Solar-powered indicators to maintain bus passengers up to date

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A solar powered real-time bus sign will be installed in Macandrew Bay.

The sign provides live information about the arrival times of the buses, so people know how far they are or whether they are late.

Julian Phillips, head of the Otago Regional Council’s public transportation team, told the Otago Peninsula Community Board that the signs would be installed in December or January.

First of all, they would have a “test” sticker while they were testing the bus tracking, he said.

They will also test what size solar panel is needed for the sign.

“We’re going to start with a giant and then go down and see how small we can get,” Phillips said.

Board member Hoani Langsbury asked if the Community Board could get a report with information on how many buses are delayed and for how long due to the Peninsula Connection road works.

This would give the board a chance to ask some questions to Fulton Hogan, the company behind the project.

“It can also help to get the buses on time.”

Mr. Phillips agreed.

Chairman Paul Pope and Mr. Langsbury shared their concerns about the bus routes, particularly those that do not stop in Harwood.

A bus regularly missed the “Harington Loop” and a woman was not picked up three times, Pope said.

It disrupted their trips to and from the game center, he said.

Mr. Langsbury said he “almost never saw” the Harwood bus turn towards Harwood.

“I would assume that they will only pick up when they have made the drop-off on departure,” he said.

Mr Phillips said drivers had to follow the route whether or not someone was on the bus.

He said he’d step up that with the bus company.

Mr Pope said complaints had “decreased significantly” in the past two years and was grateful that Mr Phillips attended the meeting.

jessica.wilson@thestar.co.nz

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