Media release

Overall public transport customer satisfaction remains high across Dunedin and Wakatipu

Wednesday 4 August 2021

The results of an annual survey by the Otago Regional Council (ORC) show a lot of positives for the Orbus service, as well as highlighting areas with room for improvement.

Ninety-four percent of passengers in Dunedin (up from 88 percent in 2019) and 96 percent in the Wakatipu Basin (down from 97 percent in 2019) reported overall satisfaction with the Orbus public transport networks in each area.

ORC Manager Transport Garry Maloney said the results were encouraging on the whole.

“We’re very pleased to see continued high customer satisfaction in both public transport networks. Dunedin’s scores in particular reflect the raft of improvements ORC have made, such as higher satisfaction in convenience of paying, following the Bee Card rollout.

“Another highlight for us is that 82 percent of Dunedin respondents and 91 percent of Wakatipu responds would recommend taking the bus.”

The survey also raised some areas for improvement, Mr Maloney said.

“There are a few more red arrows in the Wakatipu survey indicating a dip from 2019, and these help us to understand where more work is needed. We’ve made improvements to how we share information about services, for instance, but there is more work to be done in that area.

“We know the demographics taking the bus in and around Queenstown this year are quite different from the previous survey in 2019, so that may be a factor in some scores as well.”

Bus patronage in Dunedin has recovered well from the impacts of COVID-19, with patronage in July up 5% against July 2019. In Queenstown, patronage in July was down 30% against 2019 figures due to the downturn in tourism.

Uptake of the Bee Card in Otago has been high. Over 50,000 Bee Card users had registered their cards in Otago by mid-July.

“Otago is only the second region amongst those with the Bee Card to reach this milestone, behind Waikato which has a much higher population. It’s particularly encouraging as the number of registered Go Card users was around 35,000 prior to the Bee Card launch, indicating more people than ever are looking to the bus as a mode of transport.”

Bus users are also making the most of the new real-time bus tracking app Transit, with over 45,000 sessions in Dunedin during June, and over 14,500 in Queenstown for the same period.


About the survey

The Otago Regional Council conducts passenger satisfaction surveys for both Dunedin and Queenstown at least once every two years. The survey samples 200 randomly selected bus passengers on each network, and in accordance with Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency guidelines. These surveys are carried out nationally.

No surveys were undertaken in Otago in 2020 due to the disruption of COVID-19.