Queenstown wants better bus service

A yellow Connectabus picks up passengers in Camp St, central Queenstown. Photo by Naeem Alvi.
A yellow Connectabus picks up passengers in Camp St, central Queenstown. Photo by Naeem Alvi.
Connectabus services are too slow and too expensive, and the real answer to boosting patronage is to sort out an effective park and ride system, Queenstown Times readers say.

Following an article in Wednesdays Queenstown Times, which looked at the slow passenger uptake of new services to Kelvin Heights and Lake Hayes Estate, reader feedback has been pouring in.

Jack Williams, of Queenstown, said the services offered a "great initiative", but were "too expensive" to use for commuting to work and school on a regular basis.

He said if the trial services had offered cheaper prices initially, the momentum to use them would have increased.

However, Destination Queenstown chief executive Tony Everitt said he was pleased visitors could choose a sustainable transport option, which would only become more important with rising fuel prices, and a need for efficient transport.

Pauline Bailey, of Kelvin Heights, said an incentive to use the new services would be for the bus to stop at Remarkables Park Town Centre, instead of "driving straight past".

Services would be improved if timetables advised which connecting bus to take at Frankton hub, she said.

Gordon Higgins, of Lake Hayes Estate, said revised timetables to Queenstown, for those starting work at 8.30am, involved changing buses and a departure time from Lake Hayes Estate of 7.11am or 7.41am, at the latest.

He suggested a weekday "Commuterbus" service for workers from Arrowtown, via Lake Hayes Estate, Quail Rise and Frankton Rd, directly into Queenstown for an 8.30am start time.

Casey Martin, of Arrowtown, raised issue with the Frankton connecting hub.

"I honestly think making the Frankton toilets their hub has been a major error, and that they are operating the bus service to suit themselves, not their passengers," he said.

The previous timetable was easier to understand, and when questioned, staff "often struggle" if asked what time to leave Queenstown to get the last bus home to Arrowtown, he said.

Most of Arrowtown was not serviced. The majority of potential passengers were further into town, but the bus only ventured as far as Adamson Dr and Ramshaw Ln, he said.

Murray Jenkinson, of Queenstown, said the service was "safe and reliable" unlike services in other parts of New Zealand.

He said the community needed to "show support" by leaving their vehicles at home. He suggested increasing parking fees and introducing an effective park and ride bus system.

See Monday's Queenstown Times for response from the Queenstown Lakes District Council, the Otago Regional Council and Connectabus.


Gordon Higgins
- Lake Hayes Estate

"There's nothing wrong with the bus service as it is for tourists or for friends and family when they come to visit on holiday - but for commuters into Queenstown it is useless."

Murray Jenkinson
- Queenstown
"The answer to boost the patronage is for the [Queenstown] Lakes District Council to sort out the town parking system. It's a mess."

Pauline Bailey
- Kelvin Heights

"I think it is great having a service and, hopefully, they will take on board what people are saying and try and co-ordinate the services better - and from a Kelvin Heights point of view just stop off at the Remarkables."

Casey Martin
- Arrowtown

"As an occasional user based in Arrowtown, I have given up on the bus because a journey that takes me 15 minutes by car takes an hour by bus, sometimes longer."

Tony Everitt
- Destination Queenstown Chief executive

"I'm a regular user of the service and my Go Card is great ... So come on Queenstown, let's get behind our Connectabus and use it!"

Jack Williams
- Queenstown

"Great initiative, but still too expensive to make it worthwhile for a family to use on a regular basis for commuting to work and school."

• Do you agree? Email naeem.alvi@queenstown times.co.nz

Add a Comment