Media release: Port Chalmers route gets extra bus trips for cruise ship season

Tuesday 24 October 2023

With a bumper cruise ship season bringing thousands of tourists to Dunedin this summer, Otago Regional Council is working closely with the West Harbour Community Board to plan for crowding on buses. “ORC is providing nearly 300 additional bus trips to help address the increased demand for buses to and from Port Chalmers,” says ORC’s Manager Transport, Lorraine Cheyne.

“We’ve heard the call from residents and the West Harbour Community Board that more public buses are needed, and we’re pleased to be able to provide these additional trips to the Port Chalmers route at peak times on the busier cruise ship days,” she says.

 “This will help to ease pressure on the bus service, but it’s likely there will still be overcrowding on the buses at times, especially on very busy days when more than 5,000 cruise ship passengers disembark at Port Chalmers.”

While cruise passengers are encouraged to use the private buses offered by their ships, many choose to take the public bus service. Orbus buses will leave the first stop with some capacity for passengers at later stops.

“These measures will help address issues with the bus for the local community,” says West Harbour Community Board chair, Ange McErlane.

In the central city, the drop off and pick up point for cruise ship passengers on the Port Chalmers bus (route 14) will move to outside Centre City New World in Cumberland Street.

“We’ll keep the community updated through alerts to the Transit App and Orbus Dunedin Facebook, but we are also asking people to plan ahead and consider taking the bus at a different time to usual on the busier cruise ship days,” says Ms Cheyne.

“We’ll continue working closely with Port Otago and the West Harbour Community Board throughout the cruise ship season.”