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New Zealand’s iconic national bus service InterCity has selected Spark Digital as its partner to launch Wi-Fi across the entire fleet. From this summer travellers and tourists will benefit from seamless 3G and 4G mobile Wi-Fi across New Zealand’s largest passenger transport network.
InterCity awarded the contract after an extensive trial on selected routes in order to determine the best coverage and technology from a range of network providers.
Spark Digital’s General Manager of Corporate Clients, Simon Gillespie, says InterCity chose Spark Digital on the strength of the company’s reputation for providing exceptional ICT solutions, its superior coverage, and the capability to support a number of other future on-board entertainment initiatives.
Gillespie adds: “Spark New Zealand’s recent purchase of 700Mhz spectrum puts us in the best position to deliver a high-performance 4G mobile network for New Zealand inside and outside of the urban centres. The new agreement is a strong endorsement of InterCity’s trust in Spark Digital to ensure they continually evolve and take advantage of a range of digitisation solutions that will be available to their customers.”
InterCity CEO John Thorburn says that InterCity will be the only nationwide long distance bus company to have free Wi-Fi on every route.
“We carry over one million passengers each year and together with our luxury InterCity GOLD seating service, providing seamless Wi-Fi will ensure our customers travel in style and remain connected whether they are travelling for business or pleasure on all our routes.”
“InterCity is passionate about delivering our customers the best services.” says Thorburn. “Our first step is to deliver Wi-Fi across the fleet and we will look to follow this with other customer entertainment options.”
The agreement between Spark Digital and InterCity has been signed and the service will be rolled out over the summer period with many key routes activated before Christmas. Spark Digital is the incumbent communications provider for InterCity’s fixed, mobile and WAN services.
ENDS – 1 December 2014
Embargoed until 12.01am, 1 April 2014
Some lucky InterCity passengers will be in for a surprise during April – they’ll be sharing a bus with Prince William, Duchess Catherine and Prince George.
The young royal family have confirmed that they will be travelling by InterCity bus for one leg of their New Zealand travels this month, in keeping with their frugal, down-to-earth public image.
While the route Wills and Kate will be travelling on cannot be revealed for security reasons, InterCity has confirmed that it is busy enhancing its best coach with a fit-out suitable for young royals; including a top of the range baby capsule for 8-month-old Prince George and plush Lazy-Boy recliners for the royal couple.
Royal insider, Mr Harold Jest, said the royal trio are very much looking forward to seeing the New Zealand landscape from the comfort of an InterCity coach.
“Wills and Kate expressed a desire to see New Zealand like the locals do. This way they’ll be able to observe the lovely scenery from an elevated view and partake in some good old-fashioned banter with our Kiwi friends.”
Spokesperson for InterCity New Zealand, April Dupé, says the coach line is dedicated to ensuring the young family have a premium ‘Kiwiana’ experience.
“William and Kate will be treated to a gourmet hangi lunch, prepared by InterCity’s very own executive chef. Other passengers won’t miss out either – every one on board will receive a goody bag packed with delectable home-grown treats.”
Further adding to the Kiwiana dimension, Lorde has been secured for a private on-board performance of her hit song ‘Royals’.
Passengers on the affected service will be notified in advance as they will need to arrive early at their stop to go through an additional security screening.
“This early notice will ensure our passengers have plenty of time to arrange their best clothes!” added Dupé.
North Island residents may have noticed a new arrival on the roads in recent weeks – a massive new InterCity bus.
InterCity has recently launched two of the custom-built 14.5 metre-long buses, which are running on its daily Auckland-Hastings and Auckland-Hamilton routes.
Powered by a 6-cylinder, 12 litre, 400 horsepower, low emissions engine, the buses have an imported Scania chassis, while the body was built by Tauranga company Kiwi Bus Builders, taking around 2800 hours to finish.
With 63 seats on board, the buses mean more room for InterCity passengers on routes which often sell out, says InterCity General Manager of Coaching Sam Peate.
“The Auckland to Hastings services are among the most popular in the InterCity network because they provide convenient travel times for people travelling between towns and cities like Auckland, Hamilton, Tokoroa, Taupo, Napier and Hastings,” he says.
“By adding the extra seating capacity we are pleased to be able to offer even more people the chance to get to where they want to go, when they want to go.”
More bus passengers means fewer cars on the road, a win-win situation for motorists.
The buses are likely to travel about 100,000km per year – that’s equal to two and a half trips around the world.
Fares on InterCity’s services start from just $1 plus booking fee. InterCity runs daily services to more than 600 destinations around New Zealand.
ENDS – 10 February 2014
InterCity has teamed up with Google to put its transit information at users’ fingertips via the Google Maps application.
People searching for directions around New Zealand on Google Maps can now see details of InterCity’s national bus services, including routes, stop locations, travel time and pricing.
InterCity is New Zealand’s largest long distance transport network, with over 100 daily services nationwide. Bus, ferry and train information can all be viewed in Google Maps and booked online via the InterCity website.
“There’s a growing trend for consumers to plan and book their travel online,” says Daniel Rode, General Manager Marketing and Online Sales at InterCity Group. “By integrating our route information with Google’s powerful Maps product, we can continue to make our services more accessible for passengers, whether they’re at home or on the go.”
Rode says working with Google to make transit information available for Kiwis on Google Maps is the latest in a series of moves to make travel planning easier for mobile customers, with InterCity’s mobile website launching earlier in the year.
Nabil Nahgdy, Product Manager for Google Maps, Australia and New Zealand, said, “Google Transit is also available on Google Maps for Android and iPhone. Simply search for where you want to go and Google Maps will show you how to get there by offering transit directions from your current location.”
Almost 90% of InterCity’s daily services are currently available via Google Maps, reaching 529 stops around the country including all major towns and cities. Google Maps also supports more than 40 languages, making bus information accessible for international visitors and non English-speaking residents alike.
Users can customise their searches by entering their desired destination, travel date and time into Google Maps, to find bus route options that match. Walking directions are included, while Google’s aerial imagery, Street View imagery and nearby business listings let travellers check out their stop before they arrive.
ENDS – 23 December 2013
Stand down, Santa – greed is over and Christmas presents are so last year, according to the good folk who travel on InterCity buses.
InterCity’s 2013 Christmas survey gave passengers the chance to tell Santa what they wanted this festive season. Surprisingly, though, almost 40% of customers surveyed don’t want any gifts at all.
Forget about money or the latest flash gadget – time with family and friends, a happy holiday season and good health are the top of the wishlist for InterCity passengers. Some sunny weather and a sprinkling of world peace wouldn’t go amiss either.
“We’ve always known our passengers are a special bunch, but this survey proves just how down to earth and warm-hearted they are,” says Sam Peate, InterCity General Manager of Coaching. “We’d like to wish all our passengers a Merry Christmas and a safe and relaxing holiday season.”
Of those who do have high hopes for their stocking this year, electronics are top of the list with iPhones, iPads and tablets all gaining multiple mentions in InterCity’s survey. New houses, new cars and the odd million-dollar windfall also made it onto some optimistic wishlists.
It turns out InterCity passengers are a brainy group, with the survey returning requests for a new clarinet, printer ink, a university scholarship and a periodic table of the elements poster. It also revealed some lonely souls out there, with several passengers hoping to find a new boyfriend or girlfriend under the tree on Christmas morning.
No matter what they end up receiving, Christmas is all about gathering with loved ones. For 75.5% of InterCity passengers, time with family is the main ingredient for the ultimate Kiwi Christmas. Presents ranked second at 35.4%, followed by spending time at the beach (34.2%) and putting up the Christmas tree (32.5%).
The survey also showed that festive fare is getting more casual with BBQ food scoring higher than the traditional ham or roast turkey. Although it seems everyone has their own traditions – apparently for one respondent, Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without ‘Fancy serviettes (large 4 ply)’!
ENDS – 11 December 2013
Rising fuel prices and cheap fares from $1 have seen InterCity preparing for a record Easter travel period, with increased passenger demand across the country.
Thousands of extra seats have been added over the Easter weekend to cope with the increased passenger demand - according to InterCity General Manager of Coaching, Sam Peate, Easter 2012 looks set to be a record travel period.
“We’ve seen very strong booking patterns over the past few weeks and ticket sales up around 25% on Easter last year. The North Island is especially busy and we are bringing in up to 20 additional coaches for departures from Auckland and Wellington this weekend.”
Traditionally the second busiest holiday period after Christmas, Easter holiday travellers have been quick to book seats on the InterCity network: this Thursday evening will see a total of six coaches operating on the popular Auckland to Wellington overnight service.
“Customers have really been taking to online booking this year and visits to our website intercity.co.nz are up nearly 50% compared to Easter 2011.”
“Not all our customers have access to a credit card but the introduction of our online banking payment facility has really opened the door for customer’s book online this year.” said Mr Peate.
Customers travelling with InterCity from Auckland this Thursday can also expect to see the Easter Bunny who will be on hand with a basket of Easter treats.
Seats are still available for travel this weekend across the InterCity network however customers are encouraged to book early to ensure a seat.
For service information and to book visit: www.intercity.co.nz
ENDS - 2nd April 2012
With rising passenger numbers and greater demand for entertainment and sleeping options, New Zealand’s most comprehensive bus network, InterCity, is building a fleet of triple-decker buses equipped with all the modern amenities of home.
InterCity has invested $50 million into the venture and InterCity Group CEO Malcolm Johns, says it will be worth every cent. “The economies of scale are significant when adding an additional level to our standard vehicles and the extra floor space enables us to introduce sleeping options as well as a lounge/bar area.”
Amendments to vehicle height restrictions were some of the less publicised law changes recently introduced, along with changes to the Give-Way rules, and had paved the way for the launch of InterCity’s triple-decker fleet, according to Mr Johns.
Reaching a height of seven metres, or the equivalent of five stacked cars and being almost 17 metres long, the first of the new Triple-Decker buses is due into service by August this year and will operate on InterCity’s Auckland to Wellington routes.
“As the number of triple-deckers in our fleet builds over the coming years you will see them in cities such as Tauranga, Hamilton, Christchurch and Dunedin,” adds Mr Johns.
Malcolm Johns says the company has spent the last two years consulting with engineers from the Transport Agency of New Zealand to map and classify low height obstacles around the highway network. This identified several tree branches that would require remedial work. He says the company has been through the consultation process with land owners and he is confident those issues will be addressed before the first vehicle takes to the roads.
The new triple-decker buses will have a maximum capacity of 120 passengers. Overnight versions will offer sleeping facilities and all triple-deckers will feature a lounge and bar area equipped with PlayStation and three 50” LCD screens.
Mr Johns said fares on the new triple-decker services would start at the same low $1 price as all of InterCity’s other services and customers would be able to upgrade to the sleeping and lounge facilities for an extra $40.
Transport Agency of New Zealand spokesperson, April Rhodes said they were impressed with the work InterCity had completed before approaching the agency. She said the new vehicles would provide a material uplift to long distance public transport in New Zealand.
ENDS - April 1st 2012
Over 5000 FREE Seats nationwide between February and March 2012!
To celebrate the holiday season, InterCity is giving away over 5,000 FREE* seats across its extensive national public transport network from today.
“It’s been tough year for many New Zealanders and we want to thank all our customers for all their ongoing support throughout the year and this is the perfect time to do just that!". says InterCity General Manager Marketing & Online Sales Daniel Rode.
InterCity connects with hundreds of destinations throughout the country. You could use the money saved to buy a present for yourself and you don’t even have to worry about contending with the traffic!
To book tickets, simply go to www.intercity.co.nz, to search for the free fares. It works on a first in, first served basis. Customers can also use their booking agent*.
For more information and to book visit: www.intercity.co.nz
* Terms and conditions apply: Standard terms and conditions apply. Free seats apply to InterCity Coachlines services only. Services operated in other liveries and carrier codes are not applicable. Where applicable, booking fees may apply..
In an effort to reduce the company’s reliance on fossil fuels, New Zealand’s most comprehensive bus network, InterCity, has today announced a world leading initiative to power its fleet of long distance buses using a commodity the country has ample supply of - sheep manure.
Developed at a secret agricultural facility over the past 7 years, InterCity has invested over $50 million in the venture, supported by the government’s Field Agricultural Research Team. InterCity CEO Malcolm Johns says it will be worth every cent. “New Zealand’s 47 million--plus sheep produce an enormous amount of “waste” and there are large amounts of gas trapped inside. Through our extensive research we’ve been able to harness this energy for a useful purpose.”
While the exact details of the project remain a closely guarded secret, Professor Bjorn Smellie from the Field Agricultural Research Team, who assisted with the project, is excited about the future benefits of the discovery. “For many years now we’ve been attempting to reduce the amount of methane released by farm animals as it is one of New Zealand’s biggest greenhouse gas contributors. This discovery has enabled us to transfer a significant amount of useful pastoral energy from the paddock to the fuel tank. It’s a double dip emission result.”
By adding a special enzyme code named “11LOOF-RPA” to the sheep’s diet, scientists have been able to reduce the amount of methane gas expelled by the animal and transfer the energy to the gut and digestive system where it is passed out as regular sheep dung. The dung is then treated to release the gas inside a commercial still which allows for the capture and liquefaction process. The liquid is then used to fuel the buses.
New Zealand’s sheep and cattle population accounts for approximately 90 per cent of the country's methane emissions, according to recent government figures. Scientists found the Romney and Drysdale sheep breeds the most responsive “producers” during the research project.
The InterCity buses need a minor adaptation to increase compression within the engine to be able to run the new fuel. InterCity has already converted five vehicles as part of the trial project and plans to complete the remainder of the fuel cell conversions on the rest of the fleet by mid-2012.
ENDS - 1st April 2011
InterCity customers can now pay online using Internet Banking and POLi™. POLi™ is a convenient and secure way to pay for your fare using your own funds. So if you don’t have a credit card or would prefer not to use one online POLi™ is the way to go.
InterCity provides New Zealand's largest coach transportation network connecting to more than 600 destinations nationwide.
If you’d like to use POLi to pay for yourbus fare jump onto www.intercity.co.nz and use our internet booking system to select your fares, then choose Internet Banking (Pay with POLi) on the Payment Details screen.
ENDS - Friday 24 September, 2010