ORC to con­sider Wakatipu ferry

Central Otago Mirror - - CONVERSATIONS - JO MCKEN­ZIE-MCLEAN

A wa­ter ferry and taxi ser­vice will be in­ves­ti­gated as part of an Otago Re­gional Coun­cil pub­lic trans­port re­view.

The coun­cil will dis­cuss a re­port into the Re­gional Pub­lic Trans­port Plan Otago 2014 at its meet­ing on Wednesday.

The plan sets out the pri­or­i­ties and needs for pub­lic trans­port ser­vices and in­fra­struc­ture in Otago. Ser­vices in the Wakatipu net­work are cur­rently be­ing re­viewed and a sub­mis­sions hear­ing was held in Queen­stown on May 8.

As part of the changes $2 bus fares are pro­posed.

Over 500 sub­mis­sions were re­ceived on pro­posed amend­ments of the net­work and 21 peo­ple pre­sented in sup­port of their sub­mis­sions at the hear­ing.

Pro­posed changes to the net­work to help ease con­ges­tion and im­prove ser­vices in­clude a new sub­sidised net­work of bus routes and fre­quen­cies; the in­tro­duc­tion of a new fare zone struc­ture and a flat fare struc­ture; and col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion to pro­vide a co-or­di­nated and shared ap­proach to school ser­vices.

Hear­ing panel chairwo­man, coun­cil­lor Gretchen Robert­son, who au­thored the re­port, said a num­ber of sub­mit­ters ex­pressed a de­sire for a wa­ter ferry and taxi ser­vice to be in­te­grated with the pub­lic trans­port ser­vices.

‘‘The panel con­sider that coun­cil should in­ves­ti­gate the fea­si­bil­ity of an in­te­grated ferry ser­vice.’’

The panel also rec­om­mended the coun­cil work with the Queen­stown Air­port Cor­po­ra­tion to en­able a co­or­di­nated ap­proach for a pub­lic trans­port ser­vice to and from the air­port; the outer bound­aries of the net­work in­clude Queen­stown Bay and Jacks Point; the abil­ity for the coun­cil to have greater flex­i­bil­ity to change the hours of op­er­a­tion and fre­quency of the ser­vice.

‘‘In­fra­struc­ture such as shops and shel­ters should be ac­ces­si­ble, well lit, and pro­vide shel­ter from the ex­treme cli­mate...Safety of ac­cess to and from the net­work ac­cess points should be a key con­sid­er­a­tion.’’

Pro­posed stops at Quail Rise and Fern­hill should be given ‘‘par­tic­u­lar re­gard’’, it says.

The suc­cess of these changes re­lies on QLDC ad­dress­ing the avail­abil­ity of low-cost park­ing in the Wakatipu Basin which is a di­rect in­hibitor to the in­creased use of pub­lic trans­port, the re­port says.

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