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New bus owner ¨prepared and ready to go¨ when schools resume

Press Release – Tranzurban
Tranzurban is prepared for the big increase in passenger numbers and changed routes and timetables with the return to school on Monday.

“We’ve got the drivers we need and the team is prepared and ready to go,” says Paul Snelgrove, managing director of Tranzurban’s parent company, Tranzit Group.

“It’s been a fantastic effort to put everything into place and I couldn’t be prouder of all our people for the commitment they’ve shown.”

The launch of the Wellington region’s bus new network has been a hot topic of discussion for commuters.

New operators, new routes and timetables, and new vehicles – the changes are significant for Metlink commuters and bus operators alike, says Mr Snelgrove.

“Given just how much has changed, it’s taking a while for things to settle in,” says Mr Snelgrove.

How does Tranzurban fit into the new Metlink system?

Part of Tranzit Group, Tranzurban provides services to 60% of operator Metlink’s new regional network. It does not service the entire Wellington network. The remainder of the network is serviced by Uzabus (6%) and incumbent providers NZ Bus (28%) and Mana (6%).

For the Wellington urban network, Tranzurban provides about 50% of all routes and services, mainly on the north-south spine (Churton Park to Island Bay). Services from the eastern and western suburbs are run by other providers.

Information on which provider services each route (including school bus routes) is available on request from the Greater Wellington Regional Council.

What is the situation with drivers?

There is a national shortage of bus drivers in New Zealand and that’s why Tranzurban has worked hard to sign on new and existing drivers in Wellington and the Hutt Valley.

Of the 295 drivers working with Tranzurban, approximately 160 have joined from incumbent service providers and the remainder are drivers new to the industry or returning to driving. About 40 out-of-town drivers are being used temporarily as Tranzurban’s recruitment drive continues.

Mr Snelgrove says 20 new drivers have come onboard this week alone, so the company won’t need to call on out-of-town drivers for too much longer.

What about driver pay and conditions?

Tranzurban has no issues discussing a possible collective agreement for Tramways Union members.

It has been independently verified that Tranzurban offers some of the best hourly rates and terms and conditions in the country, says Mr Snelgrove.

Tranzurban offers a much higher basic hourly rate, so most of its Wellington drivers can be certain that, at $22.20 an hour, they’re $134 better off over 40 hours of work.

An independent report has shown that drivers with up to five years’ experience are better off with Tranzurban, while those with more than 10 years’ experience may be better off choosing to stay with their current employer.

Rostering and shifts

Tranzurban and Tranzit Group schedule all drivers’ shifts in line with regulations.

And what about those blue lights on the new double-deckers?

The blue lighting is new for Wellington buses but it’s increasingly being used here and overseas to improve pedestrian and vehicle safety.

“That’s especially important in a city like Wellington, with its busy, narrow streets,” says Mr Snelgrove. “The blue lighting reduces glare, greatly improving vision for drivers in low-light or dark conditions.”

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