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Bus Go Dunedin's submission to the 2015 Draft Otago-Southland Regional Land Transport Plans

Locked as this is the final version of the submission.

Name of Submitter:

Bus Go Dunedin - Bus Users Support Group Otepoti-Dunedin

c/o 12 Woodhaugh St Woodhaugh Dunedin 9010

phone: 021 137 2129 email: peter.dowden@gmail.com

We wish to speak in support of our submission.


Firstly, we apologise for the lateness of our submission and ask that it be accepted past the deadline.

Bus Go Dunedin commends the work of the Otago Regional Council, Environment Southland and the Regional Transport Committees on the combined Plan. The draft gives good consideration to all modes of land transport and people of all transport needs.

We will confine our comments on the Draft to those parts dealing with public transport, especially within and around Dunedin, and we do not express an opinion regarding roading, railways, freight or personal transport. Bus Go Dunedin supports all parts of the Plans relating to public transport that we have not commented on. A detailed list of requested changes to the Draft Plans is attached.

In particular we support the following policies: Policy P3.18, P4.2, P4.3 P4.20 P4.21

We support the following Projects:

  • 75 Public Transport Programme of Improvements
  • 74 Public Transport Inter-Regional Ticketing Improvement, Otago (and its Southland equivalent)

At this stage, we neither support nor oppose the following Projects:

  • 84 Public Transport Infrastructure Improvements
  • 16 Central City Transport Hub

Dunedin Central City Interchange

Bus Go Dunedin is interested in this project but would not support it without knowing more details. We would support a concept that provides:

  • Convenient transfer between local bus services.
  • A hub for local and long distance buses so travelers can combine local and long distance trips.
  • A single place where passengers can access all bus routes so occasional bus users can just turn up and find the correct service easily.

We would not support a project unless it:

  • was designed to be a pleasant environment,
  • had adequate ongoing public funding or a strategy to ensure it was well maintained and kept clean,
  • allowed existing service to be maintained, without adding extra wait times to through services.

We believe it is important to establish integrated ticketing and real-time information system to enable transfers as the first steps. Then a bus interchange should be established if it is clear it will provide significant benefits and have no significant drawbacks for existing bus users.

Accessibility

Bus Go Dunedin is concerned about the ability of users to gain access to public transport. We congratulate the Otago Regional Council and its contractors for their excellent work to upgrade the bus fleet to fully-accessible buses. We ask the Regional Council to follow this with fully accessible public transport infrastructure and facilities to allow the accessible buses to be used to their full potential. Even very recently, new works ordered by the Otago Regional Council have reduced the accessibility of services.

Details of our requested changes to the Plans regarding accessibility appear below.

Maximising use of existing networks

Bus Go Dunedin supports the Plans' policies to encourage provision of transport in rural areas, and we request changes to policy (detailed below) to promote use of the spare capacity of some school bus services.

Southland and Invercargill

Bus Go Dunedin notes with concern that some policies appear to express more vaguely the quality of public transport provision in Invercargill and Southland. We have not responded to this matter in detail.


List of requested changes

Bus Go Dunedin requests the following changes to the text of the Plans:

Page 22 The Transport Network Please include public transport in the list of network components, as follows

The Otago region has: add "Two urban bus networks and long-distance buses between Otago towns and to other regions"

The Southland region has: add "One urban bus network and long-distance buses between Southland towns and to other regions"

Page 40 Objective 4.4 In rural areas away from main routes, communities are self-reliant for their transport.

P.4.19: Recognise the merits of initiatives such as... Please add the following "use of spare capacity on school buses by users other than school children, subject to Ministry of Education, bus operator and school policies"


Page 40 Objective 4.5 Public passenger transport is provided in urban areas and on main routes.

Policy P4.20: Please replace the wording "not necessarily with public subsidy" to read "with or without subsidy, as appropriate"

(b) between centres: Please change "provided by bus" to read "provided by bus and small passenger service vehicles"

(c) school bus services: Please change "used by school children" to "mainly used by school children, but sometimes available to other users subject to Ministry of Education, bus operator and school policies"


Page 41 Objective 4.6 Public transport use and infrastructure in Dunedin and the Wakatipu Basin grows steadily - providing a fully accessible public service, easing congestion where needed, reducing car dependency in urban areas, and ensuring resilience.

Please add a new policy specifying how the "fully accessible public service" is to be implemented, as follows:

"Policy P4.2x Ensure public transport infrastructure and facilities are fully accessible and designed and built to national guidelines."

Page 46 3.3 List of Significant Projects in Otago

Please shade "Public Transport Inter-Regional Ticketing Improvement, Otago" in brown as an inter-regionally significant project, as it allows seamless urban travel experiences to inter-regional visitors. (The Southland equivalent is correctly shaded, refer to page 44)

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