Hundreds enjoy improved public transport beach access and longer hours

Timaru's MyWay service improvements, praised by customers, offer on-demand transport closer to Caroline Bay, a new beach parklet and extended late-night service to 9 pm.

Recent improvements to Timaru’s MyWay service are being well received by customers.

The on-demand public transport now allows passengers to travel closer to Caroline Bay – with its new parklet situated by the miniature trains and mini-golf facility at the beach.

The service is also trialling an extension of its hours on Friday and Saturday nights to 9pm.

Popular new beach stop

The new Caroline Bay stop has already proved to be popular, since beginning in December 2023.

The service completed 226 pick-ups and 261 drop-offs at the new stop in its first month. Patronage has remained strong in January, with 234 pick-ups and 256 drop-offs. As a comparison, in January 2023 the closest stops outside of Caroline Bay had 126 pick-ups and 174 drop-offs. 

Public Transport Business Services and Improvement Team Leader Dan Daly said the results are pleasing. 

"It’s great to see more Timaru locals making the most of the service, now that it can drop and pick them up even closer to the beach itself," he said. 

"The decision to take the service into the Caroline Bay area allows for much better accessibility to the beach itself, now passengers don’t need to take the Piazza steps or walk from the Port Loops Road stop to reach the beach, playground or other facilities," Dan added.

Beach stop parklet provides comfort for passengers

Timaru District Council installed a parklet near the miniature trains which provides passengers waiting for their MyWay ride some shade, seating and wireless phone charging using solar energy from the panels on the parklet’s roof.

"The parklet matches the one in town, which has been well used and provides a comfortable space for passengers while they wait," Timaru District Council’s Active Transport Project Manager Shelley Wilson.

The district council has also recently finished renovating the Caroline Bay playground, giving customers all the more reason to take a MyWay and visit.

Late-night service

The later services on Friday and Saturday evenings have also been well used, so far. More than 150 rides have been completed on the late-night service in its first couple of weekends. 

"We were hearing from locals this is what they wanted, so we are glad to be able to provide them with more options on those evenings," Dan said.