Bus lounges – a perceptive funding initiative that the public loves

Buses are often seen as the poor cousin of public transport with little given to providing a whole of journey positive experience.

In New Zealand, an off-street Bus Exchange, opened in 2000, provided a dramatic demonstration of the benefits of providing airport-quality waiting areas for bus passengers.

In 2006 transport planning expert, Brian Smith introduced the concept of shopfront bus passenger lounges to Christchurch.

In 2020 cost pressures threatened this initiative.

This concept is not only practical but engages the public in a broader understanding of what a good bus system needs.

Following is an extract from a regular interview on ABC Central West radio which broadcasts to  20 areas such as Orange, Bathurst, Parkes, Lithgow, Mudgee, and Goulburn 

The Questions are being asked by the breakfast presenter Ewan Gilbert.

Quote from Brian Smith

The city council there was suffering some budget problems as a result of COVID and they were looking for ways to cut spending.

The operating costs of the Riccarton bus lounges made them a candidate. But they consulted with the community, and they received overwhelming support for the retention of the bus lounges.

So it’s great to see the council both listening to its community, but also recognising the benefits to customers of operating these high quality passenger waiting spaces. It really does treat bus passengers in Christchurch is very valued customers.

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