New bus shelter for Kaiti Mall
School students who called for a bus shelter to be built in Kaiti have had their request actioned.
A modern, aluminium and glass bus shelter with seats was installed outside Kaiti Mall last month. The low maintenance shelter is the first of several bus shelters to be installed throughout the city over the next few years. Kaiti Mall is the busiest area for pickups on both the school bus service and city bus service so that was the first place to get a new shelter.
The Elgin Shopping Centre is next. A new bus shelter will be built on Lytton Road just before the Elgin shops in the next six weeks. Council has budgeted for two bus shelters to be installed each year for the next four years. The new shelters will be installed in the areas where there is the highest demand; not all bus stops will have a shelter. Some of the old concrete shelters will also be upgraded or replaced.
A hikoi and protest organised by Gisborne Girls High school students in 2011 about the cost of the school bus service and the lack of bus shelters was the initial driver behind the bus shelters. Since then school bus trials were conducted in 2011 and 2012. All the information gathered will feed into a review of the Council run school bus service later this year. The school bus contract comes up for renewal in 2015.
The bus issue was a social justice issue that was investigated by the Gisborne Girls High School Year 12 Health Studies class of 2011 for a health promotion achievement standard, says Gisborne Girls High School acting principal Jan Kumar. “This was about improving educational outcomes as there was perceived to be a link between the inequities of the bus service and the educational outcomes for students in Kaiti and Tamarau. The hikoi was organised by these students to put a focus on both the school bus service and the lack of bus shelters.”
“It is really great to see this action by the Council – I am sure the students will appreciate the shelters, particularly on rainy days. It is especially good for students to see that they can make a stand about issues that concern them – and that someone will listen and make real changes as a result.”
Changes are also afoot for the city bus service. On the 2 September the bus routes and timetable will change. The location of the shelters will of course align with the new routes. The timetable and routes will be confirmed next month.