Student fares might stay

Tertiary education students will continue to receive a 25% discount to use Dunedin's public bus services, if a proposal is adopted by the Otago Regional Council (ORC) tomorrow.

The ORC, along with the student associations of the University of Otago and Otago Polytechnic, initiated a trial of a 25% discount on fares which started in Orientation Week and ended at the start of May.

Since then the discount had continued while the city's two bus operators Ritchies Transport and GoBus (formerly Dunedin Public Transport-Citibus) considered whether demand for the service made it commercially viable in the long term.

Council chief executive Peter Bodeker said after some initial reluctance by GoBus, both companies had come on board and offered to continue the trial.

The council would consider adopting the continued discount when it signs off on the annual plan tomorrow.

Otago University Students' Association president Ruby Sycamore-Smith said if the council adopted the discount long-term it would be ''awesome''.

''Students will be really happy as a lot use it and want to keep it.''

It had turned out to be a great move to get more students on buses, he said.

''That's the way to do it.''

rebecca.fox@odt.co.nz