Media release

Regional Council thanks Queenstown community for supporting new bus service

Monday 27 November 2017

The passenger volumes on week one of the Orbus Queenstown bus service exceeded expectations, with residents trying out the new service and taking advantage of the fare-free introductory week.

Over 5,000 GoCards were distributed to passengers and there was standing room only on some peak services.

Otago Regional Council Chair Stephen Woodhead thanked the Queenstown community for their support. “It’s been tremendous to see the community literally getting on board with the new service in the past week. We’re especially grateful to Queenstown for bearing with us in a week where not everything went as planned – your feedback has been invaluable in helping us work through these kinks.”

Manager Support Services Gerard Collings said he was working closely with Ritchies in these first few weeks. “We’ve had a range of service aspects that didn’t go as expected in week one, and we’ve been working through these with the operator to ensure issues are rapidly resolved.”

“We do know that some issues have been related to having a number of drivers on the service who are brand-new to the area, and these drivers are rapidly coming up to speed. Community feedback has been a big factor in helping us identify issues as we get the service running as it should. We’re confident that the service will only improve from here.”

Full timetable and route information can be viewed on the Regional Council website at and additional information is available via the Orbus facebook page.

The new bus service is part of a wider coordinated plan between ORC, QLDC, NZ Transport Agency and Queenstown Airport Corporation to address transportation issues in the greater Queenstown area.

For more information contact:

Stephen Woodhead
Chairperson Otago Regional Council
027 280 1635

Communications contact:

Eleanor Ross
Otago Regional Council senior strategic communications and engagement advisor
027 558 9914