Horizons calls for thoughts on the future of public transport

Horizons Regional Council is asking for community feedback on their draft Regional Public Transport Plan 2022-32 from Monday 11 April.

Regional Passenger Transport Committee chair Sam Ferguson says the Plan sets the framework for how Horizons plans and delivers public transport services and infrastructure across the region over the next 10 years.

“Our vision is to provide an attractive, integrated and convenient public transport system that connects communities, enhances their wellbeing and environment, and becomes the preferred mode of transport in and between urban areas,” says Cr Ferguson.

“The Plan indicates how we hope to achieve this and we want to know from our community if we’ve got it right, if there’s anything missing and if we’re focusing our efforts in the right place.”

Cr Ferguson says the Plan includes some ambitious targets to reduce emissions and traffic congestion and signals proposed changes to the current network.

“One of our targets is to triple the patronage on our public transport services by 2032 and to do that we’re going to need more people using it. So, we want to know what would make someone switch from using a private vehicle to using a bus, or hopping on the Capital Connection rail service to get to Wellington instead of driving.

“Some of the proposed changes include urban bus service improvements in Palmerston North and Whanganui, and investigating better regional connections to the likes of the Wellington, Taranaki, Waikato and the Hawke’s Bay regions.

“We’re also proposing to investigate the opportunities and feasibility for services in Horowhenua and Tararua, and between Palmerston North and Linton, Longburn, Pohangina and Shannon. As well as reviewing existing services in places such as Raetihi and Ohakune.

“Regardless of where people live in the region, we want to hear their thoughts. I encourage people to go to haveyoursay.horizons.govt.nz, visit one of our office or service centres or call freephone 0508 800 800 to provide feedback before 12 May.”

Once submissions have been received, submitters will have the opportunity to speak at the hearings, which are due to be held on 9 and 10 June 2022.

Public consultation will run from 11 April – 12 May, with more information available here.  

The Regional Passenger Committee is made up of six Regional Councillors and advisory members from each of the region’s city and district councils.

Public transport services in the Horizons Region include; urban and commuter bus services that operate across city, towns and inter-regionally; the Capital Connection commuter rail service that runs on week days between Palmerston North and Wellington; Total Mobility which is a subsidised private transport option for people with disabilities; and health shuttles and community vans that assist access to services in smaller towns.

Services are funded by rates, Waka Kotahi, SuperGold funding, passenger fares, third party contributions and advertising.