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But the same cannot be said for Queenstown’s bus service.
A report on the Otago Regional Council’s Orbus network performance between January and April this year was provided to councillors during a data and information committee meeting this week.
It showed that Dunedin bus patronage was 32% higher than the corresponding time last year, but that was mainly due to Covid-19 restrictions then.
Transport implementation lead Julian Phillips said it was misleading to compare the figures with this time last year, as the accumulation of various levels of lockdowns, a period of free fares and reduced Covid-19 timetables affected patronage.
Instead, comparing usage with the corresponding time in 2019, pre-Covid, was a better comparison.
Those results showed patronage had only dropped by 1% this April, compared with April 2019.
That was indicative of the Dunedin network’s strong recovery post-Covid, Mr Phillips said.
Cr Michael Deaker also said it was an ‘‘excellent’’ result.
However, fare revenue was significantly lower due to the effect of the $2 flat-fare trial, which began late last year.
Transport manager Garry Maloney told councillors it was a lot more expensive to have $2 fares than expected.
There had been many suggestions through public consultations about bringing in a $1 flat fare, but the council would need to find ‘‘millions of dollars’’ to do that, he said.
Meanwhile, Queenstown’s public transport remained significantly affected by Covid-19.
Patronage was down 30% between January and April this year, compared to the corresponding time last year.
However, there was some success as the resort town’s more commuter- and residential-oriented bus routes had a patronage increase of between 31% and 86%.