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DCC to Discuss Public Transport Issues

DCC to Discuss Public Transport Issues

Dunedin (Friday, 9 May 2014) – Who should run Dunedin’s buses will be a topic for discussion at next week’s Dunedin City Council Annual Plan deliberations.

At its 7 May meeting, the Otago Regional Council confirmed its belief the governance of public transport fitted more appropriately with the DCC. The ORC has written to the DCC offering to transfer responsibility for public transport planning and operations to the DCC.

A DCC staff report to be discussed at the deliberations, suggests the Council supports, in principle, the transfer of governance of public transport from the ORC to the DCC. This would be subject to further work being completed, including consultation with the community.

Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull says, “We are pleased to receive this offer from the ORC. We now need to delve into the detail to better understand what is involved and the financial implications for the DCC. We also need to hear from the community on this matter.

“Management of public transport aligns very closely with our other transport and land use planning responsibilities, and a co-ordinated approach would help the city develop a truly integrated transport system for the future.”

If the Council supports the move, it is estimated $300,000 would be needed to carry out the investigative work required, including financial analysis and consultation. A proposal would be developed and consulted on later this year, with a view to a final decision being made by the Council in November regarding whether to proceed with the transfer of powers.

The staff report also recommends establishing a joint DCC/ORC working party, with relevant staff and councillors from both organisations, to oversee the planning work currently being undertaken by the ORC.

DCC Transportation Planning Manager Sarah Connolly says a study commissioned by the DCC and completed last year looked at public transport network improvements that could be made at no extra cost. The consultants also considered which Council would be best placed to run public transport in Dunedin.

“Given the DCC’s current responsibilities for areas such as the local transport network, urban development and parking, the consultants stated there would be significant benefits in the DCC taking over responsibility for public transport as well.”

The consultants’ recommendations for the network were included in the Dunedin City Integrated Transport Strategy 2013. The Strategy can be viewed at www.dunedin.govt.nz/transport. The consultants’ study can be viewed at www.dunedin.govt.nz/public-transport-business-case.

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