Now consulting on public transport

Southlanders now have the opportunity to provide input into the public transport plan, which is out for consultation until 5pm, Monday 12 April 2021.

The draft Southland Regional Public Transport Plan 2021-31 sets the future direction of public transport in Invercargill and the wider Southland region.

Although transport is a regional council responsibility, the public transport services in Southland are currently delivered under contract by the Invercargill City Council.

Environment Southland lead transport planner Russell Hawkes says Environment Southland and the Invercargill City Council are jointly consulting to look at the wider public transport system across the Southland region.

“Southland’s existing public transport services are largely servicing the urban population of Invercargill. One of the questions this plan asks is whether all our communities are sufficiently serviced, or whether there’s a need to consider options in the future to provide better connections for the entire region.”

The draft public transport plan also highlights a new bus schedule and routes for Invercargill’s existing bus service. Instead of the current four circular routes, there is the potential to create six ‘pulse routes’ that come together regularly at a central terminus.

Invercargill City Council roading manager Russell Pearson says the network changes will provide better coverage, and result in on-bus trip times under 15 minutes to and from the central city.

“The changes are in response to customer feedback that loops took too long, were not direct enough, and that timetables did not get passengers into town at the right time, particularly in the mornings.”

Feedback is also sought on whether the Total Mobility scheme is sufficient, and the environmental impacts of public transport.

Copies of the draft public transport plan and a submission form are available from the Invercargill City Council and Environment Southland offices, or online at

Also out for consultation until 12 noon, Monday 29 March 2021 are the draft Otago Southland Regional Land Transport Plans 2021-31. Jointly created with Otago Regional Council, this document proposes improvements to the two regions’ transport networks for the next six years, and forms the application for funding from the National Land Transport Fund for the next three years. Find out more and have your say at