Bus patronage in Dunedin has surged, with more than 850,000 passengers jumping aboard between July and September this year – an increase of 31% on the same period pre-Covid.
It was a similar story in Queenstown, where passenger numbers rose by 32% in the same period (454,316 people).
Otago Regional Council says the introduction of additional services for the Mosgiel routes in early September generated an increase in numbers travelling into the city from the south.
“Both Dunedin and Queenstown have well-performing public transport networks and combined, these are carrying more passengers than all other similar-sized regions,” said says Council’s Manager Transport, Lorraine Cheyne.
“This is despite regions such as Waikato and Bay of Plenty having significantly higher total populations and larger urban centres.”
The data was reported to the Otago Regional Council’s Public and Active Transport Committee this week.
The report also showed initial patronage on additional trips on the Mosgiel-to-City services introduced in early September generated a 20-30% increase in bus patronage on some days.
The improvements, part of the Shaping Future Dunedin Strategy, include three morning express services – Mosgiel to City, and six afternoon express services – City to Mosgiel as well as seven additional all-stop services across morning and afternoon peaks.
In the morning, the 7.15am Express is the most popular new service, while the 3.30pm and 4.30pm services returning to Mosgiel are most popular.
“We will continue to monitor changes in bus patronage following the fare subsidies that came into effect on July 1 when the national half price fares scheme ended,” says Ms Cheyne.
Mosgiel bus passengers are being invited to complete a quick survey about their experience travelling on routes 77, 78 from Monday, 13 November.
The survey is open from 7am Monday, 13 November and closes 5pm Monday, 27 November.
To complete the online survey, please visit orc.govt.nz/mosgielbusfeedback.