Exciting New Initiatives
Thames-Coromandel representative on the Waikato Regional Council Denis Tegg is delighted that the Regional Connections Committee of Council has proposed some exciting new initiatives to provide much-needed support to these volunteer community transport groups which run a vital lifeline service to smaller towns and rural areas in Thames Coromandel and elsewhere in the Waikato region. Community transport providers typically rely on volunteers and fundraising to offer transport to those in need, where no other suitable public transport option exists.
The proposals relating to community transport assistance will be considered by the Council at its next meeting.
“I have been advocating for greater transport links in rural areas, said Mr Tegg. Public transport such as the Thames Connector service I initiated are important part of these rural transport linkages, but so too is the essential service provided by volunteer community transport groups.”
In partnership with Community Waikato, and with very welcome funding assistance from Trust Waikato, it is proposed that Waikato Regional Council would:
- Provide a region wide transport coordination tool and platform that transport providers can choose to adopt and make transport options more visible to potential users.
The platform will enable people to view multiple transport options across a range of providers and choose a solution that best meets their needs. They will be able to do this via a web device, or via Waikato Regional Council’s existing public transport 0800 call centre or via any approved organisation (such as a community transport group)
- Recruit a dedicated regional coordinator to better supporting existing community transport providers
- Partner with and work across multiple organisations to develop shared transport solutions
- Investigate establishment of a regional grant funding framework to enhance the viability of community transport initiatives
“The sector in a fragile state and needs additional support to ensure continuation of existing initiatives and establishment of new initiatives where there is community need”, said Mr Tegg.
“For most people living in smaller towns and rural areas there is a need to travel long distances to access essential services. For many people this is a significant challenge and can have life changing implications. Isolation and inability to participate in society is most acute for people who have limited or no access to an independent means of transport, live rurally, and have a disability.”
There are a wide range of community transport providers operating throughout the Waikato. A summary of many (but not all) community transport providers in the Waikato can be found at Waikato Community Transport Forum website.
Download a copy of the report on Community Transport Initiatives presented to Waikato Regional Council’s Regional Connections Committee here –