Otago Regional Council to reduce bus services to Dunedin and Queenstown

Otago Regional Council is moving to a reduced bus timetable in Dunedin and Queenstown from Tuesday July 19 to provide greater reliability following disruption due to driver shortages.

The reduced schedule will be the same 7 days a week in Queenstown. In Dunedin, the reduced timetable will operate on weekdays, with normal services at weekends.

Doug Rodgers, transportation manager, said there simply weren’t enough drivers to do all the trips/trips on a daily basis.

“This decision will result in some reductions in service, but should mean far fewer cancellations and allow for more reliable service for passengers.”

“Bus operators have worked hard to maintain a viable service but the new wave of Covid and winter illnesses have created a shortage of drivers in Dunedin and Queenstown and this, coupled with the national shortage of bus drivers, has a impact on ability to provide full service. “

The council has worked with operators to maintain supply at key times where possible.

“We have been reviewing schedules with our transportation providers to ensure our school services remain operational,” Rodgers said.

Updated timetable information will be found on the Otago Regional Council website, where passengers will typically find their timetable information, on the Transit app and at Dunedin hub e-stops.

The ORC website will be updated so that from July 13, passengers can plan their journey in advance with the reduced timetable displaying the scheduled times for individual routes.

Passengers are advised to check the website for alerts before departing on a trip or look for notifications on the Transit app. If there are any cancellations, passengers will find this information on the Transit website or app.

The Orbus Dunedin and Queenstown Facebook pages will also contain all major network updates.

ORC also has a toll-free number where passengers can talk to someone about how it affects their particular journey. The number in Dunedin is 0800 672 8736 and in Queenstown 0800 672 8778.

Those using Total Mobility services – the subsidized service available to people who cannot use public transport – should also be aware that drivers may become unavailable at short notice. Total Mobility users are advised to contact their personal assistance networks to establish a travel plan in the event of their Total Mobility taxi being cancelled.

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