BETTER FOR BUSES
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.