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Otago People Asked To Advise On Public Transport Future

Media Release

August 17, 2012

Otago People Asked To Advise On Future Developments In Public Transport

The Otago Regional Council (ORC) has released its new draft Regional Public Transport Plan (RPTP) for public comment.

The draft plan sets out proposals for public transport throughout Otago, and specifically Dunedin and the Wakatipu Basin, over the next six years. The plan specifies the services to be provided in Otago by taxis, shuttles and buses, private hire vehicles, harbour and lake ferries, and trains.

ORC director policy and resource planning Fraser McRae said the plan would guide further development of Otago’s public transport network and build on recent service improvements in both Dunedin and the Wakatipu.

In the Dunedin bus network, people make around 2.3m trips annually. The Wakatipu Basin network is much smaller, with people making around 630,000 trips annually. In both networks, patronage is increasing.

With nearly 57,000 bus trips taken every week in the region, and patronage increasing in both Dunedin and the Wakatipu, the council was keen to hear views on the proposals, Mr McRae said.

The plan is being prepared at a time when the Government is signalling changes to the legislation governing the funding and operation of public transport. However, ORC still needed to proceed with the plan despite this uncertainty, to ensure there was no delay in the re-tendering of bus contracts expiring in mid-2013 and beyond, he said.

Otago public transport services are funded in three main ways:

• services that receive financial support from ORC and the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) including contracted bus services (most of those in the Dunedin network, but only a minority of those in the Wakatipu Basin network) and Total Mobility services provided by taxi and, in future, also by shuttle;
• special purpose services that receive funding from education, health or community agencies, but not from ORC, including those school bus services contracted by the Ministry of Education;
• commercially provided services that do not receive any public funding, including some of the services within the Dunedin network and most of those within the Wakatipu Basin network, as well as bus services and shuttles operating within Otago and beyond.

Mr McRae said both the Otago Regional Land Transport Strategy 2011 and the draft Otago Regional Public Transport Plan envisage steady but gradual improvements to the two networks, as well as gradual increases in patronage, while maintaining their viability.

The draft plan, as well as a summary, can be viewed on the ORC website (www.orc.govt.nz).

Submissions on the draft plan close on close at 5.30pm Saturday 22 September.

Hearings will be held on October 4 and 5.


© Scoop Media

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