At the launch of a discount student bus fare trial at tent city yesterday are (from left) Otago Regional Council chairman Steven Woodhead, Otago University Students' Association president Ruby Sycamore-Smith and Otago Polytechnic Students' Association president Rebecca Swindells. Craig Baxter.
Dunedin students are being encouraged to make the most of a
25% bus fare discount or else risk losing the concession.
The trial of the 25% discount for all Dunedin tertiary
students, which runs until the end of April, began yesterday.
Representatives of the Otago Regional Council, the Otago
Polytechnic and Otago University Students' Associations
attended the launch of the trial at tent city yesterday.
Both the OUSA and OPSA were keen to point out the discount
would only become permanent if enough students took advantage
OPSA president Rebecca Swindells said it was a case of ''use
it or lose it''.
Having the trial was a ''huge deal'' for the students'
associations, both having pushed for a student bus fare
discount for more than a decade, she said.
''Many students are on tight budgets, parking is expensive
and in limited supply, so the more students that use buses
the more money is in their pockets, and the less pressure on
the campus and the environment.''
It would be particularly good for polytechnic students.
''Our average student age is 28 [and polytechnic students
tend] to live a bit further from campus.''
ORC chairman Stephen Woodhead said having access to
discounted bus fares gave students a great chance to see more
of the city.
''Students made up a big part of Dunedin's population. I hope
as many of them as possible make the most of this extra
discount, and ride the bus to their lectures or around the
city,'' Mr Woodhead said. As part of the trial, all
first-year Dunedin tertiary students, totalling about 6200,
were entitled to receive a free Go Card, he said.
OUSA president Ruby Sycamore-Smith said the University Book
Shop now offered Go Card facilities, including issuing and
topping up cards at both its campus and Great King St
''We're making things as easy as possible for students to use
the buses,'' she said.
If the discount was made a permanent policy, it would make it
easier for students to live outside the North Dunedin area,
which was something the OUSA was keen to see happen.
The ORC would review the results of the trial to determine if
a longer-term student discount would be offered.
To receive the discount students need a Go Card and a valid