Bus Options: Back to the Future

Ideas and Opinions
Electric Tram on Wheels – San Sebastian, Spain (population 186,000) in 2018

Options for Dunedin Buses

Travelling in 2018 in the UK and Europe, I was always looking at their bus networks and wondering why we couldn’t have something like it in Dunedin. Options for buses, for information, for hubs, for routes; options for anything and everything. This included networks in small cities and big towns. Everywhere seemed to be better in almost every way. “If only…..” I often thought. I’m not sure why we have to be so slow to innovate in Dunedin when there are so many successful examples in similar-size cities around the world. Including cities with steep hills and narrow streets.

Tram-like Electric Bus

Why worry about light-rail? Why think about trams? Who needs overhead electric lines? How about mass-transit on our existing streets and infrastructure? How about a bendy bus that is battery-electric and runs on wheels? They exist, and we rode some that were in-service in San Sebastian in Spain in 2018. San Sebastian got their first one in 2014. They are Irizar ie trams. They are not concepts. They are not experimental. They are running in city bus networks in Europe. I’m sure they are not the only option. Just the one I saw and rode on that got me dreaming.

Can You Imagine…..?

Can you imagine a fleet of vehicles like these in Dunedin? Regularly travelling along loop routes including the Gardens, University, Polytech, Central City, Hospital, Railway Station, Oval, South Dunedin, St Kilda? With other routes feeding onto a north/south line? Zero emissions. Quiet. Small electric buses more frequently on feeder routes? Mini hubs at the Gardens, The Oval, Andersons Bay Road, South Dunedin…?

Dreaming? Yes. Possible? Yes. Sensible? Yes. Necessary? Yes.

What’s stopping us? Apart from ourselves and our lack of vision? I’d like to know your thoughts. Please use the comments section below.

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