A massive increase in visitors to Mt Ruapehu has prompted the opening of a new shuttle service to help alleviate some of the pressure this ski season.

Construction on the $1.6m Park and Ride facility is now underway in the National Park Village.

Ruapehu Land Transport manger, Warren Furner, said this facility will not cause the same issues that arose during the first day of the Park n’ Ride service that was opened two years ago.

“The new Park and Ride facility will provide day and overnight parking supported by services including; public toilets, showers, BBQ facilities, a dump station and refuse facilities, WiFi connectivity, bus, train and shuttle connections and electric vehicle charging stations.

“With current facilities already at capacity government co-funding has been vital to enabling Ruapehu to make the necessary infrastructure investment to support regional tourism development and NZ’s tourism business growth agenda.”

The opening of the new gondola at Whakapapa, scheduled for around June, is anticipated to bring an additional 300,000 visitors to Ruapehu every year growing to 500,000 by 2025.

Ruapehu Alpine Lifts chief executive Ross Copland said the Park and Ride project is a positive step.

Source: Taupo Times

Image: Tom Lee / Stuff

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