Call for free bus service

Free buses and more shelters were among suggestions made recently to help the Otago Regional Council increase the numbers of bus users.

At last week's 2008-2009 draft annual plan and long-term council community plan hearing in Dunedin, transport issues came a close second to the proposal to fund the Awatea St stadium.

The council has proposed increasing bus fares by 25% and the transport rate by 42% to continue its planned improvements to the passenger transport system.

Otago Polytechnic Students Association co-president Ryan Ward said a fare increase would not increase patronage, as public transport needed to be cheaper than private transport to be effective.

The association supported a city-wide fare-free bus service, which could be achieved through a $100 yearly increase on rates.

Student Rebecca Everdon said it would be nice to have bus shelters or more benches in the University of Otago campus area, and suggested a dedicated live phone line for bus services so people had a way of finding out if a bus had already passed by.

Peter Dowden, of Warrington, said the council should increase the discount for users of the GoCard and increase cash fares by rounding up to the nearest dollar.


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