Wellington Scoop

As complaints continue, bus problems to be independently reviewed

Report from RNZ
Wellington’s new bus network is to be be independently reviewed after ongoing complaints of buses being late, too full to board or not showing up at all. The regional council today voted today to have the system reviewed and the results reported back by December.

Since the system was changed in July, the council has been bombarded with complaints.

Councillors have also asked officers to change a route so that it began and ended in Kilbirnie, as it previously did, and for feedback on whether some other routes can be changed.

At the beginning of the meeting several Wellington residents addressed the council to let it know they were still unhappy with the new bus routes.

A Wellington principal said the recent re-jig of the routes was making his students late for class and putting them in danger.

St Patrick’s College, Kilbirnie’s rector Neal Swindells told this morning’s meeting about 100-150 boys were using the new service.

“Currently our two 753 buses from the station in the afternoon are significantly overloaded and are unsafe. On Monday this week, they were both loaded to the gunnels and there were 30-odd students who couldn’t get on. So what they do is they cross the road to catch the new 24 bus, which by the time it leaves St Pat’s now is also overfull.”


  1. Michael Gibson, 19. September 2018, 18:54

    GW has made Wellington into a nation-wide laughing-stock and we heard at the meeting this morning that news of our bad bus mess is even being discussed in Australia. Thank goodness that somebody took the initiative and suggested an urgent review.

  2. Lainey, 20. September 2018, 9:08

    Remind me again who the transport expert/consultant was behind this fiasco?! Someone? Anyone?! What a complete and utter shambles. Now spending more money on a review. Sheesh. [via twitter]

  3. Wellington Commuter, 20. September 2018, 9:10

    In 2011 the regional council employed a team from MRCagney led by US-based transport consultant Jarrett Walker. The council took their advice to change what was a zero-budget Service Review into a Hub-and spoke redesign (but without adding any capital funding). [via twitter]

  4. Margie Scotts, 20. September 2018, 9:24

    Who is going to conduct the review and to what Terms of Reference? No-one associated with GWRC – official or elected – is appropriate. Why is Wayne Hastie, GM Public Transport, responsible for transport services, design and procurement, still employed?

  5. Lim Leong, 20. September 2018, 10:04

    If there is going to be an independent review (key word here is independent) then the review has got to go right back to the transport network design.
    Hub and spoke is not a dirty word in network design, it is a valid network architecture and has been in use successfully over 50 years in both physical transport networks and data transport networks. Hub and Spoke design has its limitations and constraints which are well understood.
    The GWRC planners / consultants are trying to be clever in solving the capacity constraints issue on Lambton Quay by introducing hub and spoke design. The wishful and deeply flawed thinking is that demand aggregation at the hubs will solve the capacity problems hence the PR spin about the 21st Century network. This back-fired spectacularly because a hub and spoke network without the underlying supporting infrastructure such as multi lane roads, dedicated bus lanes, purpose built hubs is doomed to fail. In any case, expecting people to transfer for a journey of less than 3 km is pure stupidity. You do not need to be a network design engineer to see the flaws in this network but GWRC refused to listen to the public in the 8 years of planning.
    The bigger problem now is it is very hard to fix a hub and spoke network especially if you do not have the underlying support infrastructure. I would argue that it is unfixable and hence I have advocated for a rollback. A rollback will fix major problems for commuters and this will buy time for considering future long-term options. However, it looks like there is quite a commercial contract to unravel to even achieve a partial rollback. Clever? NOT !

  6. DonP, 20. September 2018, 11:52

    15th July Day 0 – new bus contracts & timetables start
    16th July Day 1 – how many people left on bus stops today?

    6th Sept Day 53 – Greg Campbell appointed sole focus role to remedy.
    19th Sept Day 66 – how many people left on bus stops today?