Bus Talk 8: Total Mobility scheme an option for those who can’t access the bus service

Thursday 7 September 2017

Our upcoming changes are geared to improve the network overall, making the bus a better transport option for getting around the city.

As Council rolls out the changes to the Dunedin bus network, we are very much focused on accessibility of the network which includes not only buses but also supporting infrastructure and information we provide.

However, we’re aware the changes being made to services, especially the significant reduction in route variations, will, for some customers, make the service less accessible than it has been. 

For some of our existing customers, including the elderly and those with disabilities and/or mobility impairments, the changes may mean they’re no longer able to access buses at all. If you find yourself in this situation, the Total Mobility Scheme, administered by the Otago Regional Council (with funding support from the NZ Transport Agency), may provide a viable alternative.

The Total Mobility scheme, which is available throughout Otago, provides for subsidised taxi services for those with serious mobility constraints that impede their ability to access public transport.  For eligible users, the scheme currently provides for a subsidy of 50% of the taxi fare, up to a maximum of $25.

To qualify for assessment for the scheme, you must live in Otago. If you have a permanent disability or a temporary disability that lasts at least six months that prevents you from undertaking any one or more of the following five aspects of a public transport journey, unaccompanied and in a safe and dignified manner, then you may be eligible.

  • Getting to the place where public transport departs
  • Getting onto public transport
  • Riding securely
  • Getting off transport
  • Getting to your final destination point.


There are a number of agencies throughout Otago that undertake assessments of individuals’ eligibility for the scheme. They are:

  • Age Concern
  • CCS Disability Otago
  • Epilepsy Association
  • Idea Services Otago
  • MS Society
  • PACT
  • Parkinsonism Society
  • Presbyterian Support
  • Blind Foundation
  • Dunedin RSA Trust

If you think you could be eligible, but you’re not sure who to contact for an assessment, contact the Regional Council on 03 474 0827 or for further information see our Total Mobility webpage.


Total Mobility

Image:  Patsy Wakefield, former Dunedin Disabled Persons Assembly President, uses a wheelchair ramp to board a bus