Phillip Cole on Dunedin buses

How can public transport be reinvented as the true people mover in Dunedin? Phillip Cole calls for a brave approach to some hard decisions.

### ODT Online Mon, 29 Nov 2010
Thinking transport, boldly
By Phillip Cole
Reading “Hard decisions on buses loom” (ODT 19/11/10) one cannot help but be filled with a sense of foreboding about the future of public transport in Dunedin. At least two Otago Regional Councillors appear prepared to fight the corner for a public transport service in Dunedin – Councillors Deaker and Scott – but the ORC is at a crossroads regarding which direction to take.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Business, Democracy, Design, Economics, Geography, Name, ORC, Politics, Project management, Tourism, Urban design

85 responses to “Phillip Cole on Dunedin buses

  1. Phil

    Can’t quite remember where I was living at the time, but I recall a scheme by the local council that offered free bus travel for a month for all males over 30. Providing they showed the bus driver their drivers licence and their car keys. I thought it was a bit of a sexist act at the time, until it was explained to me that it was males over 30 who were the most likely to choose their car over public transport. So they were shown the merits of commuting with public transport for a long enough period for them to experience the direct benefits and change their habits. I don’t know if it was successful long term or not, but the bus was certainly packed out that month.

  2. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Tue, 7 Dec 2010
    Peak oil to drive changes in Dunedin
    By David Loughrey
    Dunedin residents will face radical cuts to car use and fundamental changes in the city’s design when peak oil hits in the next few decades, says the writer of a report on the city’s reliance on fossil fuels.
    Read more


    ### ODT Online Tue, 7 Dec 2010
    Conversion to trolley bus service would cost millions
    By Stu Oldham
    Converting Dunedin’s passenger bus fleets to electric trolley buses could cost many millions of dollars – and ratepayers, rather than public transport users, might have to foot the bill, insiders suggest. The Dunedin City Council-commissioned Peak Oil Vulnerability Analysis Report says the council must take a “critical leadership role” and take the city from oil-dependent transport to modes based on sustainable, renewable energy.
    Read more

    • Elizabeth

      Dunedin City Council
      Media Release

      6 December 2010

      Peak Oil Vulnerability Analysis Report

      The DCC has received the report it commissioned in August 2010, analysing Dunedin’s Peak Oil vulnerability.

      The Peak Oil Vulnerability Analysis Report, together with the Climate Change Report received earlier this year, provides baseline information to guide the Council in its long-term planning for a more sustainable future for Dunedin.

      The Peak Oil Vulnerability Analysis Report, which included surveys on our travelhabits, private fuel consumption and vehicle dependence and the effect of petrol prices on our lives, is a research and engineering-based analysis of Dunedin’s vulnerability to Peak Oil.

      It assesses the city’s vulnerability to increased fuel prices and reduced availability of oil. As with the Climate Change Report, it helps identify the associated challenges and opportunities for Dunedin’s communities.

      In welcoming the report, Mayor Dave Cull said “We aim to make Dunedin resilient in the face of impending energy challenges and it’s better to be proactive rather than reactive. This report will be of immeasurable help in identifying such challenges and framing the appropriate responses.”

      The research was co-ordinated by Associate Professor Susan Krumdieck from EAST Research consultants based at Canterbury University. She was assisted by Dr Bob Lloyd from the University of Otago, who provided background research on economic conditions.

      The consultants recommend that Dunedin should work on five objectives to enhance adaptive capacity, social, economic and cultural wellbeing, while requiring significantly less expenditure on transport fuel:

      1. Plan to reduce oil consumption by 50% by 2050
      2. Transition Dunedin’s urban form with central city lifestyle development, and urban villages, accessed by 100km of safe bikeways and pedestrian zones and served by public transport.
      3. Build an electric trolley bus system using efficient modern technology made in New Zealand.
      4. Improve Dunedin’s average vehicle fleet efficiency to 5 litres per 100km by 2030.
      5. Audit and track fuel use in all sectors, organisations and households and develop action plans.

      Peak Oil Vulnerability Analysis Report and Documents

      Contact DCC on 477 4000.
      DCC page link

  3. Phil

    Very disappointing to see that the first official response is to condemn the proposal on the basis of cost. Public transport very rarely turns a profit, outside of large metropolitan mass transit systems. But that’s not the point of them. Water and waste services make no profit either. They are there as a community service, part of the core business activities for local authorities. Unlike elite sporting facilities. But I’m getting sidetracked. I think that the ORC took one look and decided it was simply too much effort. Given the current feeling about excessive and inappropriate spending of ratepayer money in the city, that was the perfect fear factor card to play. A very poor attitude from the decisionmakers.

  4. kate

    Phil, to be fair to Michael Deaker and the ORC they had somewhat been hijacked through an oversight and had not heard about the report before the media rang them, nor the context. DCC staff are in the process of fixing that. I am sure there will be some thought given to the report when the joint Passenger Transport committee meets next year. Jinty MacTavish is one of the DCC Councillors on that committee.

  5. Phil

    That’s excellent news, Kate. Thanks for the update from the inside. I would have thought however, that Cr Deaker would have been aware of the perils of making off the cuff comments that were ripe for a juicy media headline. I accept that it costs money to do these things, but I’m sure there are ways to stage the transformation, so that the costs are spread out over a manageable period. The flat bus routes are obviously the easiest to deal with, and would seem the logical place to start. Be it with electric or biogas engines.

    Going back to an earlier posting of mine regarding incentive schemes I’ve witnessed to encourage seasoned car drivers to change over to public transport. In additional to the “free travel if you show the driver your car keys” month, there was also “free travel if you bring a friend” month. Basically, if 2 people got on the bus together, and they told the driver that they were friends, then the second person travelled for free. The idea was that, if bus travel also became a social event, then it became more attractive. It was actually kind of fun, people suddenly became “friends” with people they had barely spoken to at the bus stop before, and we did notice a lot more pairs of new faces.

  6. JimmyJones

    Phil, I think that cost is an extremely good reason to condemn any project. It is the duty of the ORC and DCC to provide good quality services at the lowest price. If the costs of running the buses is increased, then there needs to be a corresponding benefit to the customers and/or ratepayers. This idea has no such benefit. Only the fanatical, paranoid, quasi-religious greenies will think a ratepayer sacrifice to their cause is justified. Cost is why trolley buses were removed, and cost is why they should stay in the museum.

    • Elizabeth

      Red flag to bulls, JimmyJones. Don’t tell me, you drive a Hummer. And have another 14 vehicles polished in the garage for any occasion that calls. And drive them all at once if you darned well want to.

  7. Phil

    I think the point of the report was that the operational costs would be significantly less than the same operation using conventional fuels. The conventional system will continue to increase in cost as demand for the fuel source increases. What there would be, is a capital cost to effect the changes. Which would be recovered over the life of the service.

    There is no incentive today so long as inner city parking, and fuel, is at the affordable level it is today. Sure, we all grumble and say it’s expensive, but clearly not expensive enough to change habits drummed into us for generations as our God given right to own 2 cars and drive them when and where we please. Part of the reason why we can do so today, is because 700 million Europeans have decided to keep fuel prices affordable for us, by embracing public transport and having the smarts to see beyond the here and now. If everyone of them decided to drive to work tomorrow, NZers could not afford the cost of petrol. What right do we have not to do all that we can to be equally responsible, both locally and globally. Dismissive attitudes like “treehuggers” and “greenies” are a dying breed worldwide. The smart money is on sustainability. Something that we are not. Let’s never forget that the amount of money spent by DCC to construct the stadium would have reinsulated and installed a solar hot water heating system into every Dunedin home. With money to spare. Being an island on the far side of the planet I think that we lose sight of global evolution on a regular basis. We are rapidly being left behind by the rest of the world.

    I paid $15 an hour to park my car in Oslo. Once. I never drove my car to town again after that. Together with the fact that petrol was $4 a litre at the time, in a major oil producing country. There’s more traffic in South Dunedin than there is in the centre of London as a result of their CBD toll. People need a reason to change, I agree. And that’s where the current system fails. Some people will change with an incentive. Others will require a dis-incentive. Norway didn’t need the extra tax from petrol, they wanted people to stop driving cars when they didn’t need to. I struggle to see an argument against that ideal, expect for one based purely on habit and a outdated expectation of rights.

  8. Phil Cole

    Phil / Kate,

    The other ‘Phil’ here! As you saw in the report I was asked for comments too but took the trouble of asking the reporter what the report was about (I was aware that the report was due out imminently) and had enough of an understanding to give an answer. I know very little about trolleybuses (I’m too young, believe it or not!) so said that in my answer. Michael Deaker – whom I have a lot of respect for – could have just said ‘ring back after I have had a chance to study the report’.

    I’ve heard about this ‘$8 million’ light rail project before (but have never seen it – must ask ORC for a copy!). Now, I am a great advocate of light rail / tram (different operationally to the Cable Car) and it has been proven to work in many different cities around the world. But I am also a realist (quite handy, especially when involved in things such as Cable Cars!). The figure of $8 million seems just a tad on the light side. I assume that this cost is probably for putting down a single track with passing points, installation of overhead cable and the purchase of a couple of light rail vehicles. It would be interesting to see how much of that ‘cost’ has been allowed for a terminus (storage for the Light Rail cars), power cost and supply, stops, placement of rails into the road surface, effect on existing underground utilities, staff wages, extensive hard landscaping etc… I think it was more than likely a concept report based on a figure of something around so many $million per kilometre.

    The (always)-annoying thing is that something like this, once leaked into the public arena, becomes a stick to beat any hopes of a project like this with. The general public see the figure and immediately assume that is how much it will cost, not realising that it contains no detail etc. I do find it slightly amusing, however, that various people and bodies are pushing for upwards of $7.5 million (probably a bit more) for a Southern Cycleway (very commendable) that will be used by a small number of people, yet ‘$8 million’ is considered too much for a Light Rail system that will be of immense benefit to a far greater number of people. The comments of the Dunedin Passenger Transport director are, sadly, what you would expect from a bus operator and very misleading (as well as putting all the blame on the council, but ignoring the fact that bus companies could do a hell of a lot more themselves to ‘invite’ people to use their service).

    As you say, Phil, there are ways of staging the operation so that the costs are spread over a manageable period. Phil…I agree wholeheartedly with your comments dated December 8, 2010 at 12.53am.

    Kate – I am very impressed with what the new Mayor and the council are trying to do, and you have my support. But it really needs someone to drag the people of Dunedin kicking and screaming to look over the edge of the precipice and telling them ‘if we continue as we are this is what will happen…’

    I would love the challenge!

  9. Calvin Oaten

    The two Phils are getting emotional about transport. Relax, calm down, it will all be taken care of when the economics fit as Jimmy Jones argues. And I believe that will commence from the day oil reaches $200 per barrel. A day closer than many might think. Plan for it if you will, but it will happen anyway, trust me.

  10. Phil Cole

    Not emotional…just realistic and pragmatic! Not that the stadium issues ever brings out any emotion from you, Calvin…:)

    So relieved to read that Jimmy Jones and you have the transport situation all sorted out…a great weight off my mind… phew! I’ve ordered a new horse for when the event happens as I’m not quite sure what system of transport you envisage (apart from Noddy Trains)…and all based on when oil reaches $200 a barrel? Sound economics…

    As people who know me know…the only things I get emotional about are family, Fulham Football Club…and England thrashing the Aussies at cricket!!! (apologies to ‘Peter’ on that one!)

  11. Richard

    Hi Phillip!

    Interesting that the report (or the section I have read on-line) refers to the ‘skeleton’ of the city’s original public transport still being identifiable (or words to that effect). And it is simply because it was ‘tailored’ to the physical geography or characteristics of the city. Trams and cablecars did not snake around every suburb, bus links connected with the trams/cablecars where needed to serve ‘outliers’.

    The Dunedin trolleybus routes which kicked off with the Opoho bus (which left from Bond Street behind the StockX) were, like the trams, on fixed routes although some were extended, eg Shiel Hill ended at Aytoun Street instead of Every Street.

    The (diesel) bus was seen as being more flexible and that was, I recall one of the principal reasons for their going. Along, of course, with the cost of updating, modernising the system etc.

    The flexibility has become ‘a toy’, so now we have buses – often empty or with just 1/2 passengers – wending their way on ‘tiki tours of the ‘burbs” instead of making direct line and relatively fast runs into the city centre.

    Wellington and Christchurch – different though they are – tailor their routing to the physical characteristics of their cities.

    It may be simplistic to say so, but so should Dunedin. That is ‘my take’ on what the author/s of the report are hinting at.

    As for buses and trams. Well the new generation ones are in use. The trams do not have overhead wires but charge their batteries at certain points on the run. Buses, well I saw the electric-powered ones in full use at the World Expo in Shanghai when I was there at the end of June. The buses were of much the same size as those on our streets. I understand there are some on test in Christchurch. As the battery technology improves – and it is happening rapidly – it is a sure bet that they will become more and more cost viable.

    But to attract custom, the routes they run on will still need sorted!

    • Elizabeth

      “Visitors would be able to…watch the conservation of the cable car through glass doors.”

      ### ODT Online Wed, 8 Dec 2010
      Cable car back at depot
      A 104-year-old Dunedin cable car is the latest large exhibit to embark on a road trip in recent months. Exhibits have been moved out of the Otago Settlers Museum and back again, and from one part of the museum to another, as the facility undergoes a $35 million expansion and redevelopment programme. Built in 1906, the Maryhill cable car was originally used on the Elgin Rd extension run, in Kenmure, and transferred to the Maryhill line in 1910.

      It will be cleaned and conserved, ready for display when the bus station reopens to the public in late 2012.

      Read more

  12. Phil Cole

    Hi Richard,

    Good to hear from you – thanks for your comments and filling in ‘Dunedin’ history for me! Trolleybuses went out of operation back in London a few years before I was born in 1964 so never saw them in operation – although my parents always used to talk about them (and trams) in glowing terms compared to the diesel buses!

    Yes, Susan Krumdieck is sugesting what you say. She has done a lot of work in this field and whilst not agreeing with everything, she certainly makes a valid argument in principle. I agree that Dunedin needs to tailor their routing to the physical characteristics of the city (see my article in the ODT last Monday). I am not saying I am right, but the whole subject needs sensible and reasoned debate, not ’emotive’ or ‘romantic-notioned’ ideaology.

    Yes, the new forms of light rail do not need overhead lines, although this is still in the development stage. The system they have in Bordeaux (I think it is Bordeaux) is similar to what you describe but has a 95% reliability (in terms of recharging). There are a number of issues regarding electric buses on hills – gradients of 1:10 or more present operational problems but, as you say, the original public transport system was a ‘mixture’ of transport forms.

    And, as you say, to attract the custom, apart from making it affordable for the passengers the routes have to serve the people they are intended for.

    Dunedin can have a great public transport system…if only they were brave enough to think ‘outside the square’. Unfortunately the old maxim that one person subscribes to – ” the duty of the ORC and DCC (is) to provide good quality services at the lowest price” – often results in the worst quality service at the lowest price!

  13. Phil

    It’s great that the thought processes are underway. It’s a far better alternative if we can control how we transition to a more long term solution, rather than waiting until the last minute when change is forced upon us in a manner which may not be the most appropriate for our situation.

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Thu, 9 Dec 2010
      Bus user boost sought
      By Rebecca Fox
      Otago Regional councillors have asked staff to come up with a range of options which could halt declining bus patronage, although Cr Sam Neill says the move is a “knee-jerk” and “political” reaction to the figures presented. The council was considering its quarterly financial report yesterday when Cr Michael Deaker raised the bus patronage issue, saying while the report indicated the council’s target was 4% growth in people taking public transport, in reality for that time span, numbers had dropped 3.8%.
      Read more

      It was also noted in the report the public passenger transport project was underspent by $335,000.

  14. @Phil C — As a semi-frequent visitor to Bordeaux, I can tell you that their wire-less trams are not battery based. They have a centre pick-up rail that is electrified in short sections in response to an RF(?) signal transmitted by the tram, such that it is only ever hot under the mid section of the tram. It was initially quite unreliable, but has improved now. It was also quite expensive to install, and in fact, is only installed through the historic centre. The rest of the city is served by traditional overhead wires.

    Also, I agree with your comment upthread that the projected cost of the light-rail has no basis in reality. Dijon is just resurrecting a tram system (having previously had one). Their new vehicles seat 200 and cost 2 million euros a piece (and that is a discounted price, having gone in with another city for a total order of 52). I suspect smaller trams aren’t half the price, but I’d guess based on this that $7m wouldn’t even buy us the trams, let alone the rails. Also, the bus route that is being tram-ised is currently running full bendy buses at approx 5 minute intervals that are so heavily used they’re tripping over each other at peak times. Sadly, I don’t think Dunedin is at that point.

    Slightly relatedly, having recently been on trams in Lisbon, St Etienne, Bordeaux and Geneva, the Geneva trams are my pick. Blindingly fast acceleration, and quiet. They get from stationary to a cruising speed of 60km+ in an unreasonably short time. Lisbon’s semi-heritage trams have the ‘cool’ factor though, and are still routinely used by locals.

    Finally, on what the ORC/DCC could do to improve buses with the ‘spare’ money: massively increase the Go-Card discount. In Lisbon, the price with the card is 43% less than cash. Therefore, the driver is very infrequently troubled with cash fares, which makes the whole service run much smoother.

  15. Phil Cole

    Thanks for those comments, distractedscientist! I knew the Bordeaux system had something different over a short section but couldn’t exactly remember what it was, so thanks for the update – much appreciated! The comments about Dijon are interesting too – been there a few times in the 90’s. You don’t happen to know why the buses are heavily used (apart from the five-minute intervals – a very important point!)? From memory, I’d guess the population size would be fairly similar to Dunedin and they have a fairly well used railway station. Are cars / traffic restricted from the centre or are the fares subsidised…sorry for the 20 questions!

    I’ve used the Geneva trams in the past too – very impressed. Zurich has good trams too, but I have not used the others you mentioned. I spent six months working in Berlin just after the Berlin Wall came down and travelled a lot on the old East Berlin trams (the old East German ones) which were very efficient, clean and reliable (and very well patronised!)

    It goes to show that these options are viable, but only if presented in the correct way. As you say, it will cost a great deal more than the $ 8 million originally quoted but the installation of any light rail system HAS to look at the whole picture of what benefits/ dis-benefits it will bring to Dunedin. The arguments of “have it at any costs / can’t build it at any cost” are completely irrelevant – only by looking at the issue impartially can any reasonable decision be reached.

    I appreciate your comments. Thanks!

  16. Russell Garbutt

    Interesting comments. I overlook a current “bus stop” near the University and it is common to see 4 large buses parked up, engines all idling away for long periods of time. They seem to arrive in convoy and leave in convoy. The road where they park is now covered in oily residue.

    My understanding from catching the odd bus from one end of town to the other is that the run is broken and often the bus will park up for about 10-15 minutes near the Octagon for no apparent reason.

    My casual observation is that the buses are largely empty except for very peak times leaving from places like the Octagon.

    Only other observation is that the trolley buses were definitely shafted in that all diesel costs were put against the trolley buses to justify the shift from one to the other.

    Small units running virtually continuously seem to me to be one solution which may be worth looking at. Dunedin is not a Bordeaux or even a Wellington where large numbers of commuters are switched on to the concept of public transport and until there is an option that even looks remotely convenient, it will take a lot to shift people from running their cars.

    But no-one should be discouraged from looking at the issue and coming up with some workable solutions.

  17. Dijon ‘metro’ has a population of around 155,000, but the outlying (and largely contiguous communes) brings it up to 250,000. And we’re talking closer than Port Chalmers for these. It could be a model for Dunedin following some population growth; my impression is that it has grown a lot of recent.
    The two tramlines and the buslines they replace run very main axes. The one I’m most familiar with is from the Gare, through the middle of town, past the university hospital and the university, and then out to a satellite suburb with a large variety of big box retailers. The other, runs from a northern satellite (where their large arena is), down through town (past a new large browfields subdivision that I should blog about later), and out into another big industrial/big box retailing area.

    To the other questions: Cars are very restricted in the middle of town (lots of pedestrian only and single lane one-way streets; the latter of which usually incorporate a contra-flow bikelane); and there are some big, but not overly cheap, underground carparks around the periphery of the town centre. The tickets aren’t horribly cheap. 1 euro a pop, or 8.50 for a 10-trip pass. However, the passes can be validated at any door, so loading times are extremely quick, you can get in any door. There will be new ticketing systems with the tram, I believe.

    The frequency is brilliant. And the parking in the vicinity of the university is pretty bad (there are plentiful car parks, but not nearly enough). In some ways, it’s a little reminiscent of Christchurch (largely flat, Ilam-style peripheral campus), but with much greater population density.

  18. @Russell. Was at UCLA today, a sign next to the bus stop reminding drivers of a city regulation to turn off engines while waiting…

  19. Richard

    Bordaeux, Dijon – do they run on red wine? Seriously, Dijon, as I remember it from my decades in the wine trade (and two visits), is fairly flat? Whatever, our own Dave Gamble (formerly of the DCC, and Transportation Planning Consultant) knows a fair bit about these new transport technologies.

    As for the UCLA campus, their vast carpark/s would have a more sophisticated transport system than Dunedin’s wouldn’t it DG? And why would that be?

  20. Phil

    Speaking of Dave, whatever happened to his idea of a wind up type tram to run through the CBD ? He was going to trial it in Queenstown first. Maybe that was a wind up.

    • Elizabeth

      Seeing Dave at a hearing next week, must ask :D

      Looked up Solar Action Bulletin (October 2009) – New Zealand Rail

      Click to access home

      On page 4 there’s a description and photo of a “Parry People Mover” in the article ‘When the Oil is Gone: A Future Vision for Rail’ by Jamie Kete, akin (I think?) to what Dave was on about.

      “Kinetic energy storage. Most commonly the flywheel is used. Kinetic energy storage is not very dense and is best suited to short term storage/recovery. There is a rail based vehicle (Parry People Mover) which uses flywheel energy storage for traction. The flywheel is charged at the stations. One key factor of all stored energy systems is that they are not self regenerating. In the context of rail operations if you run out of energy on the open track you are stuck! Therefore stored energy transport can only be operated realistically at a range much lower than the theoretical maximum.”

  21. Phil

    Yes, that looks like the one. Interesting to see if the investigations ever went any further.

    I read an article about battery powered taxis in Tokyo (I think). The big negative about battery powered vehicles is the limited range, and the need to park them up for hours on end in order to recharge the battery. They had managed to get around the problem by replacing the battery, rather than recharging it. Like your BBQ gas cylinder. A typical battery allowed for about 90km of driving. Then the driver would drive the vehicle into a “gas station”, where a mechanical process dropped the battery out from the underside of the car and inserted a freshly charged battery into its place. The driver never needed to get out of the car and the process took less than 2 minutes, from memory. Smart ideas are rather exciting.

  22. @Richard. Yes Dijon is fairly flat, with the university on the edge of town, hence why I eventually compare it more with Christchurch.
    Having said that, it’s not at all Christchurch flat, more like LA or Auckland flat — little bother to cars or walkers, but enough to give a cyclist a good work out from time to time.

    However, if you mean to suggest that Dunedin is too hilly for trams, I’d suggest that’s nonsense. Lisbon’s trams sail up hills with a grade equivalent to Rattray Street* (13.5%).

    As for UCLA, it doesn’t have particularly large carparks (and at $10 a pop, it’s expensive). There are two bus stations, neither of which appear more busy than the Octagon. There just seems to be a city by-law forbidding idling when buses are parked up (Kate — are you reading this??).

    *It is for this reason that while I do like the idea of a cable car, I wonder whether ultimately a tram which could continue in either direction might make more sense.

  23. Oh, just while I’m thinking about shutting motors off and Dijon, had a ride there in a BMW that shuts the engine off when the car is stationary to conserve fuel. Owner reckoned that what money it saved in fuel, it made up in starter motor repairs. (Not that this is a reason for buses not to do it; the drivers know when they’re going to be stationary for more than a few minutes).

  24. Richard

    EJ: Yes, Dave Gamble did refer to (and had material on) the Parry ‘tram’.

    DS: Cable cars are technically ‘trams’. I have not been to Lisbon but the trams in Oporto bought back memories. Many looked like Dunedin’s former double-bogies, ie the ones that used to run on the Normanby-St Clair route. I doubt that non-cable trams would be ‘safe’ on our hills.

    EJ: ORC? Only in LOTR!

    DS: As for buses idling while parked up, Kate and other of my former council colleagues can testify to the crusade I ran about that. Without much response – if any – from the ORC.

  25. Russell Garbutt

    So, is there a technical reason why a bus needs to sit for 20 minutes idling? Has anyone asked the ORC for their rationale to let this continue?

    • Elizabeth

      Suggest time to call ORC Councillor Michael Deaker about the idling, folks. As many of you as can be bothered.

      I continually run close to meeting times and on occasion catch a bus near Pitt St thinking all in good time to be in Princes St, only to be stopped/utterly frustrated by an idling bus…parked up opposite the Civic Centre (“to make up its schedule”). Driver doesn’t inform the passengers what the hell he’s doing, and how soon our journey will recommence… most of us jump off and run.

      It’s the lack of communication from the driver to passengers (like we’ve all got time to waste, and a fare to waste) that irks the most when I get caught out.

  26. Lisbon has renovated 1930s era trams running safely on their steep hills, so I assume it’s entirely possible for Dunedin.

    As to buses idling; diesel engines consume very little fuel at idle (perhaps 2L per hour), so there is little economic incentive to shut them off. In Wellington, there was an issue with the ticketing machines re-booting when the bus was re-started (which clearly requires a technical solution; I’m not sure if the new Snapper machines have remedied this).
    As for the time-tabling that requires a waiting period, that’s really about maintaining timetables. If there is no ‘waiting’, then if the bus gets behind it will never catch up, so there are always these periods built in.

    FWIW, I occasionally catch a Citibus from a terminus, and that bus is often shut off, so I’m not sure that there is a ‘technical’ re-booting type issue there. If the DCC wanted to try a more punitive approach, could this fall into ‘inconsiderate parking’, and be ticketed as such?

  27. Calvin Oaten

    I once had an idea for our city’s transport which, had I been elected I would have put forward for consideration. (didn’t happen) As the bottle neck of our transport is the main George/Princes Sts. it seemed we needed to get the buses out of the inner precinct. I thought that it would make sense to have a Northern and Southern terminal. The Northern could be at the George/David/Regent Rd intersection, and the Southern at Transport Place. The South Flat/ Andersons Bay/ Caversham could be reticulated for trolley buses as could the Gardens/ Opoho/ Normanby routes. The Port Chalmers/ Leith Valley/ Maori Hill/ Wakari would be diesel or electric buses of more modest size to requirement, and they would all converge on the Northern terminal. The Peninsula/ Waverley/ Lookout Point/Mornington/ Green Island etc would be diesel or electric buses all converging on Transport Place.
    Now in between the two terminals I could envisage a fleet of small electric “noddy trains” drawing low flat floored covered trailers which could be added to or subtracted according to busy periods. These “noddy trains” would shuttle backwards and forwards between the terminals, stop on demand to pick up and let down. Most importantly, they would be free. The cost would in a sense be built into the fare on the bus from the suburbs to the terminals. There would be no limits within the main precinct, just hop on and off as you wish. The other problem is the private car inside the precinct. I imagine large parking areas at each terminal which would cost the same as the bus fare in. The Market Reserve area seems to have space for that. For the Northern area we have a compounded problem with the University’s parking needs. I envisage a bold move could be to excavate the North Ground to a depth of a couple of metres, build an underground park, roofed over with water proofed concrete, the topsoil replaced and the playing surface restored. Entry off David St, exit onto Dundas St. There could be a people tunnel across under Cumberland St providing safe access to the University and another one to the Northern Terminal. The access to this park could be by way of prepaid swipe cards. The motorists would then simply hop on the free “noddy trains” and ride on into town. If a system like this was instituted then I see no reason why the total George/Princes precinct could not be pedestrian friendly with extensions of the pavement use a la Lower Octagon. How good a city would that be? Crazy? Probably. Expensive? Not excessively. Cheaper than a stadium? Probably. Likely? Not very.

  28. peter

    Calvin. May I suggest the stadium for a North End terminus. Turn it into a DCC carpark and have ‘noddy trains’ going from there into the centre of town. We’d probably get a better return for the ‘investment’ this way.

  29. I find in the afternoon I can usually outwalk buses from Knox corner to somewhere around the Dunedin City Hotel. It’s kind of like LA*.

    *Except the bus and traffic generally would have to maintain near walking speed to somewhere in the vicinty of Waikouaiti.

    • Elizabeth

      Yeah, nice comparison!!! Dunedin’s a small town with not much traffic, I expect too much. What’s a smooth uninterrupted journey for a few simple blocks in the centre of town called? Can it be Excellent Customer Service?
      Take your pick. Either wins.

  30. Russell Garbutt

    Elizabeth – you are dead right in your comments. The last time I did this I was going the other way – from Andersons Bay Road near Hopes to the north part of town. The driver seemed to have his family aboard as well as a few passengers and after a tortuous route via King Edward Street I think we ended up near the Octagon where the driver then got out, leaving the bus motor idling, and wandered up the street looking in windows for a while. I had no idea what was going on, and eventually got out and walked to my destination beating the bus by a considerable margin.

    No wonder people just give up and find their own means of travel.
    I think that one of the problems may be that few, if any ORC or DCC Councillors actually travel by bus. Certainly I would think none would use a bicycle or motorcycle round town otherwise the apalling surfacing of the town’s roads would have been fixed a while ago.

    • Elizabeth

      Yes Russell. Frequently bus drivers, men and women, have their families on board on the Normanby-St Clair loop runs. Why? And therefore(??) make illegal stops outside dairies for soft drinks and snacks. Been this way for years. Although the days a driver stops near a money machine in George St so to buy a juice further along the route at a dairy really has me guessing. #Habits #CardUse #DairiesTakeCardsDispenseCash

  31. kate

    I agree Richard did mention this often, Calvin, just because you did not get elected is not a reason not to take your ideas to either the ORC or the DCC – that is why we have public forums. When I was not a councillor I have attended both such forums – and I have to say the more good ideas, and suggestions either gets, the better.

  32. Hmmm, perhaps if the ORC are looking for ways to spend money and increase patronage, I should stick my last post under their nose.

    Incidentally, while I’m not sure on every aspect of Calvin’s idea upthread, I much prefer this optimistic dreamer side. Any other ideas bursting to get out?

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Mon, 17 Jan 2011
      Airport bus not viable, sector says
      By Rebecca Fox
      A commercial bus service between Dunedin International Airport and the city would not be economically viable, bus service operators say. Dunedin man Terry Brosnahan recently asked why Dunedin was the only major city in New Zealand not to have such a service after being quoted $70 for a shuttle and $75 for a taxi to take his family of four back to Dunedin.
      Read more

    • Elizabeth

      Here’s hope for the airport bus?! Do we really know what “connectivity” is at Dunedin…

      ### ODT Online Thu, 20 Jan 2011
      Dunedin airport arrivals boost local economy
      By Hamish McNeilly
      Dunedin International Airport arrivals pumped an extra 60% in revenue into the city and wider Otago region last year, an aviation report shows.
      Read more

  33. Phil

    We discussed something similar, Calvin. The idea of “hub” bus stations located outside of the CBD. Wakari Hospital grounds, Mornington Park and the Market Reserve were 3 places that were mentioned straight away. Providing free all day parking at those locations and removing the all day non resident parking from the city centre and Port Otago land.

  34. kate

    Russell you ignore the fact that Dave and Jinty and John Bezett do ride bikes around town frequently

  35. Phil

    More than can be said for the DCC staff. Not sure those DCC bicycles in the basement carpark have ever been taken out of the plastic. Should be compulsary for anyone needing to do business within the CBD but can’t be bothered walking.

  36. Should be compulsary for anyone needing to do business within the CBD but can’t be bothered walking.

    There was an interesting piece on National Radio (mp3) recently, which to very briefly paraphrase suggests that helmets make you safer when you have an accident, but at a population level make people less safe. Motorists drive closer and faster to cyclists wearing helmets, cyclists wearing helmets take more risks, and the reduced exercise via lower rates of cycling have a negative impact on life expectancy (and traffic).

    I haven’t really decided how much I buy into that particular set of arguments yet, although it is interesting. However, possibly the most negative element from an urban transport perspective, is that the helmet law really makes a shared bike system impossible. Many, many cities in France now have them. You can be walking along, decide you are a touch late. Tap your card on a reader, grab the indicated bike, and you’re off, and can drop it at a station near your destination. Except it doesn’t work if you have to be wearing a helmet, and I don’t think shared helmets would fly.

    Undoubtedly, some of you might suggest that this wouldn’t work so well in a student city. I can tell you that these bikes are over engineered like you wouldn’t believe. The ones in Dijon are even shaft driven, means no chain to attack, but also no chance of you getting your clothes caught in the chain. The Parisian system has an extremely high level of vandalism, but still seems to be working out OK.

  37. Richard

    Trams On Hills:

    Excluding the cablecars, the two steepest parts of the old tramways system would have been the Opoho Loop (halfway up Signal Hill Road) and Silverton Street from Ross’s Corner to the terminus at the intersection of Tomahawk/Highcliff/Spottiswood/Highcliff.

    As far as I know, only the single-bogeys were able to negotiate the Opoho loop and my recollection is of a very slow trip up. My recall of history – but before my time – is of a fatal accident on a downhill run when a tram ‘got away’ and crashed near the Gardens Corner.

    The ‘Takapunas’ and single bogeys handled Silverton Street okay, the double bogeys less so and the crash of No. 51 in the late 1940s when it careered downhill is well documented. I do recall ‘Big Liz’ being at the Terminus once, I think for the Andy Bay School picnic when a convoy of trams took us to the Railway Station on our way to Wingatui Racecourse.

    The Inner City:

    In the opinion of many, traffic flows in the CBD require a back to the drawing board review of the roading network starting with the ‘Kettle Grid’ and working from there.

    The one way street system has never served its original purpose which was to take through traffic through the city (now known to be only 8%) and bastardised everything from there. The University Campus planning proposals come to the same finding!

    A reopened Great King Street would provide the means of taking some traffic off the main street.

    Certainly these sort of changes would be needed to make the much-talked of ‘tram loop’ (or – say – a Normanby to St Clair line) feasible and, indeed, viable. That was the conclusion of an informal study done during my second-term as Mayor. The former tram route along Castle, of course, would not be possible but other options present themselves with the re-routing of SH88 off Anzac Avenue.

    Take trams and their fixed routes out and such a review would create opportunities for better bus routes.

    I guess the need is for more ‘on-track’ thinking.

  38. Calvin Oaten

    Richard; the tram accident in Opoho. The tram left the terminus at Blacks Rd, control was lost, the tram left the tracks and crashed into the steep section at 49 Signal Hill Rd opposite the Presbyterian church. There was a fatality. I know these things as I purchased that section in 1964 and built the house presently there. By then of course the trams had long since gone.

    • Elizabeth

      ### 5:30 AM Friday Jan 7, 2011
      Tram tracks first step in harbour transport project
      By Mathew Dearnaley
      Trams are expected to run on Auckland’s waterfront by August in an $8 million project which saw the first modest section of tracks laid this week. As well as securing a lease of two heritage trams from a museum in Bendigo, Victoria, the Auckland Waterfront Development Agency also hopes to borrow an electric light-railcar for demonstration purposes during the Rugby World Cup.

      The council-controlled organisation also wanted to use the circuit as a demonstration pilot for a possible light-rail extension across Viaduct Harbour to the Downtown ferry terminal, Queens Wharf, or even further along the waterfront.

      Read more


      Suffice to say, Dunedin could have re-introduced trams on the loop previously discussed by contributors at this website, as a permanent item of infrastructure, and kept to an updated Carisbrook for (pool) RWC 2011. For a whole lot less money than the flaky Farry rugby project. Bygones!

      • Elizabeth

        ### Published: 7:06PM Saturday January 08, 2011
        Trams to return to Auckland
        Source: ONE News
        Trams will be back on the streets of Auckland for the first time in over 50 years, with the laying of some new track. A small section of track has been laid for a modest 1.5km loop in downtown Auckland. Colin Zeff, who has been spearheading the campaign to bring back the tram, says there is something special about riding a tram. “They are so environmentally friendly and they have an attraction all of their own which is hard to define”.
        Read more + Video

  39. Richard

    Thanks Calvin. Further up the line but it must be the accident I recall, albeit only from reading about it.

  40. Phil

    I don’t know how it works in France, but in many other European countries the cyclists share the footpath, not the road. As they are not at risk of being hit by cars, there is no legal requirement to wear a helmet. The shared bike system should work well in those situations.

  41. Richard

    As a matter of minor comparison, the Auckland CBD is 21 kms from Auckland Aiport and an average journey by car takes 45 minutes.

  42. Phil

    May well be. But should we be actively encouraging bringing more cars into our CBD ? I hope that we can do a little better with our transportation vision than Auckland’s fixation with cars. I would say that the majority of people coming and going from airports don’t have their cars with them. I’m struggling to think of any major airport servicing any major city in the world that would be located significantly closer to the centre of a CBD than Dunedin’s airport in terms of actual travelling time. Possibly Christchurch and possibly Wellington depending on the time of day. Many quoted figures are distorted because they calculate to the start of their CBD, which covers a significantly larger land area than in Dunedin and typically stretches out in the direction of an airport.

    If a regular bus service is not economically viable because of competition from shuttle buses, then don’t renew the shuttle bus contracts when they come up. Having one service running every 30 minutes is better for the environment, roading network, and for the community than having 6 or 7 services running at the same time. Collective transportation should always take priority over private, in my opinion.

    • Elizabeth

      I’d best be writing – as should others – Annual Plan 2011/12 submissions to ORC and DCC on the subject of an airport bus service . . . freakish because it really should be the sustainable stuff of their full LTCCPs. Just about everyone (local) I know using Dunedin Airport gets a friend or family member to drop them off or pick them up. When flying I tend to use the shuttle or a taxi depending on my mission and for whom (inner city slicker, I don’t own a car).

  43. Phil

    Sorry, Elizabeth. You are quite right. When I was thinking of cars driving to airports, I was thinking of visiting (had Auckland on my brain) passengers, rather than it being one’s home town. Still not an ideal solution. The ease in which people can drive around Dunedin in their own cars is a mixed blessing. It’s one of the attractions, and it’s also the main stumbling block towards sustainable transportation.

  44. Calvin Oaten

    your suggestion of a service running every 30 minutes might need revisiting. That would require 2 buses, as a round trip takes at least an hour. Then there is the frequency of air movements. Damn all actually over most of the day, so what hours would you service if you were the contractor hoping to cover all costs and perhaps make a small surplus? A good idea, but not practical. Especially when the present options are door to door. The cost of getting to and fro is just part of the total trip cost, I am afraid. If you can’t pay, don’t go.

  45. James

    @Phil — Lisbon would be a clear winner. Airport located 8km from the old CBD/riverfront, and even closer to much of the new business district (3-6km). Public transport to the riverfront is under 30, and only 15 to business areas. And this is before the subway extension. But yes, it would be an exception.

    Washington DC has a surprisingly close airport, but actually getting from the airport to town is less quick if you don’t have a car. Ditto New York. (car transit 20-30min; but public transit 1hr+)

    • Elizabeth

      To be honest I hate using the door-to-door shuttle and nowadays tend to get a taxi for speed and convenience – if there was a bus/shuttle to the Octagon or Railway Station direct return, I’d use it. The worst most laborious shuttle trips have included the Peninsula, and it was bad enough doing the back blocks of the Taieri after same day flights DUD-AKL return (with CHC or WGN stops thrown in) in those dreadful little planes. D: We wonder why anyone flies to Dunedin.

  46. Phil

    I just plucked 30 minutes out, Calvin, because that’s about the frequency of airport commuters buses I’ve taken elsewhere in the world. It’s also about the maximum time that someone would wait. They have designated drop off/pick up stops, and generally terminate at the central bus terminus (if only we had one). And, yes, it would mean 2 buses driving a circuit. How many cars, shuttles and taxis are currently on the road between the city and the airport at any one time ? I agree that it’s convenient to be picked up and dropped off at your door. No argument about that. I’ve taken shuttles myself, exactly for that reason. But I’m not sure that convenience is a good enough excuse on its own to retain something. I’m not thinking of the ticket price for a bus versus a shuttle. I’m looking at it from a long term environmental, energy use, traffic volume, and general and society benefit angle. That might make me a tree hugger, but that would make quite a few hundred million commuters around the world tree huggers also.

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Thu, 20 Jan 2011
      Rival’s move on Citibus
      By Stu Oldham
      One of Dunedin’s biggest commuter bus companies is interested in buying its loss-making city council-owned competitor. Dunedin Passenger Transport (DPT) has asked to be included in any offer for sale of Citibus Newton.
      Read more

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Sat, 5 Feb 2011
      A fare way to go
      By Mark Price
      Is the Dunedin bus service as bad as some of us seem to think? Or is it a good service we simply like to ‘talk down’? Mark Price looks at whether Dunedin’s bus service is getting a fair go.
      Read more

      Other stories:
      The survey: What you said
      Timetable biggest bus grumble

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Thu, 10 Feb 2011
      Opinion: Dunedin’s bus service ‘not enticing enough’
      By Phillip Cole
      Phillip Cole advocates for wholesale change to Dunedin bus services. “A long way to go” may be a fairer reflection on the current state of the Bus Service (“A fare way to go”, ODT 5.2.11). Or perhaps “fare’s fair?” may be more appropriate. Whatever words are chosen, one cannot disguise the fact that the Dunedin bus service is not enticing enough for a large number of Dunedin residents.

      Public transport is a vital lifeline to the social and economic viability of a city.

      Read more

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Thu, 10 Feb 2011
      Opinion: Your Town
      Public transport is a public good
      By Nicky Chapman and Tina Grubba – Port Chalmers Transition Town
      Public transport could and should be part of a whole fresh vision for our city. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a city where cycling was safer, walking was pleasant, people knew their neighbours because they caught the bus (tram/train/railcar) together, and we could cut our carbon emissions? And where it did not cost nearly $22/day for a Port Chalmers family (one adult, two high school students) to get to town and back on the bus!
      Read more

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Fri, 29 Apr 2011
      Pact soon on shelter designs
      By Rebecca Fox
      The design of Dunedin’s bus shelters will soon be debated again as the Otago Regional Council and the Dunedin City Council work towards an agreement. Bus shelters have been a controversial issue in the city for many years and the regional council’s eight-month financial report indicated no new bus shelters had been installed in those eight months.
      Read more

      Further comments on buses and timetables at this thread: Stadium Funding

      • Elizabeth

        ### ODT Online Fri, 6 May 2011
        Submitters slam Dunedin bus system
        By Chris Morris
        Spiralling oil prices mean a radical rethink of Dunedin’s public transport is needed, and the Dunedin City Council should take control of the network and consider new initiatives to boost patronage.
        Read more

      • Elizabeth

        ### ODT Online Wed, 11 May 2011
        Ideas aplenty for boosting bus use
        By Ellie Constantine
        A monthly free-bus day, capped fares, seats at more stops and smaller buses have been suggested as ways the Otago Regional Council could improve Dunedin’s public transport system. On day two of the council’s annual plan hearings the ideas flowed freely, with some finding favour and others being deemed uneconomic by councillors.
        Read more

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Wed, 18 May 2011
          End of era in transport
          By John Gibb
          The last of the Citibus Leyland buses left the firm’s Dunedin depot yesterday, marking the end of an era in the city’s public transport history. English-manufactured Leyland buses have operated in the city for nearly 90 years, and Otago Road Services Ltd continues to use two other Leyland Leopard buses on school routes. Citibus, which was previously owned by the Dunedin City Council through its holding company, Dunedin City Holdings Ltd, was recently sold to Invercargill Passenger Transport Ltd.
          Read more

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Thu, 19 May 2011
          1930s bus to return home
          By John Gibb
          The great bus hunt is over. The Otago Settlers Museum has long been searching for a bus from the late 1930s to accompany the museum’s Art Deco NZR bus station when it reopens to the public late next year, after the museum’s $35 million redevelopment is completed. The bus station began operating in 1939. After more than two years of looking, museum staff have tracked down a former Dunedin bus, now in Wellington, and a bus heritage group has agreed to donate it.
          Read more

        • Elizabeth

          Otago Heritage Bus Society Ltd

          The Otago Heritage Bus Society was founded in late 2010 as Dunedin’s first and only organisation dedicated to preserving, restoring and maintaining buses of a heritage value to the city.

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Sat, 21 Jan 2012
          Boost for weekend bus routes
          By Rebecca Fox
          Bus travel into Dunedin’s city centre at weekends will become more direct and frequent with the introduction of new Saturday bus services, the Otago Regional Council says. The latest improvements to the city’s Gobus services will take effect next Saturday.
          Read more

          A new timetable will soon be distributed to all Dunedin residents, and an electronic version will be available on the council website from January 27 at 5pm.

        • Elizabeth

          Starts well, totally loses me (a walker, taxi and bus user) on the restricted taxi idea. There are a good many people with mobility issues who physically can’t use a bus, or they can’t use a taxi, or they can’t afford either, and so forth. Skellet always gives re-thinking a go, you could say.

          ### ODT Online Mon, 30 Apr 2012
          ‘Nightmare’ bus system needs rethink
          By Chris Skellet
          Buses, buses everywhere, but not a bus to catch… We have recently received a brochure from the Otago Regional Council clarifying the bus routes. It’s an 85-page affair that would take at least two hours to read through and understand properly. It’s chock full of detail. But sadly, it’s almost incomprehensible. There is no apparent logic to the systems described, and no conceptual overview provided. We just have to jump straight in.
          Read more

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Thu, 7 Jun 2012
          Six-year plan projected
          By Rosie Manins
          Improvements to public transport in Otago will be considered in the development of a six-year regional public transport plan. Preliminary stages were discussed at a recent meeting of the Otago Regional Transport Committee in Dunedin. Jane Turnbull, Otago Regional Council (ORC) transport manager, told the committee there would be two stages of consultation before the draft plan was expected to be adopted at the end of the year for implementation in early 2013.

          Informal consultation, required by law, would involve stakeholders including local authorities and community groups. Registered public transport operators, Otago territorial authorities, the New Zealand Transport Agency, Ministry of Education, KiwiRail, tertiary sector groups and organisations representing disabled people would be consulted.

          Read more

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Thu, 14 Jun 2012
          City bus fares to increase
          The 5% increase kicks in on July 1, Newstalk ZB reports today.
          Read more

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Fri, 13 Jul 2012
          Cross-council group to study transport
          By Chris Morris
          The Dunedin City Council and Otago Regional Council are joining forces to reconsider the future of public transport in Dunedin. The two councils yesterday agreed to form a cross-council group of senior staff to investigate a possible takeover of public transport by the city council. The move follows repeated community calls for an improved public transport system, most recently through last year’s DCC budget hearings and the Your City, Our Future consultation process.
          Read more

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Thu, 2 Aug 2012
          Struggle to increase patronage of buses
          By Rebecca Fox
          More people are using Otago’s public buses, but increasing the number of passengers will continue to be a struggle, Otago Regional councillor Bryan Scott says. “Patronage is being held back by other economic options out there,” Cr Scott said at a recent committee meeting. Figures released for the meeting showed the number of trips since services were changed, including rationalising services on the southern route and Saturday services and to the Dunedin system, show for the first six months of this year trips had increased 2.5% on the corresponding period last year.
          Read more

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Sat, 18 Aug 2012
          Public transport feedback sought
          Otago’s regional planners and councillors are keen to understand public perception surrounding transport services, particularly as bus patronage in Dunedin and the Wakatipu Basin continues to increase. Almost 57,000 bus trips are made throughout the region each week. Each year, people make about 2.3 million trips in Dunedin and 630,000 in the wider Queenstown area. Patronage is increasing in both locations. The direction of Otago’s public transport services will be influenced by a report released publicly by the Otago Regional Council (ORC) today. The draft regional public transport plan sets out proposals for bus, shuttle, taxi, train, ferry, harbour and private hire vehicle services in Otago over the next six years.
          Read more

  47. Phil

    And I agree, Calvin, that a collective transport bus link to the airport could never compete with the current shuttle system. Not when prices are the same, and the shuttle offers a door to door service. The only way for a bus to be used by airport communters would be for it to be significantly cheaper, or to remove the shuttles. Otherwise, can the whole dea.

  48. James

    I hate using the door-to-door shuttle and nowadays tend to get a taxi for speed and convenience – if there was a bus/shuttle to the Octagon or Railway Station direct return, I’d use it. The worst most laborious shuttle trips have included the Peninsula

    I’m inclined to agree. I avoid taking the shuttle if at all possible, and would most likely use a bus if available. I think you’d really want the bus to have a North End terminus, running through campus to perhaps Gardens. The bus would actually have the potential to be much cheaper than some of the shuttle companies, but not the non-approved ones. Certainly, I often now end up heading to the airport from work, so actually being able to grab a bus would be great (instead I often end taking a bus home to get my car to drive). The other elephant in this particular room is the absurdly cheap parking at the airport. If two people are travelling at the same time, you need to have your car there for almost a week for it to cost more than return shuttles for two.

  49. James

    Also, just on the frequency of flights into Dunedin, at around one an hour, and slightly more frequent in the mornings and evenings, I think there might just about be enough. The truly marginal time will be on weekends I suspect. The shuttle service could be greatly improved with more co-ordination however, rather than competing vans wandering all over the city…

  50. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Sat, 22 Jan 2011
    Bus shelters subjects of ‘joint venture’
    By Stu Oldham
    It “looks like” the Dunedin City Council owns the city’s 232 bus shelters and it appears the Otago Regional Council has agreed to help fix them.

    A 1992 memorandum of agreement says the city would build, own and maintain all bus shelters, and that the regional council would pay to build and maintain them.

    Read more

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