© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2018

Double decker buses bring tourism boom

Antoinette Spicer
InterCity Gold
InterCity Gold Antoinette Spicer

Two new InterCity double-decker buses were incorporated to InterCity's Picton route last year, a move they say have boosted numbers.

A spokesperson for InterCity said the inclusion of the buses in early September, along with the opening of the coastal highway, had made numbers surge this season.

Customer service representatives Charlotte Hay and Rose Fallow said after the earthquake destroyed the coastal highway, on quiet days only three or four people travelled the Picton route.

The new luxury long-distance buses were often sold out with 104 passengers on board, they said.

InterCity launched its GOLD service in 2014, it’s since been expanding its availability with buses now available throughout New Zealand. For $5 dollars extra passengers can enjoy free wifi, downstairs seating, soft leather recliners, individual charge ports and outlets as well as more leg room.

Bus Driver Scott Parker said the service had been popular this peak season. The view from the top deck was part of the attraction for customers, he said.

Passenger Anne Garett said the new bus was nice to travel in and "far easier and cheaper than driving".

State Highway 1 between Picton and Christchurch re-opened in late April for night-time travel for the first time since the Kaikoura earthquake in November 2016.