Media release

Consultation on the draft Regional Public Transport Plan for Otago opens today

Monday 3 May 2021

The Plan sets out the objectives and policies for delivering public transport in Otago over the next ten years.

The Otago Regional Council (ORC) has prepared the new Regional Public Transport Plan (RPTP) for consultation starting today. The RPTP describes proposed public transport services to meet the needs of new and existing customers, and the policies under which those services will operate.

The RPTP was drafted in collaboration with Waka Kotahi, Otago city and district authorities, and with feedback from key public transport stakeholders.

The draft Plan’s vision is for “Inclusive, accessible, and innovative public transport that connects Otago and contributes positively to our community, environment and economy.”

Key priorities to support this vision include improving the customer experience so that more people use public transport, supporting a reduction in carbon emissions, capitalising on new technology and opportunities for innovation, and ensuring that public transport improvements provide value for money for the greatest number of current and potential passengers.

ORC Chair Andrew Noone said clear community direction would strengthen the RPTP.

“A well-used public transport system is fundamental to the success of Otago. That’s why it’s critical that we have a plan to identify public transport needs and opportunities, and we set out the means to deliver on them. We’re really keen to hear from the community across the region about what they like in the draft Plan, and to hear their ideas to make it better.”

Cr Noone said the draft Plan built on a range of improvements to public transport since the previous plan was adopted in 2014.

“The list of changes that ORC has made to public transport over the last seven years really helps to contextualise how things have grown and improved. Those improvements include an overhaul of the timetable, new routes in Dunedin, and the launch of the $2 Orbus service in Queenstown. There’s the Dunedin Bus Hub, an increased focus on community engagement and responsiveness, and improvements to the Total Mobility service providing subsidised travel to people with disabilities.

“In just the last year, we launched the Bee Card, implemented the interim $2 fare in Dunedin, and we worked closely with our operators to run free buses during the disruption of COVID-19.

“We’re excited to put a Regional Public Transport Plan in place, once we have fully considered all submissions, that enables another ten years of continuous improvement,” Cr Noone said.

To view the draft RPTP and make a submission, visit A print copy of the plan is available at all ORC offices, or can be requested from our customer experience team, on 0800 474 082.

The consultation period closes at 12pm on Monday, 24 May. Hearings will take place in the week commencing 31 May. The final RPTP is scheduled to be completed by July, in alignment with ORC’s Long-term Plan 2021-31.