offers south new stripped-back service

BUSY BUSES: Getting ready to go is operations manager Earl Matheson.
BUSY BUSES: Getting ready to go is operations manager Earl Matheson.

The distinctive black signs of national travel company will now be a regular sight on a new bus service between Invercargill and Te Anau. managing director Hamish Nuttall said the service, which started two weeks ago, would run on a daily schedule, with the Invercargill to Te Anau service departing the Information Centre at 2pm, and the Te Anau to Invercargill service departing from the Air New Zealand Ticket Office at 7.55am.

The service runs from Sunday to Thursday with scheduled drop-off and pickup points at Colac Bay, Manapouri, Riverton, Te Anau and Tuatapere. launched its first South Island service in February and had enjoyed strong growth in business, Mr Nuttall said.

The business is based on British budget transport models such as Easyjet and Megabus. As the name suggests, it aims to offer a cheap, no-frills travel option.

In line with its overseas models, the company aims to reduce overhead costs through the use of "self service" internet ticketing.

For those who book in advance, offers at least one $1 fare on each trip, Mr Nuttall said.

"The service is designed so that the earlier you book, the less you pay." The average fare was equal to about 50 percent of average bus fares, and all fares were below the prevailing market price, he said.

Since the company's launch last year, he had been surprised how well it had been received by domestic travellers, he said. "We had one old lady from Hawkes Bay contact us who hadn't been outside the area for 20 years because of the cost, who's now a frequent user."

The Southland Times