Queenstown Public Transport Business Case


What is the project?

The Otago Regional Council (ORC) together with its Way to Go partner agencies, Queenstown Lakes District Council and Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency are developing a 30-year plan to inform future public transport investment decisions for Queenstown.

The Queenstown Public Transport Business Case will focus on:

  • what the public transport network will look like in the future (bus and ferry)
  • how to decarbonise public transport
  • where on-demand bus services should be considered
  • future capacity and configuration of bus hubs
  • what the future ownership, operating, and management systems should look like
  • what the proposals will cost and how they can be funded. 

This study does not look at roading and other infrastructure which has already been considered through the Queenstown Business Case 2020.

A number of infrastructure improvements are already underway in Queenstown, including the Town Centre Arterial Road (Stage 1) and detailed planning for the New Zealand Upgrade Programme.

The Whakatipu Active Travel Network aims to provide an integrated network of trails for walking and cycling, connecting to the public transport network to provide alternative travel choices.


Geographical area

The geographical area is shown on the map below. It will consider the existing public transport network and services that intersect with the Whakatipu Basin including Glenorchy, Kingston and Cromwell.

It will not cover the planning for a public transport system outside the Whakatipu area which will be covered through other future plans and studies.



Alignment with other work

The Grow Well Queenstown Lakes Spatial Plan sets out a vision for how and where the Queenstown Lakes District will grow, looking out to 2050.  It includes a number of strategies that focus on creating a resilient, sustainable and safe transport network where public transport, walking and cycling is an attractive transport choice.

Our work to plan for future investment in public transport is important to ensure the area ‘grows well’ into the future and the ORC is committed to playing its part to deliver that vision.

The transport business case will explore options for making public transport carbon zero to reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality, in line with the New Zealand Government’s Emissions Reduction Plan. However, decarbonisation is not the only way to reduce emissions. Making public transport a convenient and attractive option for more people will also make a significant impact.   

New Zealand Government Emissions Reduction Plan

Development of a strategy towards a comprehensive and convenient, enjoyable, and reliable public transport service is one of the major drivers to reducing emissions and will be explored.


What are the next steps?

We will be seeking feedback from the community and stakeholders on themes such as potential future services/routes, public transport technology, and related public transport infrastructure such as depots and bus hubs. This will help shape what the Queenstown public transport network will look like in the future.

Community engagement is expected to begin in mid-2023.

If you would like more information about the Queenstown Public Transport Business Case email queenstown.ptp@orc.govt.nz

Media release - 8 December 2022

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