Media release

Media release: Otago Regional Council to reduce bus services for Dunedin and Queenstown

Tuesday 12 July 2022

The Otago Regional Council is moving to a reduced bus timetable in Dunedin and Queenstown from Tuesday 19 July to provide greater reliability following disruptions due to driver shortages.

The reduced timetable will be the same 7 days a week in Queenstown. In Dunedin the reduced timetable will operate on weekdays, with normal weekend services running.

Doug Rodgers, Transport Manager, said there simply aren’t enough drivers to operate all routes/trips daily.

“The move will mean some reductions to the service but should mean far fewer cancellations and allow for a more reliable service for passengers.”

“Bus operators have been working hard to maintain a workable service, but the new wave of Covid and winter illness has created a shortage of drivers in both Dunedin and Queenstown and this, coupled with the national shortage of bus drivers, is impacting the ability to deliver a full service. “

The council has worked with operators to maintain provision at key times as far as is possible.

“We have reviewed timetables with our transport providers to ensure our school services remain operational,” said Mr Rodgers.

The updated timetable information will be on the Otago Regional Council website where passengers would usually find their timetable information, on the Transit App and at the e-stops at the Dunedin Hub.

The ORC website will be updated so that from 13 July, passengers will be able to plan their journey in advance with the reduced timetable displaying the scheduled times for individual routes.

Reduced bus timetable information

Dunedin timetable information

Queenstown timetable information

Passengers are urged to check the website for alerts before setting out on their trip, or look for notifications on the Transit app. If there are cancellations, passengers will find that information on the website or on the Transit app.

The Orbus Dunedin and Queenstown Facebook pages will also carry any major updates about the networks.

ORC also has a free number where passengers can talk to someone about how this affects their particular journey. The number in Dunedin is 0800 672 8736 and in Queenstown 0800 672 8778.

Those who use Total Mobility services – the subsidised service available to people who are unable to use public transport – should also be aware that drivers could become unavailable at short notice. Total Mobility users are asked to contact their personal support networks to make a travel plan should their Total Mobility taxi be cancelled.