'Super stops' part of city bus upgrade

Trevor Kempton.
Trevor Kempton.
Moves to create a Dunedin central-city bus hub are part of wider public transport improvements costing more than $4 million that will include developing ''super stops'' at the University of Otago, Cargill's Corner and Green Island.

These proposed ''super stops'' are likely to offer not only bus shelters but also toilets, as well as ''real-time''electronic displays, updating when individual buses are due to arrive, Otago Regional Council transport draft plans indicate.

One likely location for the hub is Great King St and construction is expected to begin about 2018.

An ORC public policy plan produced last year starkly highlighted the challenges facing Dunedin's bus system and the ''many shortcomings'' in the network.

These included an ''extremely complex'' bus route network, meandering routes resulting in slow travel, and ''customer confusion about services and timetables''.

ORC transport committee chairman Trevor Kempton yesterday said establishing the bus hub and super stops, with better routes and more flexible ticketing, was likely to make the bus service more attractive and better patronised.

He noted regular but modest annual increases in public transport use had already been occurring in Dunedin, and bus quality had also improved, with the extensive use of ''kneeling'' buses to improve access, including for people with disabilities.

DCC group manager transportation Gene Ollerenshaw, in an interview, said the planned reforms were aimed at encouraging greater use of public transport, helping reduce traffic congestion, improving people's health and adding to Dunedin's attractiveness.

Draft Otago Southland Regional Land Transport Plans have recently attracted more than 200 submissions from members of the public and organisations.

Hearings were held in Dunedin on Monday to allow people to make submissions in person.

The plan gives top priority to the development of a central bus hub to ''enable co-ordination of bus services''.

The ORC and the New Zealand Transport Agency are to contribute $3,363,518 between them by 2021, most of it by 2018.

The bus hub, would enable people to transfer from one bus to another more easily.

Other top priority funding, amounting to an extra $3,474,309, will be spent on procuring and implementing an ''improved integrated ticketing system'' for publicly-contracted bus services.

This will include some services elsewhere in Otago, including the Wakatipu area, but it is understood much of the funding will be directed to ticketing improvements in Dunedin, making it easier to transfer from one bus to another without always having to buy separate tickets.




The plan

Planned Dunedin public transport plans include. -

• Developing central-city bus hub to enable ''co-ordination of bus services''.

• Provision for ''super stops'' at University of Otago, Cargill's Corner, Green Island, including toilets and real-time displays indicating when buses will arrive.

• Otago Regional Council and New Zealand Transport Agency to contribute $3,363,518 between them, most of it by 2018.

• Dunedin City Council to contribute a further $500,000 to enhance bus hub, providing central facilities for walking, cycling, taxis and intercity buses.



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