First — and last — bus to Ravens­bourne

Otago Daily Times - - Dunedin - DAVID LOUGHREY david.loughrey@odt.co.nz

IT was both the first time, and the last time, Jor­dan Te Pana took the bus to Ravens­bourne yes­ter­day.

The Dunedin mas­sage ther­a­pist has re­cently moved to the up­per slopes of the port line sub­urb, and had only just re­alised the bus went on its steep and cir­cuitous route high on to the hill.

She was one of about 10 on the bus that — as far as can be as­cer­tained — has ser­viced the route since the 1930s.

The route change is part of the third and big­gest phase of the Otago Re­gional Coun­cil’s Dunedin bus net­work changes.

New timetable book­lets have been de­liv­ered through­out the city in an ini­tia­tive the ORC says is aimed at in­creas­ing bus pa­tron­age and at­tract­ing a new gen­er­a­tion to buses.

ORC sup­port ser­vices man­ager Ger­ard Collings has said the changes would make the ser­vice more sus­tain­able and ef­fi­cient, with buses ar­riv­ing more fre­quently on many routes.

But Ms Te Pana said she was ‘‘ab­so­lutely gut­ted’’ to find the ser­vice that took her up the hill to her home had gone as soon as she dis­cov­ered it.

The change that meant the bus would stop only on State High­way 88 at Ravens­bourne meant a long, steep walk for her, or that she would have to get a driver’s li­cence.

‘‘I’m right at the top of the hill,’’ she said.

Owain Morris took the last trip that led up and down thin, steep, con­crete roads and skirted alarm­ingly close to both cars on one side, and the road’s edge on the other, as it ne­go­ti­ated the tight bends of Ravens­bourne.

Mr Morris was ‘‘very sad for all the peo­ple that live up there,’’ and also nos­tal­gic, as he had used the ser­vice when he lived in the sub­urb from the 1950s.

‘‘It’s a long bloody walk,’’ he said of the hill climb.

PHOTO: PETER MCIN­TOSH/ALAN STEPHEN­SON/SEAN MIL­LAR COL­LEC­TION

End of an era . . . Owain Morris alights from the last Ravens­bourne bus on the cor­ner of Junc­tion Rd and Taupo St yes­ter­day. Be­low: A bus stops at the same spot in the early 1950s.

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