Cruise passenger crowding hinders local bus users

Extra buses may be added in Port Chalmers as cruise ship passengers fill the services, leaving locals in the lurch.

On both Sunday and Monday the Otago Regional Council wrote messages on social media notifying the public its buses were full because of cruise ships in the city.

Locals including school children further down the route were unable to catch buses, comments on the post reported.

West Harbour Community Board chairwoman Francisca Griffin said she understood the frustration of locals.

"It would be great if the [ORC] put on extra buses. It's happened before, why can't it happen again?"

Ship passengers could not be forced to use charter buses, she said.

Ship passengers have the option of a $20 return chartered bus into the city.

However, the local bus is $12 return when paying cash.

Dunedin i-Site visitor centre manager Louise van de Vlierd said the local buses were not actively promoted, so passengers had to learn about them from word of mouth.

"They are intelligent, educated people. We'd always be suggesting they would get on the shuttle, but they're free to do what they want."

Many New Zealanders were on the ships and would be in the habit of catching local buses, she said.

Council public transport team leader Julian Phillips said it was working with its provider to allocate an additional bus on the Port Chalmers run during peak times on days when ships were in town to alleviate pressure on the route.

The council was unable to give further details yesterday about when this would begin and how frequent the buses would be.

"The public transport
buses are equally accessible to all passengers. Cruise ship passengers would only be turned away in the same circumstances as any other passengers, when the service is at capacity," Mr Phillips said.

Comments

Well quite simple really isn't it? Match the shuttle bus price with the local bus price. If it's not making enough to be profitable, then it's not viable and another plane needs to be thought of. Maybe something like a train?

once more the average locals being sold short by the business community chasing the tourist dollar and our local council which cant say no. Soon the cruise ships will be able to dock in south dunedin and the rich will escape to central with their ill-gotten gains

Makes more sense to dredge the harbour channel so the cruise ships can come all the way to the basin. Less CO2 and pollution and the passengers can enjoy the harbour view from the boat instead of a smelly diesel bus.

The problem is that on some cruise ships no passengers take the public buses and on others quite a few do. You can never know when it's going to happen or not happen. What are they supposed to do - have a driver and bus on standby incase a whole lot of cruise passengers decide to take the bus? A much better solution is not to load the bus to capacity at the stop where cruise ship passengers stand.

I am a Dunedin resident and last year we came into Dunedin on a cruise ship. Dunedin is the only port in NZ that we visited that actually charged for shuttle buses. In both Napier and Picton their councils supplied the passengers of all cruise ships free shuttles and they travelled basically the same distance from port to town as Dunedin. This is just revenue gathering from our regional council and even more interesting the price was $20.00 in New Zealand, Australian or American dollars so the council can make even more money in you only had American currency. I think our regional council needs to think about this as our locals especially the school children are missing out because of their greed, not good enough!!!

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