Passengers unhappy with half-hour stop on route


A more-than-30-minute wait halfway around the Waverley bus route is frustrating passengers, bus advocates say.
BusGo co-president Alex King said the recent changes to the off-peak Waverley to Belleknowes service meant the bus was stopping for 37 minutes halfway along the loop.
While the bus did a loop along Larnach Rd, Murano St, Belford St and Scott St, before going back onto Marne St, the originally continuous route now had a 37-minute stop outside the former St Alphonsus Church in Larnach Rd, he said.
Speaking to about 20 people at the nowmonthly BusGo meeting at Dunedin City Library last week, Mr King said this was particularly affecting retired and elderly residents because the off-peak services, which ran between 9am and 3pm on weekdays, were the times when GoldCard holders could access the bus for free.
However, Otago Regional Council support services manager Gerard Collings said the lengthy stop was because buses had previously always been pressed for time and running late as the drivers were having to loop around Waverley and run back into town.
The stop now meant drivers had time to catch up and any waiting time was done away from the city centre to prevent causing congestion around the Octagon, Mr Collings said.
However, he admitted they had heard complaints about the length of time the buses were stopped for and the location of the stop.
‘‘We’re looking into it.
‘‘It’s a complicated situation.’’
The Belleknowes end of the service was also a cause of complaints for residents at the meeting, with an official suggestion from the meeting’s participants to reinstate the old Belleknowes bus service.
Mr Collings said the ORC had heard ‘‘anecdotally’’ about the suggestion but would not comment on whether any changes to either end of the service would be made.
The new ‘‘loop’’ route at St Kilda has also caused issues for passengers, with a 10-minute stop at the Victoria Rd terminus meaning passengers travelling into town were also being delayed, The Star has heard.