Media release

Future public transport options being considered for Queenstown

Friday 15 December 2023

ORC’s Transport Manager Lorraine Cheyne says there was a great response from the public on options for public transport in Queenstown and its surrounding townships during consultation in September and early October.

Feedback received from the public in and around Queenstown is now being considered for a 30-year transport plan known as the Queenstown Public Transport Business Case (QPTBC).

“The findings of the Queenstown Public Transport Business Case play a pivotal role in helping shape future growth and improving accessibility and reducing carbon emissions in Queenstown,” says Ms Cheyne.

“Two shortlist bus network options, electric bus, ferry, and on-demand options were consulted as part of the Queenstown Public Transport Business Case during the engagement feedback period. We received feedback from both the public and stakeholder organisations that has assisted us in selecting a preferred network option.”

The two preferred bus network options consulted on were:

Option 1 designated “Minimal transfers” and is similar to the current network, but with more frequent services and higher capacity buses on many routes. Many journeys can be accomplished without having to transfer. It has three routes working together to provide very frequent service on Frankton Road (SH6A) between central Queenstown and the Frankton Bus Hub.

Option 2 designated “Town Centre to Jack’s Point” with connections to other routes at the Frankton Bus Hub.

A total of 231 public submissions were received from the online engagement survey, while another six submissions were received via email from five organisations and one individual.

Orbus bus crossing the Edith Cavell Bridge over the Shotover River at Arthur’s Point

Orbus bus crossing the Edith Cavell Bridge over the Shotover River at Arthur’s Point

Most of the feedback received was from Queenstown residents, including seasonal workers, commuters, property owners and renters, and a small proportion were domestic and international visitors.

Three public drop-in events were held, with one for Arrowtown having to be cancelled due to a severe weather event. Considering this, the consultation period was extended by 1-week which was initially planned only for 2 weeks. 

“Of local respondents, Arrowtown residents provided most of the responses, followed by residents from Hanley’s Farm/Jacks Point, Lake Hayes Estate/Shotover Country, and Fernhill/Sunshine Bay,” Ms Cheyne says.

ORC led the engagement process under the umbrella of Way to Go, a multi-agency collaboration between ORC, Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.

The Queenstown Public Transport Business Case Engagement Report will be publicly available on ORC’s website on 8 February 2024, when the Council meets to review the report.