Friday, January 28, 2022

Council gets on board Otago school bus dilemma

With the closure of Otago Road Services next year, the Otago Regional Council and its bus operators, Go Bus and Ritchies, are working together with Kaikorai Valley College (KVC) to ensure students can continue catching the bus to school in 2022.

ORC Implementation Lead Transport, Julian Phillips said a route extension would enable the public transport network to service students travelling to and from KVC.

“We took a look at the existing routes and schedules and have come up with a plan to keep kids connected with a bit of help from our operators Go Bus and Ritchies,” Mr Phillips said.

“Talking to the operators, we were able to extend one service and ensure other services are linked up so that most students can get to and from the school by bus.

“Like other customers, they’ll have to use a Bee Card and tag on and off, and for many of them this will actually be cheaper.”

Council were approached by the high school to help them support students, particularly those from Green Island, to get to school using public transport.

Kaikorai Valley College Assistant Principal, Mike Waterworth said it was a great result for the school and the community as a whole.

“We don’t want our students to lose their independence or for there to be more cars around the school,” he said.

“It’s also cheaper for students who get their Bee Cards and register them for the discount. For many students, having the card will also support them toward greater independence out of school hours, which is an added bonus.

“Our thanks to the team at the Otago Regional Council as well as the bus operators who have helped make it happen.”

The KVC school extension of two additional routes per day during term time will be fully funded by the Council.

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