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Gold coin donations for a novel Christmas bus service will help restoration projects by the Otago Heritage Bus Society. The society operated heritage buses on two routes through Dunedin yesterday when all other public bus services were suspended for Christmas.
Bus passengers were encouraged to bring their pet dogs along for the ride and give a donation to the society as their fare.
Society treasurer Jacqui Hellyer said the hill route, encompassing St Kilda, the Octagon, Halfway Bush and Brockville was especially popular.
The society had only introduced that service this Easter, she said.
''This is the third year we've run the buses on Christmas Day, but the first Christmas we've had that hill route.''
Mrs Hellyer said the other route between St Clair, the Octagon and Normanby was also ''steady''.
Exact passenger numbers had not yet been collated, but it was hoped about $200 had been generated for the society's restoration work.
The service ran from 8.45am to 7.15pm and involved about 12 volunteer drivers and six conductors.