Wellington Scoop

Count-down till the trolley buses disappear – less than a month to go

Press Release – Greater Wellington Regional Council
The last trolley bus will retire at the end of this month, as the era of the Wellington icon comes to an end.

Greater Wellington’s chairperson for the Sustainable Transport Committee Councillor Barbara Donaldson says she will be sad to see the trolley buses go but she is looking forward to Metlink’s new modern buses providing improved services from mid next year.

“The trolley buses have been part of the fabric of Wellington for over sixty years and are as Wellington as the Beehive and Cable Car. It’s going to be sad to not see them travelling our streets anymore but Wellington is growing and Metlink has to grow with it, by creating a new better service for public transport users and investing in the future, not holding onto the past.”

The Regional Council voted in 2014 to stop funding the trolleys as part of a plan to modernise the region’s bus fleet. New diesel and electric buses will begin service next July – at the same time as new bus operator contracts and an overhauled Wellington city network come into effect. Greater Wellington’s eventual goal is an all-electric fleet.

Power to the network will be shut off at the end of services on 31 October (around 11pm).

“Wellingtonians should see no change to services as the trolley buses are replaced with diesel buses by November 1. The bus services will continue along the same route as the trolleys on the same timetable,” says Cr Donaldson.

“The interim buses are relatively new – between four and eight years old – and most meet the Euro 5 emission standard. The world’s most stringent standard is Euro 6.”

Read also
Sad about the trolley buses?


  1. greenwelly, 3. October 2017, 16:47

    The Regional Council whacks out Press Statements that totally ignore the current national political situation

    “NZ First wants to keep the trolley buses, and build light rail to the airport” http://wellington.scoop.co.nz/?p=100596

  2. Stop Trexit, 3. October 2017, 16:58

    So why did Barbara ‘crocodile tears’ Donaldson vote to have the trolley buses killed off? She and her other ill-informed ‘diesel head’ councillors should have voted to improve the trolley buses to make them a special environmental and cost-effective feature of Wellington to market to locals and tourists alike.

  3. Michael, 3. October 2017, 21:12

    What a step backwards this is. Clearly the GWRC couldn’t care less what the public want. Roll on the smelly polluting second-hand buses for our short-changed city.

  4. Iona Pannett, 3. October 2017, 23:28

    Very, very disappointing; one of the best things about Wellington’s transport network are our electric buses. [via twitter]

  5. Chris Calvi-Freeman, 4. October 2017, 7:28

    Yes, very disappointing indeed. Sarah Free and I have made several attempts to reverse this GWRC decision but the die was cast 1-2 years ago & there’s no turning back unfortunately. We now need to continue to positively influence future transport provision. [via twitter]

  6. Citizen Joe, 4. October 2017, 16:37

    Yes CCF, lets all go backwards into the future. We could have had a trolley bus system the envy of the southern hemisphere for the price of 2 kms of Light Rail and without digging up the roads and business disruption. However I doubt we will ever see Light Rail either.

    A very sad state of affairs. But hey, that’s democracy.