Horizons and Whanganui District Council invite Whanganui residents to catch the Tide - ekea te Ngaru

Horizons Regional Council and Whanganui District Council have collaborated to launch a new high frequency bus route in Whanganui on 18 February 2023.

The new route has been named Te Ngaru The Tide after a competition run by the district council in November last year.
Horizons passenger transport committee chair, Sam Ferguson says the councils are excited to launch this new route, as it will better meet the needs of the Whanganui community.
“The new frequent route will run every 20 minutes, Monday to Friday 7am-7pm, Saturday 9am-3pm and will have an hourly service on Friday nights between 7pm-11pm,” says Cr Ferguson. 
“The service will run in both directions from Castlecliff to Aramoho and stop in key locations throughout the city such as the hospital, city centre and upper Victoria Ave shops.
“Promotion for the new service is beginning this week so that Whanganui residents get plenty of notice that it’s coming. This service is the starting point to improving public transport in Whanganui, and positive uptake of it will help support new routes being established in the future.
“It has been delivered in response to calls from the community for better public transport in Whanganui to connect residents and services, as well as help reduce carbon emissions from the private transport network.”
The Whanganui District Council representative on Horizons’ passenger transport committee, Anthonie Tonnon, notes that a recent survey on public transport showed some of the main reasons people wanted to travel was for shopping and leisure. 
“It’s easier to take a bus to the shops or the beach if you know the return service will be less than 20 minutes away,” he says.
“Frequency allows people the option to use a service in their own way – whether they use it for work, the Saturday markets, or to go to dinner on a Friday night – or whether they connect to it using a scooter or a bike.” 
At the end of last year entries poured in online for Whanganui District Council’s competition to name the bus route, with a total of 270 entries received.
In the end the winning name The Tide came from Whanganui District Council staff member, Gayelene Holly, who says she suggested the name because the bus moves up and down the new route the way the tide moves up and down the river.
“The bus route is like the river ebbing and flowing – catch The Tide!”
The te reo translation provided is Te Ngaru, which means wave. The wording was chosen because the bus goes to Castlecliff Beach. ‘Ekea te ngaru’ refers to surfers catching waves and it links to buses because ‘eke’ refers to boarding a bus as well.
Because council staff are ineligible to win prizes in the competition, the three $100 vouchers will be awarded to the three runner-up community entries.
Winners are James Allen for ‘Ara Tere’, Hinerangi Peipi for ‘Te Kaihau o Kupe’, and Tracy Worrall for ‘The Wave Rider’.
Cr Ferguson says Horizons has also launched its new brand for regional public
transport this week.
“The Connect brand will replace Horizons generic branding for public transport first in Whanganui with the introduction of The Tide. It will then be phased in across the region over the next year or so.
“Most noticeably will be the new Connect branded bus wraps that will be featured on The Tide route.
“We’d like to take the opportunity to thank Whanganui District Council for their
support introducing The Tide to Whanganui and hope this new route provides a
beneficial service to the community.”
Users will also soon be able to plan their trips more easily when the Transit app comes into use, and when real-time signage is introduced in coming months. 
Get ready to catch The Tide, by clicking here for more information.