The Queenstown Lakes District Council, NZ Transport Agency and Otago Regional Council are working together to pave the way for future improvement to public transport in Queenstown.
Construction work is set to start on Monday, 9 September. In several weeks’ time, the three existing Camp Street bus stops will move two blocks over to Stanley Street, between Coronation Drive and Shotover Street.
The new stops will not be in service until the shelters and customer service kiosk are operational, after construction has been completed. Until then, passengers will continue to use the existing bus stops and services.
Most of the construction activity initially will be on Stanley Street, SH6A, so road users are asked to take care and slow down around crews.
The change will minimise disruption during the O’Connells Mall upgrade and see the existing Camp Street bus stops revert to Loading Zones, benefiting those delivering goods in the Queenstown Town Centre.
The bus stop change will affect all services on Route 1 servicing Fernhill, Remarkables Park and Queenstown Airport and Route 2 servicing Arthurs Point and Arrowtown via Frankton.
Transport Agency Director Regional Relationships Jim Harland says the Transport Agency is pleased to support a project which will provide an even better service for Orbus users. “It will enhance the service’s attractiveness for existing and future customers.”
Otago Regional Council Team Leader Transport Julian Phillips says the new bus stops would improve the experience for the growing number of Orbus users. Since the Orbus network was launched in November 2017, there has also been steady growth in patronage (64%) compared to 2017/18. Orbus carried nearly 1.5 million passenger trips in Queenstown in the last year.
“We’re pleased with the solution that’s been worked out with Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) and the NZ Transport Agency to retain a central location for passengers.
“We are also pleased to be able to take this opportunity and upgrade the infrastructure, installing new bus shelters, bins, bike racks, a ticket kiosk and wayfinding signage,” he says.
QLDC General Manager Property and Infrastructure Peter Hansby says he is pleased to see the change get traction as a quick win for public transport improvements in the Queenstown Town Centre.
“We’ve listened to the community through our consultation processes and ensured that access to the playcentre is retained and short-term parking spots on Coronation Drive are relocated.
“Public transport will play an important role in how we get around Queenstown in the future so we’re taking a detailed look at providing more travel choices, in turn reducing the reliance on private vehicles and reducing congestion on our roads.
“Providing improved facilities is an important part of enticing people to leave the car at home and hop on the bus,” Mr Hansby says. While there is likely to be some disruption during construction, all businesses in the area will be open as usual.
“There will be footpath closures and a reduction in the number of short term carparking spaces on Stanley Street while this work is underway but our team on the ground will be making sure people can move around the site safely. The important thing is that people follow the signage in place and any instructions from the contractors,” he says.
Queenstown Lakes District Council, the New Zealand Transport Agency and Otago Regional Council have joined forces to develop and deliver a safe, connected and accessible transport network for the Wakatipu.
The partnership is known as Wakatipu Way to Go and recognises that all three agencies have an important role to play in driving change.
There has already been a significant amount of planning work completed to identify potential solutions and the group will continue to build on this, focusing on the following projects: