Bus trial rolls out in Albert Town, Northlake, and Anderson Road

by Lauren Pattemore - May 26, 2023

Next week will see the community shuttle back on the road ferrying passengers around Hāwea and Wānaka, and this second trial is targeting some new neighbourhoods.

Spearheaded by Community Networks/LINK, the latest shuttle trial will see two routes running, the first being a 25-minute express route from Hāwea to Wānaka.

The second route, which has not run before, will be an intra-city loop, running between Albert Town, Northlake, and Anderson Road to the CBD five times a day.

Community development co-ordinator Joanna Perry hopes the refined trial will create “more opportunities to leave the car at home” and also capture a new data set of how people choose to travel on public transport, when it's on offer, in Wānaka.

The data collected from the second trial will inform longer-term public transport planning, and be vital to any future business case Otago Regional Council uses for public transport in the area, Ms Perry says.

“Otago Regional Council is particularly interested to see the impact of this second trial on decarbonisation and vehicle kilometres travelled reduction."

Ms Perry encourages users of the second shuttle to submit their thoughts online, saying their feedback is “vital”.

Feedback from the first shuttle trial, which ran from September 28 to December 21 from Hāwea to Wānaka, informed the second trial.

It revealed passengers who hopped aboard the shuttle were mostly commuters, with 150 individual passengers in total across the three months, fewer passengers than what the organisation had hoped for. 

“The most significant feedback we received from the first trial was about the length of route - time and distance - and the frequency of the service,” Ms Perry says.

The first service ran only three days a week, and was considered too infrequent for Upper Clutha residents, so the organisation upped the timetable to five days.

Ms Perry says the organisation had to make some “difficult decisions” to improve the efficiency of the Hāwea to Wānaka route.

Some of the stops in Hāwea Flat and Hāwea have been removed due to low passenger numbers in the first trial.

Ms Perry’s hopeful that people who would have used those dropped stops will use other modes of transport – walking, biking, carpooling or driving - to get to the nest closest stop.

Funding for this second trial has come from the QLDC, through their Climate Action and Biodiversity Plan, and Lake Wānaka Tourism.

Crux rode the bus back in December, discovering that particular run being used by high school students and a retiree - all without drivers licenses to otherwise get around - as well as a commuter.

Advertise with Crux Advertise with Crux