a decision on a new site is made then, there will be just days remaining before the buses move out.
Mr Snelgrove said he had wanted to end the lease agreement earlier, vacating Pitt St at the end of March.
But with the Easter and school term holidays both falling in April this year, he had been convinced the move would inconvenience and confuse passengers.
Mr Snelgrove said Tranzit wanted the same deal as other regional bus services - no costs for leasing facilities, and access to the i-site and The Square. "We have kept on moving our dates, but we just can't carry on as we are at Pitt St.
"It will not be long before we have to close the toilets - they just do not meet acceptable standards.
"Everyone has had plenty of time, and we have to make a stand.
"Why not park where our competitors are in The Square?"
The last time Mr Snelgrove set a deadline for moving was in 2012, when he predicted Tranzit buses would be parking in The Square by Christmas.
A city council proposal to allow all regional buses to park in The Square, or along the edge, caused a public backlash.
The Highflyers opportunity arose about a year ago, and it was initially meant to be operating by the middle of 2013.
However, delays with development of the heritage building had stymied the project.
City council general manager for City Networks Ray Swadel said this week that the council was about to terminate the lease agreement for the Highflyers site and was working on other options.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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