Bee ready for the holidays

Bus Talk column - 08 April 2021

With Easter just behind us, university holidays starting and the school holidays about to begin, it’s a good time to think about your travel choices and get a Bee Card if you haven’t already.

If you’re planning a few days trips with the kids, consider taking the bus. Children under five travel free, and right now, during the interim flat fare, those aged 5 to 18 years only pay a concessionary $1.20 anywhere with a Bee Card.

Adults pay only $2 with a Bee Card, and those with a SuperGold card and Bee Card are eligible for a concession including free off-peak travel.

Get a card for $5 from www.beecard.co.nz, the Otago Regional Council office at 144 Rattray Street (level 2), Dunedin City Council service centres, University Book Shop or on the bus (with cash). Once you have it, create an account online to get the concession and top up with a minimum $5.

You can also travel with multiple people on a single regular Bee Card (those which do not have a concession). Just talk to your driver, who can help you.

If it’s your first adventure on a bus, head to the website www.orc.govt.nz/Orbus and input the travel details into our Journey Planner. It works similar to Google Maps.

On that note, any time you want to check your timetable, you can visit the website, find your route and choose the date of travel. For example, a public holiday timetable will apply to Anzac Day, 25 April.

Don’t forget, if you’re travelling out of Dunedin, you can use your Bee Card in Queenstown as well as seven other regions across New Zealand (check www.beecard.co.nz to view regions).

Regional Land and public transport plans

Thank you to everyone who submitted on the Draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) 2021/31, the consultation for which closed last week. The plan outlines proposed transport network improvements for the next six years and forms the application for funding from the National Land Transport Fund for the next three years.

This is different to the Otago Regional Public Transport Plan, which we are consulting on in May. We have been meeting with a few key stakeholder groups to help draft the Public Transport Plan and check we are moving in the right direction. Thank you to those who have attended on behalf of their organisation, community board, agency or community association.

The current Otago Regional Public Transport Plan was published in 2014. Since then, we have seen significant governmental, social, economic, and technological changes, both nationally and within Otago. The new plan will set out our priorities and vision for the next 10 years in Otago, looking at how we can develop a public transport system that connects us all.

To achieve this vision, we are working toward a public transport system in Otago that enables more people in our community to get where they need to go easily, safely and in an affordable, inclusive way while contributing positively to our environment and community.

The next ten years will be challenging but exciting for our public transport system as we respond to changes in population growth and movement, to shifting economic drivers due to COVID-19. At the same time, we have national goals to lower carbon emissions. More people will need to use public transport more often.

We look forward to hearing from the community when we consult on the draft Public Transport Plan in May.

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