Media release

Proposed improvements to public transport in the Wakatipu Basin released for consultation

Tuesday 21 March 2017

An improved bus service that’s more efficient and affordable may be a reality as soon as September-October, with the Otago Regional Council’s proposed changes to the service being consulted on from today.

ORC chairman Stephen Woodhead said the aim of the changes was to make the service an efficient, and cost-effective alternative for people – and a genuinely viable alternative to getting around by car.

The proposed changes to the bus service were part of a wider picture of plans geared towards addressing transport issues in the area. The wider plans were a shared endeavour with the NZ Transport Agency, Queenstown Lakes District Council and Queenstown Airport, Mr Woodhead said.

The key things underpinning the proposed changes were:

  • Simple routes with minimal variations
  • Co-ordinated timetables to allow easy transfer between services
  • An easy-to-understand fare structure
  • A network that can adapt to future population and visitor growth.

Four simple routes are proposed, with a co-ordinated timetable. Services would run from 6am until 10pm, with one key service running through until midnight. Proposed timetabling would be easy-to-understand and be based around regular intervals of 15 minutes or half-an-hour on peak, and half-an-hour or an hour off-peak.

A fare trial of a flat $2 for GoCard users right across the network was also proposed; this was subject to subsidies from rates that were being consulted on in the Otago Regional Council and Queenstown Lakes Districts Annual Plans, as well as subsidy from the NZ Transport Agency.

Mr Woodhead said there were also other proposed improvements still in process, which included replacement of the current ticketing system and introduction of real-time travel tracking information.

A route map and other details about what was proposed would be provided as an insert to the Mirror on Wednesday 22 March, which would include a feedback form.

Residents were also invited to discuss the changes with ORC transport team members in person at public drop-in sessions around the area from Saturday 25 March – Wednesday 29 March, or to provide feedback online at . Submissions close on 21 April.

For more information contact

Stephen Woodhead
Ph 027 2801635

Gerard Collings
Manager support services
Ph 0274848800

Communications contact

Mark Peart
Team Leader Communications – Channels
Ph 0800 474082 or 027 5312620