Palmerston North and Ashhurst

Launch date updated to 4 March

The new bus network for Palmerston North and Ashhurst was to launch on 19 Feburary. However, it will now launch on 4 March. International shipping issues delayed the arrival of the new fully electric fleet, and options to run the new network on either a reduced timetable or with older buses were not viable. Learn more about the delay here.

Palmerston North and Ashhurst services will run on their old timetables until 4 March, with Massey University services going to the semester timetable from 19 February. Find those timetables, as well as the new network timetables, here.
 

Fast, direct, frequent and simple

Palmerston North and Ashhurst will see some big changes to the way the bus service operates from March 2024. Routes will change to be more direct, operating through the city rather than meandering around the suburbs. The frequency will dramatically increase, while the fleet will be the first fully electric fleet in the country.

Horizons Regional Council decided in March 2023 to award the Palmerston North and Ashhurst bus contract for the next nine years to Tranzit Coachlines, the current network operator. Horizons, Palmerston North City Council and Tranzit will be working together over the coming months to deliver an improved service with enhanced infrastructure to support it.

The improvements will coincide with Connect, Horizons' public transport brand, being rolled out across the network. Follow Connect on Facebook and Instagram to get the most up-to-date information, including previews of the new buses and network. 
 

New timetables

New timetables are available online now. Printed copies will be available in 2024. To see timetables and stop maps scroll to the bottom of our download a timetable page. These timetables and stop maps are subject to change. If you would like any of these printed, please pop in to one of our service centres.

Information on current routes and timetables can be found here.

New Connected network

Download a printable version of the network map here. 


The new network will consist of three elements:

Urban Lines

There will be seven lines operating across the city, starting in one suburb, traveling into the city centre and out to another suburb across town. For example, the new 101 route will start at Palmerston North Airport, travelling past the hospital into the city centre before continuing on to Massey University.

These services will operate every 15 minutes at peak times (7am-9am and 3pm-6pm) and every 30 minutes outside of peak times. Operating hours will also increase, with services running from 6.30am to 9pm every day.

The table below shows the difference in the number of services operating between the current and new networks:
 
  Current Network New Connected Network
Weekdays 324 services daily 610 services daily
Saturdays 107 services daily 428 services daily
Sundays 77 services daily 428 services daily


Massey Complimentary Lines

There will be three lines similar to existing Massey services. The services have been tweaked to support the urban services rather than operating separately. The new network will have additional connections to Massey at key travel times.


Ashhurst to Palmerston North Line

The route for this line will not change. However, there will be a large increase in service, with seven return trips Monday to Friday and four return trips on Saturday and Sunday.

Roslyn-Awapuni trial

From March 4 we will be running a six-month trial line, connecting Roslyn and Awapuni residents to the central city. This is in addition to the new network and will run on some streets currently serviced by the 108 and 102 services.

Each service will run four times each day in each direction on weekdays at off-peak times between 9am and 3pm. 

We'll have more details about the exact schedule soon. In the meantime, read our news item about it and see a route map here.

Changes to streets

The new network will see buses no longer go down some streets and begin going down others. This is a result of the new network having routes focused on being more direct. All these changes are in Palmerston North, since Ashhurst's line is not changing. 

The downloadable table below includes all the details on street changes, broken down to say which sections of streets will see changes.

Palmerston North street changes for new bus network

Palmerston North City Council also has an interactive map showing where new stops and shelters are proposed to go, and what current stops will no longer operate. View it by clicking or tapping here.

Infrastructure improvements

Horizons and Palmerston North City Council successfully secured $6.9 million from the Transport Choices Package to upgrade Palmerston North’s and Ashhurst’s bus stop infrastructure to support the rollout of the new network. The two councils will work together to deliver these improvements in the coming months.

While Horizons runs the network, Palmerston North City Council owns the bus stops and shelters. That means Palmerston North City Council will be doing the work to install new shelters. You can keep up to date with information about the new shelters, including designs and locations, on the Palmerston North City Council website

Palmerston North City Council asked for public feedback on proposed locations for new bus stops and shelters. This public consultation closed at 4pm on Sunday 17 September 2023. The city council is also talking directly with landowners, tenants and direct neighbours of stops where shelters would also be installed. 

As Palmerston North City Council goes through the process of resolving objections to bus shelter locations, it will be errecting temporary bus stops where there are objections. This does not prejudice people's objections, and may result in these temporary stops not becoming permanent. We will update this information as we get it to ensure minimal disruption. 

View an interactive map of the proposed new bus stops

Need to get in touch?

If you have any questions about the shelters, please email busshelters@pncc.govt.nz.

If you have questions about buses or routes, please visit this section of the Horizons website or email transport@horizons.govt.nz.

For more information about the Waka Kotahi Transport Choices programme, which is funding upgrades to shelters and stops, head to Transport Choices programme.