Media release

Queenstown’s new bus service proves popular

Monday 29 January 2018

The first figures for Orbus Queenstown have been released today, showing over 85,000 trips for December 2017 (the first full calendar month of the new service).

The former commercial service had just under half the number of trips (41,000) in the same period in 2016.

“It’s great to see Queenstown locals and tourists literally getting on board with the new bus service – the initial passenger trip numbers are certainly above what we expected” says Stephen Woodhead, Otago Regional Council chairperson.

“We recognised the need to get the service in place prior to the busy holiday period and launched out as soon as we could with a ‘Stage One’ service. As we work through initial operational difficulties, we really appreciate the support of those who are getting on the bus – and those who have taken the time to share their feedback with us. Looking at these initial figures we’d really like to say a big thank you to Queenstown for embracing Orbus Queenstown through this early post-launch period.”

“This first month’s doubling in bus trips is a great result for public transport in the Wakatipu Basin,” says NZ Transport Agency Director Regional Relationships Jim Harland. “If you think of each of those 45,000 extra trips and the number of car journeys they would have involved, it is a very positive sign that locals and visitors are prepared to try this new service, with everyone benefiting from less traffic congestion, particularly at peak times.”

Queenstown Lakes District Mayor Jim Boult is delighted at the figures: “these numbers are a fantastic result and a credit to the people of Queenstown for supporting the new bus service. The $2 flat fare has proven to be a huge help for residents and visitors alike and we look forward to working with our partners at the ORC and Transport Agency to expand the service as the passenger numbers continue to grow. Every person on a bus is one less car off the road so this will continue to have a great impact on traffic in the region, not to mention the environmental benefits of less vehicles commuting each day.”

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.

Orbus statistics

For more information contact:

Stephen Woodhead
Chairperson, Otago Regional Council
027 280 1635

Communications contact:

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