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Students win epic ORC battle

Students win epic ORC battle - Peter Jackson Unamused

This week the ORC announced their 25% student discount on buses is to become permanent.

It is with much applause that the University of Otago Students’ Association welcome the Otago Regional Council’s decision to permanently implement a 25% discount for tertiary students on buses around Dunedin.

“It’s awesome news for students, especially those who still live at home in Dunedin and those who choose to live further away from the University.” said Ruby Sycamore-Smith, OUSA President. “We believe this will lead to more students using the bus services overtime, especially when combined with incoming improvements to routes and timetables.”

The students’ association along with its sibling association – OPSA – representing Otago Polytechnic students, have lobbied the ORC for the past decade which led to an almost three month trial period starting in February’s Orientation week.

“The ORC made a smart move by giving the idea a trial period and pushing out free GO cards to students in Orientation.” Said Sycamore-Smith. “We’d like to see the free GO cards repeated again next year with a new set of target markets.”

The GO cards were discounted by the ORC and the students associations shouldered the cost to ensure they were given the best chance to be taken up by students.

The cards were given out to first years, but the student President thinks that focussing on locals and post graduates might be other avenues to try; “For us it’s about helping those that need it most, but the idea of getting firsts years to explore the city isn’t something that should be put on the chopping block altogether.”

The discount saves students who use buses regularly $10 to $15 a week. For students from Mosgiel or who need to travel multiple routes to get to campus it saves them considerably more. This is a significant amount when you’re living on less than $170 a week.

The discount is applicable to all GO card holders who have a current tertiary ID; “No matter the institution, this is one discount to rule them all!” said Sycamore-Smith.


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