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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Otago & Southland Provincial Districts]

Tramcars, Cabs, Etc

page 54

Tramcars, Cabs, Etc.

Dunedin is well supplied with cheap and effective means of locomotion. Tram lines run from the northern extremity of the city and suburbs down to Caversham and Ocean Beach, and to St. Clair, a distance of perhaps six miles. The haulage was formerly done by horses, but an electric tram service was opened in December, 1903. The two suburbs of Roslyn and Mornington are connected with the middle of the city by cable trams, the first of their kind in the colony. The extension lines to the summit of the ridges on this side of the city and into the valley beyond, provide easy and rapid means of transit on gradients where horse traffic would be impossible. The descent down the Mornington extension, one of the steepest cable lines in the world, is an experience rather disconcerting to the stranger. The fares on all these lines are extremely moderate—twopence is enough to take the traveller from one end of the city to the other.

'Buses naturally find it hard work to compete with the trams, which run very frequently and regularly. But there is still some traffic for the 'bus along the suburban roads leading up towards the reservoir and Nichol's Creek, as well as towards Ocean Beach and St. Clair. The fares are low—sixpence will usually cover a suburban trip. Dunedin, however, like most hilly towns, is not well suited to horsed vehicles; and it is astonishing that the horse cars succeeded so well as they did on the tram lines. Considering the natural difficultes of the town there is a satisfactory supply of cabs, chiefly fourwheelers. The horses do not make so fine a show as the unsurpassable cab horses of Christchurch, but allowing for the hilly country on which they often have to work, they are a very creditable collection. Cab-fares in Dunedin are somewhat higher than those which prevail in several of the more northern cities. The regulation charge by time is 4s per hour for the first three hours for one horse, and 5s per hour for two horses. By distance, the fare is 1s for half a mile or less, for one horse, 1s 6d for two. For anything over half a mile up to a mile the fare is 1s 6d for one horse, 2s for two; additional half miles or fractions thereof running to an extra 9d or 1s according to the number of horses. For the convenience of parties going out to the suburbs, four-wheelers take four or five passengers to St. Kilda, Caversham, Anderson's Bay, and other suburbs about the same distance away, for 6d each. After 10 p.m. and before 8 a.m. fares are doubled, but on Sundays and public holidays only ordinary fares are supposed to be charged. For a distinctly hilly city Dunedin is on the whole very well provided with speedy and effective methods of internal communication.