Media release

New public transport contracts to bring service improvements in Dunedin

Thursday 8 June 2017

Improvements to the Dunedin bus service are coming later this year, with new contracts awarded to GoBus and Ritchies today. Both companies are current operators in Dunedin.

The new contracts will be operational from Monday 18 September, and will see the delivery of changes to the service focused around principles established in the Regional Public Transport Plan (RPTP) 2014.

“The service changes have at their heart improved frequency and more direct and consistent bus routes – meaning that across much of the network, the buses will come more often and take you where you’re going faster” Otago Regional Council chairman Stephen Woodhead said.

Evenings, weekends and public holiday services will operate on the same routes as weekday services and be serviced more regularly.

A new ‘Ridge Runner’ service, providing a link between South Dunedin, Mornington, Roslyn, North Dunedin and the University precinct, will be trialled alongside the network changes.

The changes follow previous RPTP changes made in 2015 and 2016 and are the third and largest of four sets of changes (with last service changes to be made July 2019).

“This latest investment in public transport reflects our council’s commitment to upgrading the Dunedin network in order to provide the city with a modern and effective public transport system” Mr Woodhead said.

The centralised on-street bus hub on Great King Street will go into service around the same time, along with ‘super stops’ at key points in the network. Almost all services will ultimately run through the hub, allowing for ease of transfer across the network (a free transfer within 30 minutes with GoCard was launched with August 2016 changes). The bus hub and ‘super stops’ will feature screens displaying real time information about when the next bus is coming.

Other improvements for passengers have also been factored into the new contracts, with all urban services to have cycle racks fitted. All buses in the network will be low-emission, with super low floors to enhance accessibility.

Changes to ticketing are also planned for in early 2018 – a new smart card that can be used across nine other regions in the country will be introduced. Travel will become easier to buy and manage, with account top-ups able to be made online or from self-service units at key locations.

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