Free bus travel for all on Friday

Riding the bus are (from left) Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull, Otago Regional Council deputy chairwoman Gretchen Robertson, ORC councillor Sam Neill, DCC councillor Rachel Elder, ORC councillor Bryan Scott, DCC councillor Jim O'Malley, DCC councillor Aaron Hawki
Riding the bus are (from left) Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull, Otago Regional Council deputy chairwoman Gretchen Robertson, ORC councillor Sam Neill, DCC councillor Rachel Elder, ORC councillor Bryan Scott, DCC councillor Jim O'Malley, DCC councillor Aaron Hawkins and ORC chairman Stephen Woodhead. Photo: Peter McIntosh
It seems there really is such a thing as a free ride.

The Otago Regional Council is offering free bus travel right across the Dunedin network all day on Friday to encourage the city's residents to leave their cars at home for World Car Free Day.

It is the initiative of Connecting Dunedin, a partnership between the Otago Regional Council, NZ Transport Agency and Dunedin City Council, and gives the community an opportunity to try the bus service free.

Go Bus's privately-operated school bus services would also be free.

Otago Regional Council chairman Stephen Woodhead said the partnership was a co-ordinated approach to transport projects in Dunedin.

''It's all about making sure that the overall transport system that we're delivering in Dunedin has all its parts working together well.''

In terms of forgone revenue, the free rides were expected to cost the ORC about $10,000.

ORC chief executive Peter Bodeker said the buses would be funded by it, with assistance from the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA).

''With our recent changes to the bus service, we're very pleased to be able to offer everyone the opportunity to ride our Dunedin bus network for free.''

NZTA regional relationships director Jim Harland encouraged people to go car-free for a day and ''give the bus a go, particularly if you have not done so for a while''.

DCC chief executive officer Sue Bidrose said she would be taking the bus and was looking forward to seeing lots of people out and about.

''This is a great chance to leave the car at home and travel around our beautiful city in a different way.''

john.lewis@odt.co.nz

Comments

The people of Canongate would love to take the bus as they always have - but they stopped it. That route on City Rise has gone.

Come on Dunedin ,get your act together ,set up a park and ride system to get cars out of inner city
and free bus services to intermediate schools to stop all the parents driving there every day....