More missed buses noted

Despite more missed services throughout December, the Otago Regional Council says Dunedin’s revised bus network has "settled down".

The city’s bus routes and timetables were changed in mid-September in an effort to simplify the network.

Regional council social media accounts alerted the public to one missed service in September, six in October and three in December.

Council support services manager Gerard Collings said this "might be up a little" on the same time last year.

"If we put that in context, there are in excess of 1000 trips a day.

"I like to think part of it is we’ve improved communications and are proactively advising the community when there is a missed service."

One of the two operators  missed more services than the other and when services were missed the company was not paid, he said.

"It’s well known that they took time to come to grips with the new service they were operating."

If there were more services not being run, council would take a different approach. It is understood Ritchies was the operator which had missed the most services.

The reasons were a mixture of driver unavailability and mechanical faults, Mr Collings said.

"Although, the reasons for those breakdowns is not due to lack of maintenance."

Overall the network had "settled down a heck of a lot", he said.

"We’ve had preliminary numbers through for December. And those numbers are looking positive."

They had increased on the same period the previous year. The new central-city bus hub would further improve the network, he said.

"We don’t expect the same level of teething problems as we’ve had."

Bus Users Support Group Otepoti Dunedin co-president Alex King said the missed services were "a concern".

"I haven’t heard of this happening in the past. If drivers are calling in sick, that’s known at the start of the shift."

The issues "need to be sorted out." 

"I don’t want this to become the new norm."


Everything changes, nothing changes it seems.