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Mr Hawkins took to social media yesterday to bolster efforts by the "Keep Dunedin Rail Rolling" campaign to push for the continuation of rail services in the city.
"There is no shortage of interest," he told the Otago Daily Times yesterday.
"The question is whether that interest translates into people using the service. You can only find that out by people offering the service to the degree the infrastructure currently allows — that’s really the opportunity here to give people the chance to use it. If it’s something that has uptake, then it’s worth exploring further."
"We would have to work with the [Otago] Regional Council because they still have governance of the public transport and any service — regularly scheduled public transport service — has to be registered with the regional council."
At a Dunedin City Council annual plan hearings session last week, Rail & Maritime Transport Union branch secretary Dave Kearns pushed for a six-week trial of commuter trains between Mosgiel and Dunedin to save jobs and keep Dunedin Railways infrastructure usable.
He pitched an approximately $250,000 trial of three services a day: one each at peak morning and afternoon times, and another in the middle of the day.
Mr Hawkins’s Facebook post said he would bring a resolution to the council’s planning and environment committee meeting on Thursday asking for support for a continued future for rail in Dunedin and the Keep Dunedin Rail Rolling campaign; and a report in time for annual plan deliberations, costing a feasibility study for a commuter rail pilot using Dunedin Railways Ltd assets, in time to be of use for the regional public transport plan, and that looks at funding options to offset the costs.