Bus use soars in Queenstown

Orbus, the Wakatipu's $2 bus service, has recorded more than 600,000 trips in the first six...
Orbus, the Wakatipu's $2 bus service, has recorded more than 600,000 trips in the first six months of this year, a 153% increase on the same period last year. PHOTO: TRACEY ROXBURGH
Queenstown's new public transport system continues to exceed expectations, with a 192% increase in passengers on buses during June, compared to June 2017.

Orbus, a joint initiative between the Queenstown Lakes District Council, Otago Regional Council and the NZ Transport Agency, officially launched on November 20 last year.

The service provided $2 flat fares for GoCard holders across Wakatipu and introduced new routes and more frequent bus services.

For the six months to June, bus patronage was two and a-half times the same period last year, increasing 153% to 607,609 trips, up from 240,076 between January and June, 2017.

Fare revenue had also not suffered as a result of the cheaper fares - that had increased by 4%.

Figures released to the Otago Daily Times show the projected revenue between December, Orbus' first full month of operation, and June was $1.25million.

Actual revenue was $1,801,422.

The busiest month on the buses to date was in March, during which users took 106,664 trips, closely followed by June (102,290).

In March last year, 44,179 trips were recorded and in June 2017 there were 35,063.


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