Otago Peninsula residents oppose cutting bus services between
Harwood and Harington Point, a survey shows.
In December, the Otago Regional Council (ORC) began a review
of two bus contracts that were due to expire.
As a result, the council proposed removing the leg between
Harwood and Harington Point for bus services, and looking at
other options for services to and from Harwood due to the
excessive cost of running the service.
An ORC spokesman said the peninsula service was the most
expensive to run in the city, being subsidised by about $279
per person. This compared with about $4 to $6 per user on
The ORC conducted a survey of residents in December and
received 90 responses. Of these, 87% wanted the service
Some respondents said they had no idea how to improve the
service, others expected fares to be reduced to encourage
use, and a few said buses were a social service that should
be provided by ratepayers.
Many respondents indicated a need for the service because of
low income, not having a vehicle or being too young to drive.
Revised proposals would probably be released next month, the
In a submission to the ORC, Otago Peninsula Community Board
chairwoman Christine Garey raised concerns about the timing
of public consultation.
Although the ORC had reassured the board services would only
be ''discontinued in its present form'', the initial
description of the proposal created concern in the community
that the service would be removed entirely.
This needed to be taken on board for future reviews, she
Many people living in the area did not drive and would be
stuck if there was no service.
She believed more passengers would use the bus if there was a
targeted timetable, as many residents drove to Portobello and
parked there to catch a bus.
The board supported extending the service to Taiaroa Head as
this would bring in visitors without transport and help staff