This submission is made jointly to both the Dunedin City Council and Otago Regional Council long term plans, as the topics of concern fall into a policy area managed by both councils. We will make an identical submission to both councils.
We ask for accessible bus stops throughout the city, give conditional support to the establishment of a bus hub in the central city and offer a suggestion of transferring some funding from the hub project to improving bus stops in general throughout the city.
BUS STOP ACCESSIBILITY
Bus Go Dunedin congratulates the Otago Regional Council and its contractors for their work to make the Dunedin bus fleet fully accessible. It is now time to turn attention to the other component of accessible public transport: the design of bus stops.
Bus Go Dunedin asks both councils to improve the Dunedin network of bus stops to provide:
(1) an entry and exit taper as defined in the Draft Guidelines for Public Transport Infrastructure and Facilities (NZTA 2014),
(2) a kerbside free of obstructions such as power poles, bus shelters, litter bins, bollards all of which discourage bus drivers from manoeuvring their vehicles close to the kerb, thereby making it difficult or impossible for some passengers to board or alight the bus
(3) a paved area with kerb height at all bus stops which at least aligns with the front door of a bus to allow easy stepping or wheeling to and from a bus with minimal height difference.
THE BUS HUB
Bus Go Dunedin gives conditional support to the planned Bus Hub in the central city.
Bus Go Dunedin is interested in this project but would not support it without knowing more details. We would support a concept that provides:
(1) Convenient transfer between local bus services.
(2) A hub for local and long distance buses so travellers can combine local and long distance trips.
(3) A single place where passengers can access all bus routes so occasional bus users can just turn up and find the correct service easily.
We would not support a project unless it:
(1) was designed to be a pleasant environment,
(2) had adequate ongoing public funding or a strategy to ensure it was well maintained and kept clean,
(3) allowed existing through service to be maintained, without adding extra wait times at the hub
We believe it is important to establish integrated ticketing and real-time information system to enable transfers as the first steps. Then a bus interchange should be established if it is clear it will provide significant benefits and have no significant drawbacks for existing bus users.
We feel that bus stop accessibility throughout the city generally is more important than the hub project. We understand that gradual improvements to bus stop accessibility will happen in the normal course of city maintenance (for example as a street is re-kerbed, it can be done in such a way as improves bus accessibility) However we feel that this will result in a very lengthy process of accessibility improvement. We feel that the funding for the hub project is on the lavish side and as we prefer a "lighter" concept of a hub we feel there is scope to divert funding from the hub to improving bus stop accessibility throughout the city.