Success of Te Ngaru The Tide continues to surge after six months

Published on 17 August 2023

Whanganui's frequent Te Ngaru The Tide bus

Joint media release from Horizons Regional Council and Whanganui District Council

The Horizons Region’s newest public transport service continues to set records and help people travel across Whanganui quickly, comfortably and efficiently.

Since launching on 18 February, Te Ngaru The Tide - a frequent service running between Castlecliff and Aramoho - has fast become a key part of the transport network.

Horizons Regional Council’s manager transport services Mark Read says The Tide has grown to become the second-most popular public transport service across the entire Horizons Region.

“Public transport trips in Whanganui have increased 80 percent when compared to the same six months in 2022, showing The Tide is contributing to significantly more people using public transport in the city.

“June was an especially strong month, with more than half of all public transport trips in Whanganui made on The Tide. This contributed to June being the most popular month for public transport use in Whanganui in more than five years.

“These statistics are collected when people get on board and pay for their trips, such as by tagging their Bee Card, ensuring any information we get is accurate.”

Public transport numbers remained strong throughout winter, a time of year when they typically tend to drop off, says Mr Read.

“Public transport passenger numbers tend to peak as the Horizons Region warms, so we are excited to see how growth continues.

“The number of people on board varies according to the time of day, but the average number of people on each service means The Tide is a benefit to the environment, when compared to making journeys in the average New Zealand car, thanks to the efficient Euro 6 diesel buses used on the route.

“We are happy to have collaborated with Whanganui District Council on establishing The Tide to give people in the city a fast and climate-friendly way to travel across the city.”

As part of the continued trial of The Tide, the route is being slightly shifted to travel down Bignell and Abbott streets from 11 September, says Mr Read.

“This shift is based on community feedback, with those streets chosen as they already have bus shelters in place. This will provide a more consistent approach for bus routes in this area.

“We will continue to monitor the service to ensure it is working well and meeting the community’s needs.”

The Tide will also be temporarily diverted when going to Aramoho due to Somme Pde reducing to one lane while work is done on a nearby landslip. The Tide will divert along Barrack St, Seddon St and Kaikokopu Rd from 21 August until 22 December. The service will remain on Somme Pde when going from Aramoho into the city centre.

Whanganui District Council's transportation manager Damien Wood says developing an efficient public transport system is an important part of an efficient and effective transport network for our city’s future, so it’s heartening to see Te Ngaru The Tide's uptake continuing to grow.

"For a long time now, Whanganui has been a very car-centric city – and our public transport system has reflected this. But since the introduction of this high frequency service, we’re starting to see a bit of a mode shift with people increasingly looking at the bus as a viable option for their journeys.

“That mode shift doesn’t happen overnight, it’s a gradual process, and we do know the buses won’t always appear full. But with our population on the rise, and the cost of fuel skyrocketing, having an efficient, well-subscribed public transport system will be important to futureproof our city. So, I’d urge everyone out there to ride The Tide!”

For more information about Te Ngaru The Tide, the Transit app and other public transport services, see


Jono Galuszka, Senior Communications Advisor, 021 22 77 303


Editor’s notes

Te Ngaru The Tide runs every 20 minutes, Monday to Friday 7am-7pm, Saturday 9am-3pm and has an hourly service on Friday nights between 7pm-11pm.

The service was named after a public competition, with the winning entry referring to the way the bus moves up and down the new route the way the tide moves up and down the river. The te reo translation – Te Ngaru – means ‘the wave’. The wording was chosen because ‘Ekea te ngaru’ refers to surfers catching waves and ‘eke’ refers to boarding a bus as well.


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