Wellington Scoop

Apologising for the buses

by Lindsay Shelton
There’s been a second apology about the buses from Regional Council chair Chris Laidlaw.

In a statement yesterday claiming that “MetLink is listening,” he said:

“Change of this nature is never an enjoyable experience and we are sorry this has been such a negative experience for some people.”

A qualified and fairly muted and brief apology. Defensive, too: he believes there was no way his council could have made the change enjoyable?

This was his second apology. Back on July 20 (when the bus problems were less than a week old), he said:

¨We´ll get there in the end but this is a bumpy ride and I apologise to anybody who’s been disadvantaged by this … and they’re right to complain and we accept the complaints… All I can say is be patient.”

On August 8, city councillor Diane Calvert went to a meeting of the regional council’s sustainable transport committee and tweeted that she was expecting an apology from the committee:

“Looking forward to seeing the Chair’s public statement.”

At that meeting, Cr Sue Kedgley said:

“We need to … front up and apologise to the hundreds of Wellingtonians who have been affected over the past few weeks.”

Her colleague, the transport committee’s former chairman Paul Swain, made his own apology:

“…there are lots of things we got wrong and we apologise for that.”

Mark Cubey, reporting from the meeting for the Wellington App, quoted Wairarapa councillor Adrienne Staples as observing that despite apologies from individual councillors, “nothing formal” was in place:

She asked if GWRC planned to issue a statement apologising to the public. The response from the chair and councillors was inconclusive, and no resolution was adopted.

One day after the meeting, a lengthy news release from the regional council said that councillors acknowledged the introduction of the network had caused considerable discomfort for many bus customers, and there were still problems to be dealt with. Then it said:

…the council expressed its apologies to customers affected by the disruption [and] also highlighted the ongoing efforts to identify causes of the problems and the progress being made with fixing them

Was this the apology that Diane Calvert was expecting, and that Mark Cubey reported had not been made by the meeting?

Two days after the meeting, Roger Blakeley seemed to think a formal apology had been made:

You may have read …that at the Sustainable Transport Committee on Wednesday, the Chair and Councillors acknowledged and apologised for the serious and distressing problems that bus commuters have suffered in the last four weeks.

So let’s count yesterday’s “sorry” from Chris Laidlaw as the second, not the third apology. And then let’s consider whether “sorry” is an adequate response after five weeks of bus problems.


  1. Jonny Utzone, 17. August 2018, 9:12

    Well said Lindsay! And note that GWRC is now considering fining the bus companies for failing to operate to GWRC’s ill-conceived timetables.

    Any sensible Council would have done ‘due diligence and risk management’ and so worked out the problems and solutions during contract negotiations, contract awarding and ongoing meetings with the bus companies.

    An inquiry is needed about this debacle.

  2. Susan Says, 17. August 2018, 9:56

    Happy that Metlink is listening and happy too that the GWRC is apologizing but less happy with the decision-making processes of the GWRC which created this debacle. Now we need to see some actual thought through changes which will return an efficient and effective bus service to Wellingtonians, not one where the timetables are developed offshore and where the bottom line rules.

    We need to have stronger and different representation on the GWRC in the future. Name recognition clearly does not guarantee good decision making. The GWRC is a powerful group and what they decide has far-reaching consequences for all Wellingtonians.

    Next elections we need to demand quality candidates who are in the public interest. Let’s shake it up and call a halt to more poorly informed decisions. The only positive outcome from all this is that finally the GWRC is under public scrutiny and I hope that translates into more interest around election time.

  3. Roy Kutel, 17. August 2018, 10:18

    @Susan – take a leaf out of the Health Board elections where candidates write half a page on their qualifications / views on health. Given 75-80% of GWRC is governing trains and buses, then the same should apply to people wanting $60k a year. Note that ten of the thirteen are gold card users according to D. Ponter so you can add on about $30k for their pension plus free off-peak bus and train travel.

  4. Lim, 17. August 2018, 10:18

    Susan. Metlink is not listening. Wellington people have been telling GWRC for 4 years that they don’t want hubs, as designing something requiring multiple transfers in a compact city like Wellington is total madness.

    Ignoring people’s feedback for 4 years and then reinstating a *single* old route after tremendous public pressure. This is not listening, this is called a** covering (pardon my French) . This leaves the remaining 99% of the new network which delivers very poor service for commuters.

    This is a failure to listen, a failure to consult in good faith and a lack of integrity to admit fundamental design errors and making amends.

  5. D Boyle, 17. August 2018, 15:25

    It is now hideous, was good before; the resentment from people waiting long periods at winter bus stops is intense. The mess continues.

  6. Alana, 18. August 2018, 1:29

    Regional Council elections next year. Let’s remember who stood up for people and who didn’t.

  7. Cyclist, 18. August 2018, 5:27

    A “bumpy ride” according to Chris Laidlaw. A bumpy ride would be welcomed – better than no ride! And where is the Wellington City Council in all of this?? They can’t even ensure hubs and shelters for those who had a bumpy ride…We have gone from a city with good public transport and quiet electric trolleys, to a polluted CBD, with people waiting in the wind and rain for their bumpy crowded, noisy, fume-belching ride…or none at all.

  8. Dave Armstrong, 20. August 2018, 15:51

    Metlink are now theming different days of the week. No Show Monday will be followed by Get Lost Tuesday, then No Room on the Bus Wednesday, followed by Thank God it’s Friday. There is no theme for Thursday as it had to be cancelled at short notice due to staff shortages. [via twitter]

  9. Genny, 20. August 2018, 17:37

    Bus shelters need to be heated as we now spend so long waiting for a bus to turn up esp at peak hour times. Coffee carts could do a roaring trade at bus hubs.

  10. Jonny Utzone, 20. August 2018, 18:58

    DA > you forget the weekends. How about “Stay at home Saturday” and “pray for a Bus Sunday”.

  11. Fleur Templeton, 20. August 2018, 20:22

    Hopeless and infuriating Metlink. It’s a horrible night in Wellington and family just took over an hour in a trip on #2 that used to be 20 mins from work at hospital to home. We won’t take buses anymore. Will have to find alternative – drive car or Uber. [via twitter]

  12. Metlink, 20. August 2018, 20:27

    #29: Cancellations from 8pm onwards from Hutchinson Terminus & 9:20pm onwards from Brooklyn. #17: Cancellations in both directions from 8pm onwards. We do apologise for any inconvenience caused. [via twitter]

  13. Sarah Free, 20. August 2018, 21:23

    Distressing stuff re Kowhai Park and Brooklyn services today;- missing morning buses, leaks in bus roof, radios playing and services cancelled from 8 pm onwards. [via twitter]

  14. Lim, 20. August 2018, 23:01

    There are now too many things wrong with this new network and too many variables to fix. The immediate number 1 priority has to be stabilisation of the network. If the network can’t be stabilised then any improvement which is added could actually cause negative domino effects throughout the network.

    IMHO. Business Continuity Plan must now be executed, ie. roll back the network to the last known good state to achieve stabilisation.

    I know GWRC has mentioned contract constraints, hence a long lead time in making changes. Ultimately a contract is only an instrument and it should not be an impediment to change. If all parties are prepared to act quickly and in good faith ie. GWRC, Bus Companies, Drivers then the network can be rolled back to the last known good state promptly.

    We need a stable public transport system urgently !

  15. CPH, 21. August 2018, 16:38

    It’s a bit rich that GWRC are complaining about the constraints in the bus contracts when they negotiated them!

  16. Lim, 21. August 2018, 16:55

    Metlink. It’s now over 2 months and the bus service is beyond ridiculous. My son’s Wellington College school bus got randomly cancelled today with no notice. He was waiting for one hour and rang me to pick him up.
    Cancelling adult buses is bad, cancelling school buses is extremely bad as young kids do not quite know how to fend for themselves. I am so p*** off !!

  17. Jonny Utzone, 21. August 2018, 17:12

    @Lim – I’m not sure GWRC has much to do with School Buses as they are managed by the Ministry of Education under a different contract regime. And, you will be pleased to hear that contracts are up for renegotiation in 2019! What could go wrong?

  18. greenwelly, 21. August 2018, 17:23

    @Jonny U, Metlink seemed to be donkey deep in running them last year….

  19. Lim, 21. August 2018, 17:46

    Hi @Jonny. As far as I am aware the achool bus contract was run by Metlink as the prime service provider. I do not believe MOE contracted NZBus/Tranzit directly for the school bus service.

  20. Gillybee, 21. August 2018, 18:25

    Sign the petition here calling for an inquiry folks. Next local body elections are still a hell of a long way off.

  21. Dr Rebecca Priestley, 23. August 2018, 9:11

    My 11yo texts to say they’ve been at bus stop for 20 minutes, no bus, even though board has said “due” for 5 minutes; two Not in Service buses drive past my bus stop; & another bus makes a noisy crash into a roundabout while doing a turn. Make it stop Metlink, please![via twitter]

  22. Morris Oxford, 23. August 2018, 9:40

    What is the ‘board’ meant to be based on? When I last asked, it was based on the timetable and had nothing to do with reality. Ridiculous.

  23. Jonny Utzone, 23. August 2018, 9:50

    I bet Metlink haven’t loaded all the details of the new operator’s buses into the Real Time Information system yet and there will be problems with the software coping with the new routes etc. So unreliable reliability data….

  24. Lim, 23. August 2018, 10:08

    @Rebecca. Please ensure that you write to Metlink. It really infuriates me when the bus problems are starting to affect school children. Some of them are too young to fend for themselves to call an Uber or Taxi.
    I rang and wrote to Metlink yesterday and got a response that anything to do with school children is classified as “serious” incidents and they will investigate.
    The real problem is that the new network has got itself in to a really unstable state due to network design errors and fixing one part could cause negative impacts in the other part of the network due to the hub and spoke design. The fix has to be systemic rather than piecemeal, ie. bring back many of the point to point design of the old network.

  25. Tony Jansen, 23. August 2018, 12:08

    GWRC – Vote them all out next year!!!!!
    And since this ridiculous tendering process was designed by Steven Joyce and forced on us by the last National Government, I suggest all National Party supporters out there inundate their local National MP with complaints. The rest of us please flood Laidlaw and Donaldson with complaints. After all they are the two GWRC culprits in this disaster.
    Whatever your political persuasion, we must all ensure that these two councillors as a minimum, are voted out next election.

  26. G. Gregan, 23. August 2018, 17:47

    I see Cr Daran Ponter has said that the Regional Council, during the 8 (EIGHT) years they took to plan their new bus system, failed to factor in the capital’s winding streets and the extra time double deckers took to load. Duh! The council clearly needed ‘four more years’ to get it right.

  27. Concerned Wellingtonian, 23. August 2018, 19:44

    The council clearly needed ‘four more years’ and a couple of elections to get it right.

  28. CPH, 23. August 2018, 21:03

    Eight years to plan a bus network?! It only took six years to defeat Hitler! And at least that plan worked!

  29. Metlink, 24. August 2018, 9:15

    Bus 17e: 07:40am Kowhai park to Wellington Station is cancelled. Check real time info for next service. [via twitter – and bad luck for schoolkids wanting to get to school]

  30. Venise, 24. August 2018, 10:18

    Just got to the Hutchison hub outbound on the 23, and as we pulled up the not-full route 3 bus DROVE OFF. It was 7:49 departure from 7746. He/she should have waited for the three transferring passengers getting off the 23; we were ten seconds crossing the road. NOT OK. Transferring should mean the buses coordinate not ignore commuters. [via twitter]

  31. Venise, 24. August 2018, 10:19

    The next bus did the same thing. The 23 arrived from Vogeltown and the 3 inbound I was on LEFT the hub at the same time. Does transferring mean nothing? The system doesn’t work if passengers can’t transfer. The route 3 is not full. (Hutchison hub at 7:58am.)
    If we must transfer, at least coordinate bus departure and arrivals so drivers who can SEE the bus arriving do not leave the hub 10 seconds before transferring passengers alight. [via twitter]

  32. Lim, 24. August 2018, 11:38

    @Venise. The symptoms that you are experiencing on transfer is exactly the reason why a hub and spoke design does not work for Wellington. Hub and spoke design is contingent on traffic arriving on time at every hub which is impossible to achieve in Wellington’s single lane, narrow roads. You cannot predict traffic.
    The transferring bus cannot wait for you because if it waits for you, it is going to be late at the next hub and that creates a whole chain of domino delay effect throughout the network. One can argue whether the grace period should be 15 or 30 seconds but it does not get away from the fact that hub and spoke design simply does work in Wellington.
    Bottom line. We need the direct routes back promptly !

  33. greenwelly, 24. August 2018, 12:30

    @Lim, It can work if they leave enough slack in the timetables, but that requires the buses to have a 5-10 minute overlap…
    The current timetables don’t appear to have enough slack in them.( I’m guessing because it costs money having a bus sitting there waiting).

  34. John Rankin, 24. August 2018, 12:37

    @Lim says “hub and spoke design simply does not work in Wellington.” As @Lim implies, this is equivalent to saying that buses cannot run on time in Wellington. Running to schedule is a pre-requisite for a hub and spoke model to work.

    I don’t think we should give up so easily. Buses don’t run to schedule because Wellington has not taken the hard decisions necessary for them to do so. These include:
    – Design schedules with enough “recovery time” in them to let the driver make up for lost time. A bus may arrive at a scheduled timing point early, but may not leave early.
    – Make cars give way to buses signalling to leave bus stops. This eliminates delays while buses wait for a gap in the traffic.
    – Provide more bus lanes approaching traffic lights and let the bus go first when the light changes. If necessary remove car parks to make room.
    – Run a tight real-time operation so that when delays occur, you take remedial action. This includes warning other drivers to look out for late-transferring passengers and pulling in reserve buses to pick up passengers so that late-running buses can make up time.
    – Establish a top-to-bottom organisational culture that expects and demands on-time performance. It’s hard to deliver this kind of operational excellence in the “lowest cost operator” environment required by the current Public Transport Operating Model.

    Wellington has wasted 8 years not introducing measures that would get buses operating to schedule. Moving to a hub and spoke model without good timekeeping in place was always doomed to fail. A change of the scale recently made was only ever going to make already poor timekeeping worse.

    Given the will, we can do better. Meanwhile, @Lim’s proposal that we bring back direct routes makes a lot of sense. We need breathing space while we fix the timekeeping problems. Hiring some experienced bus drivers to redesign the schedules might be a good place to start.

  35. luke, 24. August 2018, 12:56

    replace on street carparking on key arterials with clearways and buslanes and you will probably eliminate congestion.

  36. Kerry, 24. August 2018, 14:11

    Lim, Venise, Luke

    As John says, hub-and-spoke works for public transport. Most people have only one route passing close to their home. More choices at the start of each trip would be costly and ineffective, so we all have to rely on hubs to go anywhere beyond walking distance from our ‘home’ route. Almost all airlines use hub-and-spoke, and cost-effective bus services do the same. Greater Wellington was right to see hub-and-spoke as a solution.

    The mistake was to ignore timekeeping, which might have been a bit of institutional self-delusion. A report to Council in last year noted that buses had recently been 99.9% on-time (Report 17.58 to Sustainable Transport Committee, 14 March 2017, figure on page 5). That was exceptionally good, but ruined by a very bad definition of ‘on-time.’ It seems to have been less that ten minutes late at the start and end of the run, but with no limits on early-running. Unfortunately, Councillors failed to question either the definition of ‘on-time,’ or the number of bus services delivered: only 99.5%. What happened had to the other 0.4% was never clear.

    Public transport timekeeping can never be perfect but can be adequate if sustained by measures to help a late-running driver. Reasonable timekeeping limits might be:
    — No departures from any stop more than 30 seconds early.
    — No more than 5–10% of departures more than about 1.5 to 3 minutes late.

    The more accurate the timekeeping, the faster and more reliable the hubs, trips and routes.

    Luke: That has been tried repeatedly for over seventy years, and it never works for long. The benefits of Auckland’s Waterview Tunnel were gone in six months. If you increase capacity you get more traffic, with illusory economic gains. If you reduce capacity you get less traffic, with illusory economic losses.

  37. Lim, 24. August 2018, 14:41

    @greenwelly. Adjusting the time table will not work either because a lot of the “hubs” are no more than a standard single lane bus stop. Take the Karori Tunnel “Hub” for example, if a bus is waiting at the Karori “Hub” for 5 mins, traffic will queue for a mile. The underlying infrastructure simply does not support hub and spoke design currently as pointed out by @JohnRankin.

    @luke. Removing car parking spaces to create bus lane is a possible solution but that will be a big fight with car lovers.

    Direct route is still the most sensible solution for short to medium term bearing in mind @Neil Douglas’s research on transfer penalty. No one want to incur a transfer penalty which double/triple the travelling time for a journey less than 3 KMs !

  38. Lim, 24. August 2018, 15:37

    @kerry. Hub and spoke is a valid network architecture. However I do not believe it is the appropriate network design for Wellington given the current infrastructure constraints. Overseas examples of where hub and spoke have worked well have dedicated bus lanes and/or multi lane roads.
    Right now the number 1 priority is to stabilise the network and ease the great pain for commuters and I believe the old direct routes are the answer until underlying infrastructure can be sorted.

  39. Greenwelly, 24. August 2018, 16:42

    @Lim, the Bus hubs are “apparently” designed to allow one bus to wait for another, in a space that does not interrupt traffic, – whether this happened IRL is another matter,

    The Karori tunnel Hub specs show that traffic is supposed to be able to pass the parked buses.

  40. Roy Kutel, 24. August 2018, 16:43

    Kerry – Only one bus hub is needed for our tiddly town and it’s Wellington Rail/Bus Station! Melbourne, Mexico City, Montreal, Mumbai we are not!

  41. Lim, 24. August 2018, 18:20

    @Greenwelly. Good find on the Karori Hub design document.

    Interesting to read the design. I am a local in that area and go through that “hub” everyday. The hub entering the tunnel from the Wellington end is definitely one bus only (ie. no passing). I have seen buses piling up behind one another on that “hub”. The hub exiting the tunnel heading to Wellington could accommodate ONE bus and possibly a car. Another bus will have difficulty passing. So much for the design!

  42. Trevor H, 24. August 2018, 19:07

    Driving past “hubs” in Kilbirnie and Miramar today I thought I was witnessing a massed performance of Waiting for Godot. Could be a winner for the next Arts Festival?

  43. Kerry, 24. August 2018, 19:58

    Roy — If a single hub at the Railway Station is enough, will it be acceptable to take a bus from Island Bay to the Railway Station, then another back to Kingston? or Seatoun? If we already have the one hub we need, why are the buses not working?
    — Why don’t we use BRT? because real BRT—designed to a proper standard—won’t fit. And if it isn’t designed to a proper standard (as in the PTSS) it will fit but won’t work.
    — Buses on the golden mile will be a good choice if they are cut back to 50 bus/h, but that isn’t enough at peak hours.
    — A second route is tricky (the PTSS gave up), but is possible on the waterfront. The problem is, a second route would be about 60% full on opening day. More passengers on buses, on routes expanded to relieve congestion, would soon use up the new capacity. And imagine all the passengers getting on or off in inconvenient places.

    A second problem, making the route problem much bigger, is that only three streets are available, for all purposes: Lambton Quay, Victoria St.
    Wellington IS a big city—in some ways—because of these two problems.

    The most likely solution is:
    — Up to about 50 bus/hr on the golden mile, all day. All buses would run beyond Te Aro Park and the Railway Station, in both directions, on selected routes.
    — Light rail on the waterfront. This gives much bigger capacity because long modern trams can still fit on narrow streets. Auckland has chosen 66m long.
    — Light rail can carry up to about 11,000 passengers an hour, giving a thorough-city capacity of about 14,000 on both bus and light rail routes. Plenty of scope for expansion.
    — Hubs at the Railway Station and Te Aro Park allow changes as needed, or many people will choose to walk from one or other hub. Very few existing rail passengers take the bus to a destination north of Civic Square
    — Reasonable light rail access to the golden mile, with stops at Frank Kitts Park (a 180 m walk to Lambton Q, on a covered overhead walkway) and Midland Park.

    The cost is surprisingly low. Light rail carrying 3500 or more peak-hour passengers is cheaper than buses, considering both operating costs and capital charges. One tram carries as many passengers as five buses, and the biggest operating cost is the driver’s wages.

  44. Roy kutel, 24. August 2018, 20:59

    Kerry: 1 in 12 transfer between trains and buses in the Wgtn region. It’s not popular and never will be.

  45. Ross Clark, 25. August 2018, 0:00

    @Kerry. To quote:
    The cost is surprisingly low. Light rail carrying 3500 or more peak-hour passengers is cheaper than buses, considering both operating costs and capital charges.
    On straight operating costs, yes; but absolutely not cheaper once capital is taken into account, given some recent project costings, such as $NZ100m/km for Edinburgh, and even more for Sydney. Do you seriously think that light rail could be built in Wellington for less than, say, $NZ40m/km?

    One tram carries as many passengers as five buses
    Yes, but this is only seen at the peak (observed traveller behaviour).

    The biggest operating cost is the driver’s wages
    Agreed, but you would probably need a second onboard person for revenue collection.

  46. John Rankin, 25. August 2018, 7:40

    Unlike @RoyKutel, I’m not prepared to let our decision-makers off the hook so easily. There is nothing in Wellington’s water, our genes, our geography, or our culture that makes transfers unpopular. Officials and politicians have spent the last 50 years training us not to like transfers, by designing and operating a dysfunctional network in which transfers don’t work. In the last month, they have trained us to really, really hate transfers.

    @Roy is right that transfers are not popular (in the current system disliking transfers is a rational response), but transfers “never will be” only if we continue to tolerate the status quo. If we want to attract people onto public transport, the status quo is not good enough.

    @Lim rightly notes that “No one wants to incur a transfer penalty which doubles/triples the travelling time”. Part of sorting the underlying infrastructure is to manage transfer penalties as transfer risk. It’s not a fixed number, but a combination of the traveller’s perceived likelihood of missing a connection and the impact of doing so.

    Running buses to schedule reduces the likelihood of a missed connection. That’s a necessary step but it’s not sufficient. The hub design must also reduce the impact of making a transfer. This includes frequent services (so if you miss a connection, you don’t have to wait long for the next bus) and making sure the hubs keep transferring passengers safe, warm, and dry (especially at night). It also helps if you don’t put passengers at risk of being run over walking from one bus to another.

    There are standards and guidelines for hub design, but it requires investment. Is Wellington making the level of investment needed to build hubs to a suitable standard? If not, @Lim’s right that we ought to revert to direct routes.

    If we want a hub and spoke network (and we do, for the reasons @Kerry gives) do it well or don’t do it at all.

  47. B. Sooter, 25. August 2018, 8:47

    John & Kerry – Given that it will be GWRC/WCC building/managing the ‘hubs’ the evidence based answer is they will be BAD. So let’s keep it simple and provide direct buses. And Ross, you are so right, LRT will be more expensive operationally. The peak lasts for two hours per day so we don’t need to spend billions when a few extra buses and drivers will do just fine.

  48. Traveller, 25. August 2018, 10:37

    There seems to be an over-supply of mostly-empty buses during non-peak hours. For example: double-deckers to Kingston mid-afternoon can never be justified.

  49. Glen Smith, 25. August 2018, 20:49

    Kerry. Have to agree with Lim on this. You trivialize the transfer penalty despite good empirical research evidence that this is a major deterrent to utilisation, even in high frequency networks. Why would would you design a network with a high level of transfers, especially to the CBD, when, given Wellington’s size,this can be avoided? Rather than starting with the best design then deciding on mode, you are biased towards light rail even though making this fit requires a similar flawed Hub and Spoke design with multiple transfers, just using steel wheels rather than rubber.
    We should go back to basic design principles.
    The logical design, used worldwide, is ‘lines’ that start from a peripheral location, traverse the CBD without transfer, then continue to another peripheral destination. Transfers are only required to get from one line to another where they intersect.
    These lines are commonly different modes that support different functions or niches. Specifically some are rapid, high quality, high capacity lines that act as ‘bulk’ carriers and are designed to rapidly transport large numbers of people across the city without having to navigate crowded multipurpose spaces. Overseas this is commonly subway rail (not an easy option here). These are typically lines with the higher passenger loads. Other lines are designed to navigate the multipurpose spaces – typically buses (or in some cases light rail like in Munich) usually at lower speed and lower capacity units. The ‘bulk carrier’ lines and ‘multipurpose space’ lines often run in parallel close to the CBD but serve different functions. So a person starting at a peripheral location in Sydney can catch the bus and then transfer to subway (if they want to get across the city rapidly) or stay in the bus if they are going to a surface city location.
    We can replicate this design here. In fact things are ideally designed for this.
    We have 4 rail lines that approach the city from the north (Kapiti, Hutt/ Wairarapa, Johnsonville and Melling – Melling is currently truncated but should be extended to service the Lower Hutt CBD and more of the western side of the Hutt). Each should traverse the CBD without transfer, then continue to a peripheral destination. This requires trains to run on our existing network and also across the CBD. You and our planners fail to present this as an option but have supplied no sound reason why this is unachievable and the record of our planners to date shows they repeatedly fail to investigate options in a thorough and objective manner. For example; failing to examine the option of a rail tunnel parallel to the Arras tunnel, failing to properly examine an Option X basin design, failing to look at a Quays rail corridor (or a second across town corridor at all), failing to consider a dual road rail Mt Victoria tunnel, failing to examine the option of trolley/battery hybrid buses, failing to present a dual cycleway option for Island Bay, failing to include examine extending rail across the new Melling Bridge…..
    A review of track sharing in Germany 2002 (onlinepubs.trb.org>tcrp>tcrp_rrd_47) looks at the history and technical aspects of track sharing. At one point it notes “while waiting for a light rail train in Saarbruecken a DB iron ore train passed the platform where I was standing, just minutes ahead of my arriving LRV on the same track”. Could you and our planners read this then advise why this is not achievable here.
    Two of these lines (Kapiti and Hutt/Wairarapa) are the lines with the highest passenger loads and should fill the rapid, ‘bulk carrier’, city bypass niche along the Quays. The logical destination for both is the airport. Johnsonville and Lower Hutt rail lines should be paired with destinations that are easily achievable- in my view Lyall Bay and Miramar (these could be added over time) as the basis of Transport Oriented Design for future medium density growth in the large flat areas in the Kilbirnie/ Miramar flats. Other routes should remain as buses for the foreseeable future, running along the Golden Mile with lines designed to fill in the areas not covered by rail. Transfer stations (NOT aggregation hubs) would occur where lines intersect on either side of the city.

  50. John Rankin, 25. August 2018, 20:59

    @BSooter might wish to do some arithmetic. Based on projected population growth and GW’s aim to increase PT mode share, I calculate the peak period PT demand on the busiest corridor will be about 9000 passengers per hour in 25 years. The “peak of the peak” is higher still. A few extra buses will do just fine? I don’t think so.

    Sadly, I fear @BSooter may be spot on regarding the hubs.

    [Comments on this topic are now closed, as we’ve reached the maximum of 50 that our system can handle.]