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
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
Regional council transport manager Jane Turnbull said in a
report the case set out key problems worth addressing, the
benefits from addressing those problems and how public
transport fits in within the overall city transport network.
It was the first step towards preparing the 2015-21 regional
land transport plan and the transport component of the
regional council's long-term plan, she said.
Following acceptance of the strategic case, a programme
business case assessing costs, risks, time frame and benefits
of the main changes would be done, followed by a more
detailed business case specifying a preferred option.
If that option was endorsed by the council and the transport
agency, the regional council would be required to implement
it, she said.
As part of the programme business case, the regional council,
with the city council and bus operators, would review bus
routes (as they were doing now), frequencies, fares and
interchanges with a view to designing an ideal network,
establishing a better interchange in the central city and
planning how to introduce improvements in the fare system.
Cr Deaker called for the recommendation to ''endorse'' the
strategy be changed to ''note and discuss'', as it was too
strong a word.
The council needed to workshop the topic and assess its
''gold-plated'' implications before it could ''endorse''
anything, he said.
Cr David Shepherd agreed the case needed to be a topic of a
Cr Bryan Scott said he was also concerned about going through
the process when the prospect of a change in management of
public transport was still in the air.
However, Cr Sam Neill said it was business as usual and the
transport planning system reinforced the case for the city
council to run public transport.
Regional council policy and resource planning director Fraser
McRae said, as Dr Turnbull had indicated, the strategy was
only the first step in the process and cost implications
would be considered as the council worked through the process
required of it by the transport agency.
The policy committee finally decided to ''receive'' the
strategic case and forward it to the transport agency,
instead of endorsing it.