Analysis showing a decrease of about 1% in use of
Dunedin's public bus system is a ''reality check'', Otago
regional councillor Bryan Scott says.
An update of passenger services presented to a recent council
committee meeting showed that while overall patronage was
down, Saturday services were attracting users.
In a report to the committee, council manager support
services Gerard Collings said Saturday services showed a 3%
increase last year. The regional council had increased
Saturday services in January last year. At Cr Sam Neill's
request, Mr Collings worked out the percentage increase
translated to about 2500-3000 extra trips.
Cr Trevor Kempton said getting people to use buses was going
to continue to be ''a battle''.
''Maybe when petrol's $3 a [litre], it might change.''
Cr Scott said patronage figures had looked promising during
the year but the final figures presented a different picture.
Cr David Shepherd said the figures showed drops in usage
during the university holidays.
This year, the council was working with the University of
Otago and Otago Polytechnic student associations to increase
student use of the bus system. A student discount was being
trialled and 6000 Go Cards would be distributed to first-year
From February 17 to April 30, students would receive a 15%
discount on top of the 10% Go Card subsidy available to
''Students will be required to present a current student ID
to drivers, in order to obtain the trial concession.''