Wellington Scoop

Metlink’s bus problems: “what we’re doing to make it better”

News from Metlink
Some months ago, we told you our public transport network would be better. Some of you have told us they’ve noticed an improvement, many have said it’s not working for them yet. It’s still early days, but we know the change has been uncomfortable, disruptive and at times inefficient.

It’s become obvious as we work to make it better, that we’ve shaken your confidence in something you rely on every day.

The city we love is growing rapidly. It needs a public transport network that keeps pace with the changing needs of the people who live here. So we need to keep moving forward. A change this big is complex and takes time to ensure it’s working the way we designed it.

You’ve told us what really matters. Now it’s important you know that we share your concerns and here’s what we’re doing to make it better.

I can’t be sure I’m going to get where I need to on time”

What we’re doing about it

We’re working on fine tuning the new timetabling to ensure buses have enough time to make all the stops when they’re supposed to.

We’ve made a change to Route 3. Services before 8am now start from Lyall Bay instead of Rongotai, so some buses in that area will run more often.

We’re going to introduce an off-peak 18e service between Miramar and Karori to make it easier for many to get to and from the university and hospital.

“I’m standing at the stop and full buses are driving by”

What we’re doing about it

We’re working closely with our operators to make sure that big buses run on the busy routes at the right time.

We’re deploying extra back up buses on Routes 3 and 36 between Lyall Bay, Hataitai and Wellington Train Station to provide more capacity.

We’re also deploying extra buses in the evening on Route 2 between Courtenay Place and Karori and Lambton Quay and Seatoun.

“I can’t rely on your real-time information, online or at the bus stop”

What we’re doing about it

We’re making improvements every day while we investigate a number of causes, including a bus by bus review to make sure they can pick up the GPS signal and the Real-Time Information equipment itself has been installed and used properly.

The new off-peak transfers are a hassle and make my journey longer”

What we’re doing about it

We know this is taking some getting used to. We’re working with operators to make the connections work as they should. When properly working, you shouldn’t have to wait more than five minutes to make a timetabled connection to another bus at a sheltered bus hub.

First published on Metlink’s website.


  1. Patrick Morgan, 18. August 2018, 12:31

    No disrespect to front line staff … but why would we trust the managers and councillors who screwed this up, to fix this mess? Where’s the apology? Where’s the enquiry? Where’s the accountability? [via twitter]

  2. Andrew, 18. August 2018, 16:20

    “A change this big is complex and takes time to ensure it’s working the way we designed it.”
    Here’s the thing. A good system should be designed around the needs of the users. Where did the transfer idea come from? I doubt from patrons of public transport. At which point will Metlink acknowledge their grand design is a failure?

  3. Michael Gibson, 18. August 2018, 17:00

    Patrick, the answer to your excellent questions is “Nowhere!” This is why the Minister of Local Government should appoint a Commission to take over GW’s transport responsibilities.

  4. M J Whitehead, 18. August 2018, 23:32

    OK Metlink, but when are you going to:
    a) Pay bus drivers enough that you can actually cover all the timetabled buses without endangering passengers and road users?
    b) get our electric buses here and working?
    c) replace those blue lights for extra credit? [via twitter]

  5. Rumpole, 19. August 2018, 13:24

    GWRC’s Chris Laidlaw must take remedial action and issue free taxi vouchers to disgruntled bus passengers. A small price to make amends.

  6. R. Walk, 19. August 2018, 22:03

    The buses are not running to schedule on the weekends let alone at peak times. Now they want to charge for weekend parking in the CBD. This is a complete disaster.

  7. Casey, 20. August 2018, 9:02

    Rumpole: Taxi vouchers paid for by the GWRC chair and councillors, rather than the long suffering ratepayers?

  8. IanS, 22. August 2018, 7:25

    And of course this shambles was packaged along with a 3% overall fare rise. Golden mile lollies from heaven.

  9. greenwelly, 22. August 2018, 10:53

    Caught a “ghost bus” yesterday, Route 1 middle of the day, not showing on any of the realtime boards or apps… What is going on here?

  10. Traveller, 22. August 2018, 11:08

    Waited for a number 7 bus outside David Jones yesterday afternoon at 2.45. The realtime board showed it was due in five minutes, four minutes, three minutes, two minutes. Then the listing disappeared. Five minutes later, the bus turned up (not listed on the board…)