BET­TER FOR BUSES

The Tribune (NZ) - - COVERSATIONS -

Chris­tine Cheyne (Cy­cle Aware Manawatu) is to be com­mended for her lu­cid, well writ­ten ar­ti­cle on the press­ing need for an in­ter­city bus cen­tre (Tri­bune, July 20, 2016, P8). But does it have to be the enor­mously ex­pen­sive cen­tral op­tion cur­rently be­ing pro­posed?

A few days before the grandiose plans for The Square re­vamp were pub­lished in the Manawatu Stan­dard, I learnt of an­other more cost-ef­fec­tive al­ter­na­tive, which re­ally seemed to make sense.

The propo­si­tion was this: why not re­fur­bish the ex­ist­ing her­itage build­ing ly­ing idle at our dys­func­tional rail­way sta­tion and run (free) com­muter shut­tle buses to and from The Square. Here there is an abun­dance of land for any num­ber of buses and cars.

This idea, ap­par­ently, is not new. It has been well re­searched over a num­ber of years, but for some rea­son, has never gained trac­tion. I think this is a mis­take.

Not only would it solve an im­me­di­ate prob­lem but, look­ing to the fu­ture, could lead to in­ter­est­ing op­tions such as: 1. re­in­stat­ing rail travel (the most ef­fi­cient of all means of pub­lic trans­port) 2. ex­tend­ing the shut­tle ser­vice to the air­port 3. cre­at­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for tourism that would link all forms of travel and in­clude a scenic train ride through the Gorge and hin­ter­land.

Jean Gold­smith, Palmer­ston North

An artist’s im­pres­sion shows the possible new Main St bus ter­mi­nal.

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