Approval of weekend bus service to Palmerston

Palmerston and other towns north of Dunedin will soon have weekend bus services.

The Otago Regional Council approved the boost to the Orbus program after discussions with the Waikouaiti Coast Community Board.

Board chairman Alasdair Morrison had hoped for a fuller increase in services, but the planned increase was scaled back somewhat after funding failed to come through from transport agency Waka Kotahi NZ.

The discussion then turned to the form of a possible increase and the community supported a new service on the weekends.

“The community will be extremely happy,” Mr Morrison said today.

“It allows people to take their children to sports on Saturdays, to go shopping and to be home for lunch.

“It also means we can go out into town to go to the cinema or the stadium and pick up the latest bus.”

The existing program operates on weekdays, offering three services within the city and back, aimed at morning commuters, school children and afternoon commuters.

The service goes through Waitati, Karitane and Waikouaiti.

Weekend services to towns north of Dunedin will be funded solely by Otago Regional Council.

Buses will leave Palmerston early on Saturday and Sunday mornings and there will be four services on Saturday and two on Sunday.

The council’s director of transport, Doug Rodgers, said the community of Palmerston has been actively engaged in developing a solution.

A timetable for implementation has not yet been agreed.

Melvin Z. Madore