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ORC proposes transfer of city bus service to DCC

MEDIA RELEASE

April 17, 2014

ORC proposes transfer of city bus service to DCC

The Otago Regional Council’s finance and corporate committee has resolved to offer the governance of Dunedin public transport to the Dunedin City Council. This means that DCC would have the opportunity to take over the planning and operational public transport functions currently carried out by ORC.

The recommendation, which is subject to confirmation by the full council, was unanimously accepted by committee members on Wednesday.

ORC chairman Stephen Woodhead said that if the offer was accepted by DCC, the city could align various functions with public transport.

These included:

• management of the local roading network

• street infrastructure

• parking and road use policies

• land use policies; and

• urban development planning

Mr Woodhead said the offer to transfer public transport governance from the region to the city followed discussions about progressing such a change between the two councils during the past few years and particularly during the past six months.

ORC currently prepares a regional land transport plan, and regional public transport plan, as part of its planning responsibilities; and from an operational standpoint contracts and administers public transport services in Dunedin.

Before public transport responsibilities could be transferred to DCC, both councils would have to agree on a set of terms and conditions; notice would have to be given to the Minister of Local Government, and both councils would have to either initiate the proposal in their Annual Plans or Long Term Plans, or separately adopt it through special consultative procedures.

We have been responsible for passenger transport operations and planning in Otago since the regional council was formed in 1989, and we are proud of the enhancements we have made to services in that time,” Mr Woodhead said.

“This has included requiring operators to invest in newer, safer, and more efficient low floor buses; the introduction of electronic ticketing and related fare discounts; and more streamlined routes with improved frequencies.”

“From a planning perspective, we have put a lot of energy and time into planning the region’s public transport needs, and lobbying the Government to ensure that it maintains its share of the funding of these services.”

Mr Woodhead said he looked forward to the city’s response to the ORC approach

“Should this be positive, we will do everything possible to collaborate and ensure that the transition phase for the transfer is as smooth and as seamless as possible.”

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