16 Apr 2014

Bus system offered to Dunedin council

8:54 pm on 16 April 2014

The Otago Regional Council wants to transfer the running of Dunedin's bus system to the city council.

The regional authority has managed the South Island city's public transport system since 1989 for historical reasons involving a conflict of interest, but the Dunedin City Council has recently made a push for control.

At a meeting on Wednesday afternoon, regional councillors decided to offer to hand over the planning and operations of the bus system.

Chairperson Stephen Woodhead said the decision was unanimous. "A strong feeling from the regional council that if the Dunedin City Council does wish to take up this opportunity to transfer the responsibility, we'll work very collaboratively and very hard over the next 12 to 18 months to ensure there is a smooth transition."

Mr Woodhead said the system could be transferred within two years.

Dunedin mayor Dave Cull welcomed the offer. "This is a great step forward as far as I'm concerned from regional council. Now we've got to pick up the ball and see whether our council is prepared to go with it."

Mr Cull said the purported benefits are not savings, but from integrating the buses with other city council functions such as parking, road stopping and cycle ways.