ORC makes changes to Dunedin bus routes, encourages students and parents to be prepared for travel next week

Media Release - 28 January 2022

The extension of key routes will support students from out of the city catching the bus to school, following the closure of Otago Road Services last year.

The Otago Regional Council has announced route extensions in its Dunedin public transport network to support school students catching the bus from next week. This follows the end of commercial services, which created gaps for students travelling from out of the city.

The extensions primarily affect students travelling via Green Island to Kaikorai Valley College and King’s and Queen’s High Schools.

From Monday, as previously announced, the route 70 bus will offer an extension, allowing pupils to travel to and from Kaikorai Valley College.

The morning service departs at 8:18am from Green Island, and the afternoon service departs Kaikorai Valley College at 3:05pm.

Starting Tuesday 1 February (updated earlier from Thursday 3 February), route 40C – servicing King’s, Queen’s and Bathgate Park schools – will offer a Green Island connection.

The morning service will depart Green Island at 8:25am, and the afternoon will depart from Bathgate Park School at 3:15 pm.

Green Island will be a key transfer point for students travelling on these services.

Catching the public network bus to school is different from catching a dedicated school service, so parents and students need to be aware of the changes – and account for longer journey times, said ORC Implementation Lead – Transport Julian Phillips.

“Understanding routes and transfers will be vital to ensuring a smooth journey for all students. Students should get a Bee Card, with a youth concession providing cheaper fares for their journey to school, and these can be purchased from ORC and DCC offices, the University Bookshop, or online.”

Mr Phillips emphasised that the changes were not a replacement for the ceased commercial services.

“The commercial buses operated by Otago Road Services sat outside of our public transport network and supplemented buses contracted by the Ministry of Education. The ceased services arose as a separate arrangement between schools and Otago Road Services, because of the need to transport students to out-of-zone schools in the city, from areas such as Mosgiel, Brighton and Taieri.

“However, ORC understand the pressures parents and students are under due to the loss of these private services, and we have opted to alter and extend our public transport network in key places.

“There is a limit to what ORC can do to fill this gap, as we cannot provide a direct service to every single school. This has not been part of the public transport network in the past. However, we are stepping up to help where possible.

“The solutions we are implementing may not be perfect for every student, and schools will need to explore longer term solutions,” Mr Phillips said.

For further information about school buses and ORC’s public transport network, click here.

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