Puzzling decisions on buses

Corstophine bus users are happy but those on Otago Peninsula are puzzled by the Otago Regional Council's latest decision on public bus routes.

Bus route changes to Corstorphine, Harbourside and some city services, which could have increased the distance travelled by public buses by 114,000km a year and add an extra 8.64% to the targeted rate bill of Dunedin residents in this coming year's annual plan, were considered by the council's finance committee yesterday.

Before the discussion, Corstorphine bus user Judith Hewitt and lobby group Bus Go Dunedin spokesman Peter Dowden spoke in the public forum asking the council to change the Corstorphine route back to its pre-2013 route.

Councillors decided on a cheaper option - returning the Corstorphine service to its pre-2013 route, increasing services for the Waverley and Garden Village services and changes to the Roslyn route - raising the targeted transport rate by 0.84%.

Cr Bryan Scott said the option which included changes to the Harbourside routes as well as those in the city would have cost about $1 million and was too expensive.

The cheaper option was ''prudent as well as diligent'', although it would mean a 12 month delay in service changes for Harbourside users, he said.

Otago Peninsula Community Board chairwoman Christine Garey said the board was very disappointed and puzzled by the decision, given the positive consultation process which had indicated the council would be presented with a different recommendation to approve.

''What was the point of the consultation? We knew there were no guarantees but this is an entirely different report,'' she told the committee.

However, Corstorphine bus users were happy to hear the council was returning to its pre-2013 bus route for the area.

Kew resident Lynley Hood, who helped organise a petition to the regional council asking for the change, said it was good the council was listening to users' concerns but she would wait to see the timetable before being convinced.

The users still wanted to see the service ending in Frederick St or somewhere closer to Dunedin Hospital, the George St shops and the supermarkets rather than the Octagon, she said.

- rebecca.fox@odt.co.nz

Video courtesy of Dunedin Television

Puzzling decision is right

Message for ORC - Garden Village doesn't need even more empty buses coming and going all day.  Have a look at the records and reduce rather than increase services.

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