Queenstown’s late-night bus operator vows to take a “stricter” stance with passengers confused about where they’re going.
Frankton-based Kiwi Shuttles runs from Camp Street to Arrowtown and Kelvin Heights, alternately, every hour between midnight and 5am on Saturday and Sunday mornings.
Boss Andrew Rutherford – who’s also the driver – reckons some people don’t realise the bus swaps between the two destinations every 60 minutes.
This is leading to some passengers getting off far from where they want to be.
“It’s happening every other week and it’s usually with people who have been drinking,” Rutherford says. “The timetables are easily visible but some get on the Kelvin Heights bus expecting to go to Arrowtown and vice versa.
“I always explain very clearly where I’m going but once they’re on the bus with their friends they won’t get back off. It’s a difficult situation.”
Two 20-year-old German women, working as nannies in Queenstown, claim they got caught up in the confusion.
Tina Pflanz says she had to walk for 90 minutes from Frankton to Kelvin Heights after getting on the Arrowtown bus at 4am on May 9.
“I was scared and hid behind trees whenever a car came along the road and I also phoned my parents in Germany on my mobile.”
Kerrin Matthiesen, who lives in Arrowtown, mistakenly got on the Kelvin Heights shuttle at 3am last Saturday – after paying a $10 fare.
She says she was eventually taken to Millbrook, after pointing out she couldn’t walk to Arrowtown from a drop-off point at Lake Hayes.
“I would never tell someone that I will take them somewhere I can’t,” says Rutherford. “If I have time, I will try and go out of my way to take people where they want to go.
“I do my best to be helpful. But from now on, I’ll have to be stricter with passengers when they get on the bus.”
Kiwi Shuttle departures from Queenstown in the early hours of Saturday and Sunday mornings.–
- To Frankton, Lake Hayes and Arrowtown: Midnight, 2am and 4am
- To Frankton and Kelvin Heights: 1am and 3am
- To Frankton only: 5am