Open to public

People are being encouraged to give their thoughts on the Otago Regional Council’s draft plan

People in Otago are invited to have their say on proposed major improvements to the region’s public transport network.

The proposals are outlined in Otago Regional Council’s draft Regional Public Transport Plan which councillors have approved for public release.

The 2014 plan, when adopted, will take effect in the New Zealand South Island region from next year.

Chairman Stephen Woodhead says the draft plan provides the framework for managing public transport services in Otago, and sets out goals and priorities for developing public transport services and infrastructure.

The key aspects relate to passenger transport networks in Dunedin.

No significant changes are proposed for Wakatipu Basin where bus services are operating without subsidy from council.

Woodhead says the draft plan represents an important shift in council’s approach to public transport services particularly regarding the Dunedin network.

"Historically council provided bus services targeting coverage of the city as the way to grow patronage and improve services," he says.

"The new approach is in response to public demand for simplified, more direct routes with regular frequencies."

The key changes proposed for the Dunedin network include a new route structure, reducing the number of fare zones from seven to three and council no longer providing contracted school bus services.

Submissions on the draft plan opened this week and close August 22.

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