ORC’s draft public transport plan criticised

Photo: ODT files
Roadblocks to creating an integrated public transport system in Dunedin have been lamented by city councillors.

Mayor Aaron Hawkins was unhappy about the lack of ambition in the Otago Regional Council’s draft public transport plan and the Dunedin City Council’s lack of involvement in helping to draft it.

Cr Jim O’Malley described it as a plan written by the regional council, ‘‘based on what they think we need’’.

At a meeting this week, city councillors reinforced their point about integration by again asserting they wanted their council to take over management of public bus services from the regional council.

They sought immediate discussions about a transfer and wanted the chief executives of the two councils to report back on the possible implications by the end of the year.

They have also continued to push for a loop bus trial to be added to the central city’s services amid an extensive wish list to be put in front of the regional council, including recommending $1 fares, reviewing timetables, catering for shift workers, bringing in express services to places such as Mosgiel and Port Chalmers, and exploring commuter rail.

Cr Jules Radich said the loop bus route should go through the Octagon.

He has also promoted an alternative vision to plans promoted by many of his peers, seeking a car parking building in St Andrew St.

Cr Carmen Houlahan called for a transport hub, which would include space to park cars and bikes and could link up with the loop bus.

Cr Lee Vandervis voted against the council’s submission.


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