Dunedin buses: ORC or DCC

### ODT Online Thu, 24 Nov 2011
DCC may run Dunedin’s buses
By Rebecca Fox
There is good news and bad news for those keen to see a change in management of Dunedin’s public transport system – delegating it to the Dunedin City Council is to be investigated, but the public will not get a say for a least a year. Otago Regional Council chairman Stephen Woodhead and Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull announced yesterday there would be a year-long investigation into the potential of the city council taking over running the bus service from the regional council.
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under DCC, DCHL, Economics, Geography, ORC, Politics, Project management, Urban design

51 responses to “Dunedin buses: ORC or DCC

  1. ### ODT Online Tue, 5 Feb 2013
    NZTA bus funding cut threat
    By Rosie Manins
    National funding for Otago public bus services may be withheld because the Otago Regional Council is forging ahead with an unapproved tender process. Despite being warned by the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) funding could be denied, the council has called for public bus service tenders using standards contrary to those approved by the national agency.
    Read more

    Related Posts and Comments:
    21.2.12 Dunedin bus shelters
    29.11.10 Phillip Cole on Dunedin buses
    13.3.10 ORC misses the bus, again
    5.1.10 ORC’s bus stop chaos – mediated
    4.11.09 Buses in Dunedin CBD
    3.11.09 Latest on PARKING +OMG tinkering with options for buses
    10.9.09 The buses

    • The council’s policy required public buses to be replaced after 15 years, as opposed to 19, and comply with higher emissions standards.

      ### ODT Online Wed, 20 Feb 2013
      ORC to discuss bus tenders in private
      By Rosie Manins
      The Otago Regional Council is maintaining secrecy around its procurement of public bus contracts, despite pressure from the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) for the council to adopt national guidelines. The council will discuss in private the recent tenders for Otago’s public bus services during its meeting today. Tenders closed on February 8 and a contract was expected to be awarded by the end of this month. But the council has refused to follow national guidelines, set by the NZTA, in respect of public bus standards and accordingly the NZTA has threatened to withhold funding. Existing bus contracts expire in June.
      Read more

      • ### ODT Online Mon, 11 Mar 2013
        Council defies agency over buses
        By Rosie Manins
        The Otago Regional Council has awarded new contracts for Dunedin public bus services, despite a threat from the New Zealand Transport Agency that it would not subsidise the services. The ORC has defended the decision to go ahead with the contracts, with chief executive Peter Bodeker critical of the pressure applied by the NZTA and the Ministry of Transport. ”We believe the public is going to get an enhanced service and we are concerned a government department seems to be riding roughshod over what we consider to be good management of public funds, regional funds and national subsidies,” Mr Bodeker said. The NZTA has taken issue with the council’s regional public transport plan, which included higher standards for public buses than those imposed nationwide.
        Read more

        • ### ODT Online Tue, 12 Mar 2013
          ORC may lose $1.5m over bus contract clash
          By Rosie Manins
          Up to $1.5 million of Government funding could be lost to the Otago Regional Council, if it fails to make peace with the New Zealand Transport Agency over bus contracts. The national agency has yet to formally decide whether to provide half the subsidy of four newly awarded Dunedin bus service contracts. The contracts make up about 25% of Dunedin’s contracted public bus network and are collectively worth about $1.29 million a year, excluding GST.
          Read more

  2. Anonymous

    I would expect that DCC will need to move fairly quickly to buy back Citibus…

  3. Whippet

    Can’t blame the ORC for giving the fingers to NZTA. Last time they got conned by Jimbo was for $10 million for the stadium. Why should they listen to him now?

  4. Calvin Oaten

    Get it right ‘Whippet’. It was $37.5 million.

  5. Peter

    Dave Cull is right, in one sense, about the greater transparency under his watch. This has as much to do also with the departure of Harland and the arrival of Paul Orders, who has a more public service ethos.
    However, there is still room for improvement. We still do not have an insight into the nefarious activities of rugby administrators and their influence on council decision making with matters that pertain to their interests. We are also aware of other powerful string pullers in the background who look after themselves at our expense. Weeding out corruption never ends.
    I am still concerned that we are bankrolling rugby in this province and the council seems too weak to resist their pressure for more.
    Lastly, the greater transparency is inevitable when the pressure to get information from the council is kept up. We may no longer have a viable citizens’ group, but there are now enough people out there asking questions of council. This is good and, in a sense, better because the demands for information are coming from more than one direction.

  6. Peter

    Also, there is no point to having greater transparency if there is also no accountability – where applicable. The council has not performed well in this regard.

  7. Hype O'Thermia

    But wait, there’s more:

    Mayor of Dunedin Dave Cull Positive figures can always be contorted as negative. Some people excel at it. The fact remains that City Forests result was way better than budgeted . I’m pleased
    14 hours ago · Like

    Calvin Oaten The reverse can also be true. Problem, which do you prefer to believe. The true facts or the contortion.
    13 hours ago ·

    • ### ODT Online Wed, 13 Mar 2013
      Editorial: Buses as political footballs
      The Otago Regional Council’s spat with the New Zealand Transport Agency is concerning – particularly if it comes at a cost to ratepayers. The NZTA has taken issue both with the council’s regional public transport plan and its decision to award new three-year contracts for Dunedin’s public bus services despite the agency’s direction to roll over existing contracts until new legislation is implemented. The agency had threatened not to subsidise the bus services if the council went ahead with the contracts. At face value, the ORC’s actions seem understandable.

      The NZTA is adamant the council’s decisions are flawed, with Southern regional director Jim Harland saying the contracts would not deliver the best services for passengers – or the best value for money over the medium or long term. However, an ORC-commissioned independent report has cleared the council of any wrongdoing in its handling of the bus contracts.

      Chief executive Peter Bodeker says the council’s six-year regional public transport plan – adopted last year – includes higher standards for public buses than those imposed nationally. The standards relate to the age of buses and emissions. The council said tenders were allocated because it believed the new legislation would take at least two years to be implemented and contracts would then be close to renewal. It also said by making services more efficient and shorter term, it could save about $1 million over the three years.
      Read more

      • ### ODT Online Sat, 16 Mar 2013
        Bus use increases
        By Rebecca Fox
        There has been a 4.7% increase in the number of trips taken on Dunedin’s buses in the past six months. Trips on city buses, including both Otago Regional Council-contracted services and fully commercial services, in the six months from August 2012 to January 2013, increased on the same period the year before, a report this week to the council’s finance and corporate committee has shown.
        Read more

        • Friendly objects that help show the availability and affordability of public transport lies at the heart of democratic Kiwi communities…

          Comment and image received, yesterday.

          The bus shelter at Brockville was repainted recently

          “I brought it to the ODT’s attention when the artist was actually doing the work but they didn’t seem to follow through. Meanwhile, I wondered if this fitted into your town design focus and so thought you might want to include it on a relevant page. I should’ve stopped and taken a photo of the woman doing the work as it looked like a really great pic, with the artist half way through the mural but that’s life :) ”

          Brockville bus shelter 2013 (1)

        • Fabulous service! Thanks OHBS!
          (er, remind us again why ORC bus tenders don’t include public holidays ?)

          ### ODT Online Sat, 30 Mar 2013
          Holiday bus organisers delighted with patronage
          By John Gibb
          Otago Heritage Bus Society organisers are ”absolutely delighted” with the response from Dunedin passengers to a service the society offered, using two restored buses, on the Good Friday public holiday. Over the past two years, the society has provided a bus to transport passengers on some public holidays when the usual public bus service has not been running.
          Read more

        • ### ch9.co.nz April 2, 2013 – 8:51pm
          Enthusiasts provide service
          An Easter heritage bus service provided rides not only for enthusiasts, but also some unaware there was no regular service on those days.

        • ### ODT Online Wed, 8 May 2013
          Hopes for bus contracts
          By Rosie Manins
          The Otago Regional Council is a step closer to retaining new public bus service contracts, following Labour Party support for an amendment to proposed legislation. Labour transport spokesman Iain Lees-Galloway yesterday got caucus support for his amendment to the Land Transport Management Bill. He will table the amendment in Parliament as an attempt to see contracts awarded by the council deemed legal under the proposed legislation.
          Read more

        • ### ODT Online Fri, 28 Jun 2013
          Drivers miss out on jobs as bus contracts scrapped
          By Rosie Manins
          New public bus contracts for Dunedin have been scrapped and old ones reinstated. It meant 10 fulltime bus drivers employed by Ritchies lost their jobs before they even began. The Otago Regional Council announced yesterday it had dropped four new bus contracts due to start on July 1. Government legislation, which recently went through Parliament, rendered the new contracts illegal and they would not have been subsidised by the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA).
          Read more

        • ### ch9.co.nz July 25, 2013 – 7:18pm
          Bus network subject to complete overhaul
          Dunedin’s bus system and services are about to be subjected to a complete overhaul. And it’s hoped the changes will convince locals to see public transport as a viable option for moving around the city.

      • Meanwhile, poor Christchurch…

        ANGRY: Dame Margaret Bazley fires a salvo at Mayor Bob Parker slamming city council staff as incompetent liars.

        ### stuff.co.nz Last updated 05:00 08/06/2013
        Christchurch City Council ‘totally incompetent’
        By Rachel Young
        Environment Canterbury boss Dame Margaret Bazley has launched a blistering attack on the Christchurch City Council, slamming “staff who tell lies and… a totally incompetent organisation”. The stinging rebuke prompted a handwritten apology from Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker for the “unacceptable delays” on public transport upgrades. The city council-ECan relationship has been strained of late, but the criticism is an unprecedented attack from one of New Zealand’s most respected public servants.
        Read more

      • ### ODT Online Mon, 17 Jun 2013
        ORC says proposed bus rules unworkable
        By Rebecca Fox
        New Zealand Transport Agency’s latest procedures and rules, if adopted, will go against what the Otago Regional Council believes is good for Otago’s public transport system. The NZTA is consulting on changes to its policies and procurement rules required to implement the Government’s new passenger transport operating model (PTOM). ”It’s the NZTA telling us how to do our job,” regional council policy and resource planning manager Fraser McRae said at a committee meeting recently. The suggested changes were not good for Otago and exceeded the statutory powers of the NZTA.
        Read more

  8. Hype O'Thermia

    Jim Harland’s record stinks, and the ORC chucked ratepayers’ money into its couldn’t be less core business, the Fubar Stadium.
    Is there anyone with credibility involved in this matter?

  9. Calvin Oaten

    Like Jim Harland would know anything about delivering ‘best value for money over the medium or long term’. He wouldn’t know his “arse from his elbow” over any term you like to nominate.

  10. Hype O'Thermia

    It’s great what Dunedin people can do when the DCC doesn’t get in the way.

  11. ### ODT Online Thu, 8 Aug 2013
    Transport proposal
    By Rebecca Fox
    A more collaborative approach to public transport is needed if Dunedin is to solve its future roading problems, the Otago Regional Council says. The need for the Dunedin City Council and Otago Regional Council to work together will be highlighted in the regional council’s submission to the Dunedin city draft transport strategy.
    Read more

  12. ### dunedintv.co.nz December 5, 2013 – 7:19pm
    Disabled bus users disgruntled over access to discount bus cards
    Disabled Dunedin bus users are seeing red over what they say is an unnecessary hike up a Dunedin hill to access discount bus cards. Getting a GoCard Extra involves a trip to Work and Income, then to the Otago Regional Council in Stafford Street. But there is no bus route to help them make that journey, and a public transport advocacy group says an ORC response does not go far enough.

  13. ### ODT Online Mon, 9 Dec 2013
    Concern over ‘gold-plated’ transport plan
    By Rebecca Fox
    A ”gold-plated” strategy for public transport in Dunedin is being proposed without consideration of the cost on ratepayers and bus users, Otago regional councillor Michael Deaker says. The comments came as the regional council’s policy committee recently considered the strategic case for improving Dunedin’s public transport network developed by regional and city council staff, the New Zealand Transport Agency and bus operators.
    Read more

  14. When are we getting small buses and shuttles, with disabled access? Oh, smaller (and more frequent and dependable) transporters don’t fit central government policy and payouts… Catch 22. Not Shuttle Bus 22.

    ### ODT Online Thu, 19 Dec 2013
    Bus route plans draw responses
    More than 400 submissions have been lodged with the Otago Regional Council on its proposed changes to Dunedin public bus services.
    Earlier this month, the council advertised its plan to change services on its Garden Village, Roslyn-Maori Hill-Prospect Park, Otago Peninsula, Port Chalmers-Ravensbourne and Waverley routes.
    Read more

    █ Submissions close tomorrow Friday at 5pm (online available).

  15. ### ODT Online Wed, 29 Jan 2014
    Corstorphine bus users angry at changes
    By Rosie Manins
    A petition seeking reinstatement of the former Corstorphine public bus service will be presented to the Otago Regional Council. Almost 200 signatures have been collected by Corstorphine resident Judith Hewitt, who has spent weeks at a Princes St bus stop garnering support for the petition. She said the Corstorphine-Kew-St Clair Park service, which has been in operation since July 1 last year, angered residents who relied on public transport. “It’s not good enough. We are not happy,” she said.
    Read more

    Comments copied from another thread. -Eds

    Hype O’Thermia


  16. ### ODT Online Thu, 13 Feb 2014
    Changes on table in bus talks
    By Chris Morris
    The Dunedin City Council and Otago Regional Council will hold a high-level meeting next month to discuss the future of the city’s public transport network. Councillors from both organisations are expected to meet in late March to consider a business case study examining possible changes to the public transport network, council transportation planning manager Sarah Connolly said.
    Read more

  17. Whippet

    What a laugh. The council running our bus service. If it takes them as long to make a decision on bus services as it has to make decisions on John Wilson Drive and a weigh bridge at the tip, there is a possibility that global warming would have been and gone before council gets passed the first bus stop.

  18. They’ve got to be joking
    Submitted by Calvin Oaten on Thu, 13/02/2014 – 4:20pm.

    Any talk of the DCC resuming ownership and responsiblity of the city bus system is a calculated madness. With the ORC handling it the costs are spread further than just to the Dunedin ratepayers. As well, the ORC enjoys the ownership of Port Otago, which produces revenue of substance. You just have to look at how quickly the ORC have digested the $37.5 million invested in the Stadium. Waiting for a consultant’s report scares me. There is only one consultant with the real experience of our city running a transport system and that is the ‘ghost’ of Jean McLean.

      • Elizabeth, nothing much was removed, just a slight softening of the wording. I don’t see why the ORC would agree to give up running the Dunedin buses. I am sure that they would do a deal with the DCC, but I can’t think of anything of value that the DCC can give them in return. It seems to have been a one-sided arrangement with the ORC handing over their $37.5 million for the DCC stadium and more recently, the DCC wanting the ORC’s agreement on aspects of the Network Operating Plan (secret city transport plan).

        • Thanks JJ. There are easy and hard things ORC can bring to management of public transport without significant outlay. Part of the problem is ORC councillors lack any individual reliance on public transport and lack sufficient horse sense to examine what’s going wrong in communication between they, staff, bus companies and customers. ORC is sluggish. Frustrating for everyone. Even if private cars are the best solution it’s not like available IT for ride-share and public transport (including taxi shuttles) is being trialled for smartphone users. Etc.

        • Thanks JJ. There are easy and hard things ORC can bring to management of public transport without significant outlay. Part of the problem is ORC councillors lack any individual reliance on public transport and lack sufficient horse sense to examine what’s going wrong in communication between they, staff, bus companies and customers. ORC is sluggish. Frustrating for everyone. Even if private cars are the best solution it’s not like available IT for ride-share and public transport (including taxi shuttles) is being trialled for smartphone users. Etc.

        • Yes Elizabeth, the ORC are nowhere near the cutting edge of innovative technological solutions for bus users. In fact we have had smartphones for a while now so the ORC can avoid being innovators by copying how other places do it.
          It can’t be hard to create a fairly dumb phone ap that gives the timetable and shows you where your bus stops are. A better system will tell you where your nearest bus stop is as well as show you where your bus is and its ETA; it will do route planning when you need to change buses and tell you the cost. Is that enough?
          This year, they achieved an ICT breakthrough. Their website now has the email addresses of ALL the councillors, not just some.

  19. Many years ago there was a strike, or a fuel shortage or something and people were encouraged to pick up passengers, and somehow the insurance rules were waived or liability was covered by govt for the period. Can anyone remember the details?

  20. Yes, could have been carless days.
    The Logan Point Port Chalmers lift system worked fairly well, but that may be because many of the people using it recognised one another, and it was a no-choices route. If there were waiting sites at South Dunedin, the Octagon, outside the Museum, people could be trying to get to almost anywhere around town and drivers would be unlikely to stop and ask if anyone was heading for Vauxhall.
    A variant of the (now discouraged) online call a sober driver system might work if there were cameras at passenger pick-up sites to record who got into what car and when.
    The highly convenient private car is not going to die off any time soon. Getting the best bang for the public, private and eco-buck would be a smart move, better than dreaming about everyone switching to bicycles on the basis that large numbers like to portray themselves as better than they are in surveys. We drink less (only one drink, yeah, the 550ml wine-glass!) and have fewer sexual partners, or more, depending on how we think other people “scored” , we eat fewer muffins and more veges: it’s called having “healthy” self-image or less charitably lying like flatfish.

  21. Tom

    Isn’t the person handling the bus issues for the ORC also closely involved with the DCC and receiving a ratepayer handout as a community board representative?

  22. Whippet

    The ORC subsidises the city bus services by approx $5 a head, and the peninsula service by about $279 per head. Why would a council with record debt of about $620 million want to get into another loss making venture ? Just another liability to add to the ratepayers’ barn.

  23. ### dunedintv.co.nz February 17, 2014 – 7:22pm
    Nine week student bus discount trial begins
    Bus fares are about to become 25% cheaper for all tertiary students travelling on any bus around the city. The agreement between the Otago Regional Council, the OUSA, OPSA and Aoraki Polytech will last for a nine week period. But unless students hop on a bus and use the service, there is a chance they could lose it

  24. ### dunedintv.co.nz March 11, 2014 – 7:00pm
    Unhappy bus users have been heard
    Corstorphine area residents may have had a win in their fight to reinstate their former bus service levels.


    ### ODT Online Tue, 11 Mar 2014
    362 sign Corstorphine bus petition
    By Rosie Manins
    A petition about the Corstorphine bus service has attracted 362 signatures and is being considered by the Otago Regional Council. Corstorphine resident Judith Hewitt spent weeks collecting signatures for the petition, which sought reinstatement of the former service.
    Read more

  25. ### dunedintv.co.nz March 13, 2014 – 7:01pm
    Unhappy bus users win the battle but not the war
    Corstorphine residents are celebrating after the Otago Regional Council decided to reverse some changes made to the bus system in 2012. Those changes were designed to improve the system, but instead angered many residents and resulted in fewer people using the bus. Reversing the change will see a return of the old system, but some residents say they are not entirely happy with the result.

  26. ### ODT Online Fri, 14 Mar 2014
    Puzzling decisions on buses
    By Rebecca Fox
    Corstophine bus users are happy but those on Otago Peninsula are puzzled by the Otago Regional Council’s latest decision on public bus routes. Bus route changes to Corstorphine, Harbourside and some city services, which could have increased the distance travelled by public buses by 114,000km a year and add an extra 8.64% to the targeted rate bill of Dunedin residents in this coming year’s annual plan, were considered by the council’s finance committee yesterday.
    Read more + Video

  27. ### ODT Online Mon, 17 Mar 2014
    Students getting on the buses
    By Rebecca Fox
    A 25% discount on fares seems to be drawing students on to the city’s public bus system, the Otago Regional Council says. The council, along with the student associations of University of Otago and Otago Polytechnic, are trialling the discount until the end of April.
    Read more

  28. Hype O'Thermia

    That’s nice.
    Will they continue if the fares revert to the same as everyone else has to pay?
    Like members of any other group – potters, rock music afficionados – students are poor / managing OK / well-off.
    Is there a plan to encourage others to use the buses when the students are not here? Cheap fares, subsidised by -???- perhaps?
    Why this obsession with special conditions for students, from fretting about the insulation and rent cost of student flats (which are simply rental accommodation rented by students, there’s nothing else that makes them “student” flats) to subsidised bus travel. And extraordinaty tolerance of their fires and broken bottles, compared with what would happen if groups of people did the same in the streets of Waverley, or Tainui, or Green Island.

  29. ### ODT Online Thu, 10 Apr 2014
    Hawkins reveals ORC discussing city buses
    By Chris Morris
    The Otago Regional Council appears set to consider handing responsibility for Dunedin’s public transport network to the Dunedin City Council. However, ORC chairman Stephen Woodhead fired a shot across the bow of Dunedin’s City councillor Aaron Hawkins for prematurely revealing the move yesterday. Cr Hawkins, in a message posted on Facebook, announced the ORC would meet next Wednesday to consider ”a proposal to formally offer governance of public transport to the Dunedin City Council”.
    Read more

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