Media Release: Transit app updated in response to bus passenger feedback

Media Release - 11 May 2022

Otago Regional Council has listened to feedback from customers about how they access bus alerts and has made some changes to help keep passengers updated.

Until recently, the only source of information relating to trip cancellations had been the ORC website. As of last week, service alerts are now also being published to the free Transit app, which sends notifications to those subscribed to individual routes.

ORC Transport Manager Doug Rodgers said, ““We understand this can’t fix the problem of bus cancellations, but we are hopeful that it will give passengers some indication as to whether or not they can get to their destination using a bus at the particular time they want to travel.“

Mr Rodgers said, “Services are currently experiencing unprecedented disruptions due to drivers isolating or being ill due to COVID. This is made worse by a national driver shortage. As passengers will be aware - this means a higher number of cancellations.

“One option is that we move to a reduce weekend timetable, however that would mean a large drop in service – much below what is currently being offered.”

ORC also thanked passengers for their continued support of the bus service and indicated it was appreciative of the hard work bus drivers were doing in the face of challenging circumstances.

“We would like to thank our passengers for bearing with us during this difficult period and also offer our thanks to our bus operators who are doing their best in the face of an unprecedented situation.”

Those wanting more information on updated services should follow Orbus Dunedin on Facebook and view the public transport pages on the ORC website.



We cannot guarantee this one hundred per cent, but we are doing our best to put up the information as we receive it. The public transport alerts and notifications page on the ORC website remains the best source of information when travelling.

Information sharing is traditionally between us and the operator. Transit is a third-party application not an ORC app, which makes information sharing more complicated. Our data analyst has been working with Transit and operators to enable this, and we will continue to improve.

COVID and Influenza A are making themselves felt in all parts of the community at present and a number of drivers on any given day are off with COVID. This also affects office, mechanics and cleaning staff at the bus companies too. Drivers can also be isolating if a family member is unwell.

There are simply no drivers available to bring in. Not only is there a national shortage of bus drivers throughout NZ, but ORC has recently added a number of route variations to assist schools following the closure of local bus company Otago Road Services. The addition of this extra load used any spare capacity in the system.

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