Media release

ORC to continue public transport support for schools

Friday 11 March 2022

The Otago Regional Council (ORC) this week approved the continuation of minor changes to the public bus network to help students travel to high schools across Dunedin.

The Implementation Committee approved a staff recommendation to continue public transport support to students after a local company that ran a number of school services closed last year. This led to gaps in school connectivity for some students travelling to schools, particularly from Mosgiel, Brighton, Green Island, and further afield. 

The public transport network cannot fully replace all the services that ended, but working with schools and the bus operators, ORC public transport staff have been able to make some minor variations and route extensions to enable more students to get to school on the public bus.

Doug Rodgers, Transport Manager, said that students had adapted well to the changed services, with patronage increasing.

“As an example, in early February the number of students using services from Green Island into town rose from 361 to 742 students in one week. That’s nearly double our usual patronage. Overflow buses added to the Mosgiel service to and from town have been full too.”

ORC is continuing to closely monitor capacity and liaising regularly with the affected schools, as well as the Ministry of Education and community boards.

These services will remain a priority if the service is disrupted by driver illness or isolation due to COVID.

Those wanting more information on updated services should follow Orbus Dunedin on Facebook and view the school buses page on the ORC website.