Dunedin students’ associations are today disappointed that the DCC has scrapped the Rideshare car-pooling scheme. Students’ associations blame recent changes by the DCC for its failure, and urge for action on affordable buses.
“We thank the DCC for making the effort to initiate the scheme and it’s worked comparatively well for a decade, so students are hugely disappointed it has been dumped.” said OUSA president Logan Edgar.
Both students’ associations point to the introduction of charges in 2011 as the cause for its failure.
“We warned the DCC that the fee put it out of the reach of most students and would destroy the scheme, whilst doing nothing to stop abuse.” said OPSA president, Michelle Fidow.
While associations would also like to see the level of abuse minimised, they dispute the DCC’s claimed level of abuse, explaining that the measure for abuse is not reliable as it includes people who were car-pooling but dropped their passengers off on the way to the parking areas.
“If users need to drop passengers off on the way, rather than driving them past their destinations and having to walk back to it, then a car-pooling scheme needs to reflect that if it’s going to work. While this makes enforcement difficult, this is the reality of a car-pooling scheme that doesn’t have a single final destination” said Fidow.
“It is a shame the DCC choose not to explore the option of the University and Polytechnic assisting with enforcement, and combining that with other suggestions in the review like lowering the fee, increasing promotion, and opening the parks to all users after 12 noon.” said Edgar.
To help alleviate Dunedin North’s chronic parking issues associations hope that improved bus services and more affordable fares will become a key goal for the DCC.
“Given it’s cheaper to use a private car than a Dunedin bus, an affordable student rate that makes buses a realistic option is an idea that is becoming increasingly more urgent.” said Fidow.