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Embrace sustainable travel

We aspire to being a university where sustainable travel choices are embraced by all staff and students. This doesn't mean ditching cars completely – it's about creating an environment where we can be comfortable and confident taking a range of travel modes that fit our circumstances, while looking after ourselves, our communities and the planet.

This is reflected in our first Workplace Travel Plan, launched in September 2022.

Download the University of Otago Workplace Travel Plan

This plan is focussed on the Dunedin campus to begin with, and will be reviewed, expanded and updated regularly.

Your feedback will help ensure that our University backs the right initiatives at the right time to support sustainable travel choices.
This mahi is part of achieving our Net Carbon Zero programme target of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by more than half by 2029.

Read more about our Net Carbon Zero programme

Sustainable Development Goals

Get active

Changing travel habits can benefit your health, as well as the environment.


Cycling is a cheap, quick, and healthy way to get around. 75% of University staff live within easy cycling distance of campus (5km). Increasing cycling facilities, along with e-bikes, mean our cities are also becoming easy and safe places to bike.

There is bike parking all over the University. This includes the e-bike storage hub on the south side of the Castle Lecture Theatre complex. Here you'll find racks for 44 bikes, security lights, security cameras monitored by Campus Watch and a drinking fountain. This awesome project was made possible due to the co-funding from the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (ECCA).

University staff in any location can get discounts on bikes, including e-bikes, from Evo Cycles. Staff can also access a discount at Dunedin Electric Bikes for an e-bike conversion kit.

If you're keen to get on your bike, you can find helpful information about cycling safely on the Aotearoa Bike Challenge's website.


Regular walking can improve your health, save you money and reduce your impact on the environment.

Many staff and students live within what is considered easy walking distance of their campus (2km).

You can combine walking with other modes of transport. If you live on a hill near a bus route, you could walk down the hill to work and take the bus home in the evening.

Need some new sneakers? Frames Footwear offer a discount to University staff on non-sale shoes.

Public Transport

Bus better with Bee

The Bee Card is your electronic smart card for using the bus in Dunedin. It's easy to use, gets you boarding faster, and for most trips is cheaper than using cash.

Most other cities with an Otago campus have a smart travel card that provides a discount compared to a cash fare – Invercargill also uses the Bee Card, while Auckland has the AT Hop Card, Wellington has the Snapper Card and Christchurch has the Metrocard.

Learn more or order your Bee Card

Know when to go

The Otago Regional Council's journey planner can help to plan your trip in Dunedin. You can also access real-time bus information on the Transit app.

For those outside of Dunedin:


Starting a carpool is a great way to reduce the cost of driving and take at least one, if not more, vehicles off the road.

Find more helpful information about carpooling in Dunedin

Stay safe

Want to try catching the bus or using a bike, but feel unsafe getting to and from your bus stop/bike park and the campus? Campus Watch can walk staff to their bus stop, bike park (or car park) if they are working late.

Contact details:

Flexible working

Changes to working arrangements, such as entering into informal or formal working from home agreements, are a good time to consider how you travel to and from campus.

This might mean relinquishing an assigned car park or more regularly using public transport, car-pooling and/or active transport such as walking and cycling to reduce emissions, increase fitness and/or save money.

Travelling for work

Climate-friendly connections

While travel can create important collaboration opportunities and enhance them, travel also has significant environmental and financial effects – including the cost of flights, airport transfers and accommodation, greenhouse gas emissions and the time spent travelling.

We can all help reduce the unwanted travel effects while maintaining valuable contacts and connections by choosing online options when available and taking the most carbon-efficient way to travel when not. Being sustainable does not necessarily involve more cost or more time.

Visit our page on Business Air Travel and Greenhouse Gas Emissions for more information about flying

The future of transport

Our University is working with organisations such as city and regional councils, Te Whatu Ora and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency to make it easier for people to get around. In Dunedin, there is a particular focus on minimising disruption during the New Dunedin Hospital build.

  • Stay up to date about travel in Dunedin
  • Like the Connecting Dunedin Facebook page

Got information, updates or corrections for this page? Let us know.


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