Saturday, 20 June 2009

Dunedin Students Don't Like Buses

The Greenies are always banging on about public transport, and how motorists should be taxed more to subsidise bus and train services. Student activists are often at the forefront of this noise, calling for public transport services to service the campus area.

However in Dunedin, attempts by the Otago Regional Council to run a regular "city loop" bus service - linking the North Dunedin campus area with the central city and South Dunedin - have failed miserably.

It may have sounded like a good idea on paper, given the regular calls for student bus links in Dunedin. Around a year and a half ago, the ORC agreed to trial a 'campus circuit' service, linking Otago University and Otago Polytechnic with the halls of residence, and aimed at helping "address parking problems in the city".

However the service failed to catch on, being described by Cr Michael Deaker last July as "a crashing failure" after attracting an average of 2 passengers per trip.

A second attempt with a revised North/South 'city loop' service offered a larger route, taking in the Edgar Centre sports centre and the South Dunedin shopping centre.
Known as the 'Shop and Hop' service, it proved even less popular, attracting (at its peak) an average of just one passenger per trip!

That's an expensive bus service for ratepayers to be subsidising! The cost over the 17 months was just over $400,000, funded by the Otago Regional Council and the NZ Transport Agency.

Councillor Deaker said the message the Regional Council had to take from the failure of both services was "students do not use buses", except for those coming in from outlying suburbs.

* ODT - 'City loop' bus route abandoned

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  1. Heine Says:

    Good post. I blame OUSA. AGAIN.

    Have blogged about it as well.