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North Island residents may have noticed a new arrival on the roads in recent weeks – a massive new InterCity Coachlines 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 Coachlines 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 Coachlines.
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 Coachlines 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.
Customer’s 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 Coachlines, is building a fleet of triple-decker buses equipped with all the modern amenities of home.
InterCity Coachlines 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 Coachlines 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 Coachlines 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..
Discounted commuter pass makes Hamilton to Auckland travel more affordable
InterCity Coachlines has this week announced the launch of its new InterCity Commuter Pass and Hamilton travellers are the set to be first to benefit.
Offering up to 38% saving on the regular Hamilton to Auckland travel the InterCity Commuter Pass is expected to be well received by Hamilton to Auckland commuters according to InterCity General Manager of Coaching Sam Peate: “The Hamilton to Auckland route is one of the most popular within our national network. We operate more services between these two cities than any other transport provider in the New Zealand.”
“Our Hamilton customers have been asking us for a commuter type pass and we’re delighted to be able to offer the first of our InterCity Commuter Passes on this particular route.” says Peate.
With over 23 daily services to choose from the InterCity Commuter Pass provides an economic and convenient alternative to other forms of transport, with the earliest Hamilton departures arriving in Auckland at 6.50am and 9.30am.
Regular departures continue throughout the day with the final evening departure from Hamilton at 7.00pm, arriving in Auckland at 9.00pm.
The InterCity Commuter Pass is sold in blocks of 6, 10 and 14 trips offering savings of up to 38% against standard adult fully refundable fares. Passes are valid for 12months and also provide great flexibility as reservations can be adjusted up to 2 hours prior to departure without penalty.
Travellers and purchase the new InterCity Commuter Pass online at intercity.co.nz or from any number of local booking agents including the Hamilton i-SITE Visitor Information Centre in Garden Place and from the Hamilton Transport Centre, Cnr Bryce & Anglesea St.
InterCity Coachlines plans to expand the commuter pass options to other city to city pairs around the country in the coming year.
ENDS - 19th April 2011
In an effort to reduce the company’s reliance on fossil fuels, New Zealand’s most comprehensive bus network, InterCity Coachlines, 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 Coachlines 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 Coachlines 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 your coach 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
InterCity Coachlines is really getting into the festive season and giving away coach fares for just $1!
There will be at least one $1 fare available on every InterCity route going forward which equates to over 25,000 $1 fares* available over the next year!
“Travelling to see your loved ones this Christmas has never been easier on your pocket,” says InterCity Chief Executive Malcolm Johns. “The extra money will come in handy especially at this busy time of the year and it is also a stress-free way to travel – all you have to do is sit back, relax and let the coach driver take you to your destination.”
InterCity Coachlines provides New Zealand's largest coach transportation network connecting to more than 600 destinations nationwide.
So if you get in quick, InterCity connects with hundreds of destinations throughout the country. With no booking fee when you purchase online 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!
It’s as simple as jumping on the www.intercity.co.nz website, and using the internet booking system to search for a $1 fare with no booking fee. It works on a first in, first served basis.
“Get in quick, tell your mates and book your ticket today” says Malcolm.
For more information visit: www.intercity.co.nz.
* Terms and conditions apply: At least one $1 fare will be available on every InterCity Coachlines operated service. Services operated in other liveries and carrier codes are not applicable. $1 fares are non refundable. No booking fee applies only to bookings made via www.intercity.co.nz
ENDS - Wednesday 16 December, 2009
The tourism industry in Northland will need to fight its corner if it wants to maximise the benefits of the Rugby World Cup (RWC) 2011 Malcolm Johns, Chief Executive Officer of InterCity Group, said today.
"It is fantastic news that Northland will be hosting two Rugby World Cup 2011 matches and I congratulate everyone for their successful bid to host two pool games. The Rugby World Cup 2011 offers fantastic opportunities for the region to get a real economic boost.
"To really realise the true economic benefits of the Rugby World Cup 2011, the Northland tourism industry together with local bodies and organisations, now needs to come together to develop and aggressive and focused strategy on how to get fans to the area and keep them here beyond the matches."
Rugby New Zealand 2011 yesterday announced that the Northland Events Centre in Whangarei had been successful in its bid to host two RWC 2011 games - Tonga v Americas 1 on September 14, and Tonga v Asia on September 21. An additional 12 games are scheduled to be held in Central Auckland and on Auckland's North Shore.
Malcolm added, "To really capitalise on the Rugby World Cup 2011, Northland needs to look beyond just the two games being hosted in Whangarei to see how it can attract the thousands of fans that will be visiting Auckland for the games being hosted there, including the semis and final.
"Northland offers one of the most stunning tourism experiences in the country, and the games Auckland will host represent a major economic development opportunity. However, other destinations throughout New Zealand, and especially those also located close to Auckland, will be eyeing up these same fans to attract them to their regions. For Northland to really benefit from the Rugby World Cup 2011, it will require a well thought out strategy with industry and local government working closely together."
Just as it did during the Lions Tour, InterCity will be doing its bit to match demand with supply when it comes to transport services during RWC 2011.
"New Zealand has a fantastic opportunity to showcase its tourism offer during the Cup and InterCity will be helping make sure that fans can move through the country easily and safely. New Zealand is known for its hospitality and the Rugby World Cup 2011 provides an opportunity for us to showcase this hospitality to the world. Word of mouth is one of the most powerful marketing tools and we want every fan to leave New Zealand singing the praises of our destination," said Johns.
"We have already had a number of approaches from UK fans wanting to charter our new small cruise ship to follow the Rugby World Cup around New Zealand. While the ship is well suited for this type of work, the Rugby World Cup is during its summer cruising season in the Bay of Islands and InterCity will be loyal to those customers who will support the product and the Bay of Islands before, during and after the Rugby World Cup."
InterCity Group today confirmed that its new, luxury overnight small cruise ship has been named following consultation with local Maori and the wider Bay of Islands community.
'Ipipiri' - the sacred Maori name for the Bay of Islands - has been chosen as the official name of the first ever overnight small cruise ship that will be permanently based in the Bay of Islands.
"As a progressive company, committed to the Bay of Islands, it was important to us to involve local Iwi and community in the naming of our new cruise ship. We wanted the name to reflect the region and after consulting with the people of Rawhiti, InterCity has graciously accepted the generous offer to use the name Ipipiri. We are honoured by the history of this name and respect the gesture greatly," says Malcolm Johns, InterCity Group Chief Executive.
According to Richard Witehira, Kaimahi o te Patukeha Hapu, the name was given by a leading chief on the great migration when they finally reached the safe haven of this area. He ordered all waaka to lash together while prayers were given for their safe arrival.
The Bay of Islands will be home to the 46-metre catamaran, which will be a key product for InterCity Group in the Bay of Islands and is expected to be a major draw card for visitors to the area.
"We already have around 4,000 passengers booked to stay on the vessel during the 2009/2010 summer cruising season and our international agents continue to receive enquiries on a daily basis, despite the current economic climate," says Malcolm.
"The overnight boat adds another dimension to the Bay of Islands tourism offering and our policy of sourcing products and services from local suppliers wherever possible will help bring vital dollars into the local economy."
On board Ipipiri, passengers will be immersed in Northland history, scenery, wine, produce, art and culture. Malcolm says Ipipiri will be an experience, not a product.
Building and construction of the boat is well underway and InterCity is on track to launch Ipipiri this September. Malcolm adds: "InterCity is a company that respects all cultures and it was important that we undertook consultation in arriving at a name for this vessel. We wanted the name to reflect our involvement in the area, the land, its people and what binds it all together. Ipipiri achieves all of this.
"There is a rich history around the name, Ipipiri, which makes it sacred to the people of Rawhiti and the vessel will spend much of its time at sea in their part of Aotearoa. We feel honoured to be given permission to carry this name and we will certainly treat it with the respect that it deserves."
As one of Northland's critical transport infrastructure operators, InterCity Group welcomed the opening this weekend of the new Northern Gateway Toll Road between Orewa and Puhoi.
The Toll Road is expected to cut around 15 minutes off the journey time for its Great Sights tourist Coaches which travel North and South daily between Auckland and Paihia. It will also drastically reduce holiday period traffic jams for all northbound traffic said Malcolm Johns, Chief Executive Officer of InterCity Group.
"The current road from Orewa through Waiwera has struggled to cope with traffic levels for some time now and has given Northland a negative perception in the critical Auckland market. The Northern Gateway Toll Road is fantastic news for the tourism industry north of Auckland and will make these regions even more accessible."
InterCity is dedicated to continuing to operate substantial transport infrastructure across Northland, both public and tourist transport.
Johns continued, "Currently only 1 in 5 international tourists arriving in Auckland head North, the majority head south and miss Northland. In addition there are still many Aucklanders who I am sure have not explored the fantastic scenery and attractions sitting right on their doorstep in Northland. There is a real depth and breadth to the tourism experiences on offer across Northland and the opening of the Northern Gateway Toll Road is a positive step toward correcting these issues and growing the Northland economy.
"We are especially pleased that the Toll Road will be opening on schedule. In September of this year, we will be introducing a brand new $12 million, five-storey overnight small ship to the Bay of Islands. With more than 4,000 passengers already booked to travel on the vessel during the 2009/2010 season, and many of them taking advantage of our coaches to reach the ship, the new Northland Gateway will make the journey north faster and smoother which is great news for all."
ENDS - Monday January 19th, 2009