Student bus fare 25% discount trial

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.
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 of it.

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 outlets.

''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 student ID.

A penchant for flogging dead horses

Not only do the DCC and ORC continue to flog the dead horses that are the stadium and cycle lanes but now they wish to give bus discounts to students who for the most part, live within a few hundred yards of most places they will wish to go.

I suggest that a Degree in stupidity is not issued by the Otago University but most on the DCC and ORC must have attained one from somewhere.

When is ratepayer money going to actually be spent on something that will be of benefit to this city? 

Teething issues

Apologies MaddenZ, OUSA is giving the cards to verified first-years from OUSA's Main Office as this has the only computer hooked up to the system to do verification. All staff are now informed and will direct people there. Thank you for the heads up.

How to find student go card

Two different tents- just go along the path a little. All student volunteers so can't expect everyone to know everything- give them some slack

Otago bus passes

This is a great idea for students. However, Dunedin needs to begin a weekly bus pass on the Go Cards, as is offered in Queenstown. Both cities use the same cards, so why is the same pass not valid in both places? A weekly bus pass ($35 adult week) would save money for adults living in all areas of Dunedin area. The Dunedin bus system is not affordable for multiple uses per day or for someone living outside of the 2 zone area.

Go cards

I was at tent city yesterday for the sole reason of exploiting the "orientation packs" which included the free go card. However when I visited the OUSA tent they had no idea whatsoever about the initiative and sent me on a wild goose chase instead. 

Cheers  

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