5 Dec 2016

Dunedin bus hub design unveiled

10:28 am on 5 December 2016

Dunedin's public transport is getting up to speed with the release of designs for a new central city bus hub.

A block in Great King Street has been chosen as the site of the new outdoor bus hub.

A block in Great King Street has been chosen as the site of the new outdoor bus hub. Photo: RNZ / Lydia Anderson

The public can have its say on the designs, some of which would add a dash of colour to the traditionally-conservative city's CBD.

A central block of Dunedin's Great King Street has been chosen as the site of the outdoor hub.

The wide, open street is one block down from the main shopping street, George Street, and is flanked by store carparks for Farmers and Countdown, as well as the city's central police station.

Otago Regional Council support services manager Gerard Collings said getting all the buses to pass through the hub should end confusion for people trying to find the correct bus stop.

"At the moment we've got a number of services going through approximately six stops in the central city - none of them are terribly well-defined.

"They don't interconnect well and it's difficult for people to understand where they are able to transfer from one service to another."

One of the two landscaping options has splashes of bright blue, yellow and pink.

One of the two landscaping options has splashes of bright blue, yellow and pink. Graphic: Supplied

Two landscaping options will be presented for public consultation, one with muted colours, and the other with splashes of bright blue, yellow and pink.

Mr Collings said the council wanted to create a bright, vibrant space, but acknowledged that might not be everyone's cup of tea.

"An addition of a little bit of colour is not a bad thing.

"We're also mindful that a number of Dunedin residents, including myself, are a little bit conservative, hence why we've looked at providing them the two alternatives."

A more muted option has also been put forward for public consultation.

A more muted option has also been put forward for public consultation. Graphic: Supplied

Dunedin city councillor David Benson-Pope has seen the bus hub design and said it was up to the public whether they preferred the bold or muted colours.

"I will suspend my disbelief about the design until we get the community feedback," he said.

The hub will contain 10 bus parking bays and several modern kerbside shelters, with potential for a larger shelter to contain a coffee and information stall.

Technology is getting a reboot too, with real time information, interactive journey planner boards and more efficient electronic ticketing.

Mr Collings said the facility could be expanded in future. "So people shouldn't see this as being the facility for the next 50 years, but it certainly will get us through the next 10."

The Dunedin bus hub plan with a retail of coffee shelter.

The Dunedin bus hub plan with a retail of coffee shelter. Photo: Supplied

Mr Benson-Pope said the city council initially worried about the $3 million cost of the hub, the age of Dunedin's buses and whether the chosen site would be suitable in the long term.

But he said the most important thing now was to get a bus hub in place.

The cost will be shared between the regional council and the New Zealand Transport Agency and it should be finished in mid to late 2017.

The public can view and give feedback on the designs at Dunedin's Civic Centre for a week starting tomorrow.

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