Media release

Media release: Reduced bus timetable to continue

Thursday 18 August 2022

Otago Regional Council today announced that reduced bus service timetables will continue in Queenstown and Dunedin.

The reduced bus timetable was introduced on Tuesday 19 July, with the intention it would be in place for at least one month while the situation was assessed.   

“The key criteria for moving back to a full timetable is that the operators have enough drivers. The national bus driver shortage is hitting hard and is compounded by seasonal illness. Operators are currently not able to recruit enough drivers to run a full service,” says Doug Rodgers, ORC Transport manager.

ORC is liaising working closely with the operators to monitor the situation. 

“We don't want to rush back to a full service, then not be able to fulfil the increased level of service.  As of yesterday, we are 39 drivers short of being able to provide a full timetable.  This is particularly being felt in the Queenstown network,” says Mr Rodgers.

“This issue is problematic across the transport industry nation-wide. We know that all partners in the provision of public transport, including central government, are working on ways to address this,” says Mr Rodgers. 

Despite the reduced service timetable passenger numbers have held steady in both Dunedin and Queenstown. 

“Patronage in Queenstown remains well ahead of 2021 and has grown during the reduced timetable. It is pleasing to see the use of public transport in Queenstown continuing to grow and be an important part of people's transport choices. We are looking forward to a time when we can fully restore the service,” says Mr Rodgers. 

“Patronage in Dunedin has flattened out after an initial increase, but numbers continue to be consistent with previous weeks since the reduced timetable started.  These are both very positive signs.” 

The reduced bus timetable will be placed at bus stops over the upcoming weeks.

A booklet containing all Dunedin reduced timetables is available from the Otago Regional Council’s reception desk at Philip Laing House. A Queenstown booklet containing the reduced timetable will be available early next week from ORC’s office at Alta House, Frankton.

Passengers can also phone 0800 672 873 (Dunedin) and 0800 672 8778 (Queenstown) for information and to request a copy to be posted to them. ORC will advise when the timetable will be available in pamphlet (pocket-sized) form. 

Up to date information on the reduced timetable 

Dunedin buses

Queenstown buses