Wellington Scoop

Metlink starting a “trial” bus service from Station to Zoo (one bus per hour)

News from Greater Wellington Regional Council
Metlink is introducing a six month trial bus service between Wellington Station and the Zoo on 3 February. The hourly service, named the 23z, will run between Wellington Station and Wellington Zoo, snaking its way down Courtenay Place, round the Basin Reserve and finally up Newtown to the Zoo and will operate seven days a week.

Chair of Greater Wellington Regional Council’s Sustainable Transport Committee Barbara Donaldson says the idea of a trial service comes from productive discussions with the Zoo and local residents.

“We’ve been listening to what people have been telling us, the zoo is absolutely one of the top attractions in the region, and a direct service from Wellington Station was the preferred solution from of a range of options.”

Metlink is promoting the new trial service to families across the region, tourists and residents close to the zoo in an information campaign, starting 21 January, encouraging them to make the most of the service over the next six months.

“Increased patronage will be the defining success factor for the trial. If people use the service we will make it a permanent part of the network,” says Cr Donaldson.

The trial service is in addition to the existing 23 and 23e services along parts of the same route.

Since the launch of the new network in July a range of actions have been implemented to improve travel to Wellington Zoo for bus customers, including signage, online information and a zoo-themed bus shelter in Newtown.

The 23z service starts on 3 February, and customers are encouraged to check the Metlink website and app for timetable information before travelling.

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
Original url


  1. Dave Armstrong, 12. January 2019, 18:01

    Getting a service back to what it was a year ago – for only six months – is a massive victory? [via twitter]

  2. Corrina Connor, 12. January 2019, 18:28

    Friends up near Northland with 3 little children used to have a door-to-door bus service to the Zoo, and as they have a membership, it was a great outing for them. Now they need, generally, 3 buses😖 [via twitter]

  3. Marion Leader, 13. January 2019, 7:49

    What is the planned timetable? Can I get a partial refund on my zoo membership since my access has been wrecked (see Corrinna Connor’s contribution)?

  4. Dave Armstrong, 13. January 2019, 21:31

    The GWRC would like to thank the inhabitants of the Wellington Zoo chimp enclosure for their idea of having a direct bus from the Railway Station to the Zoo. Brilliant. The chimps wanted every 20 mins but the wise heads at GWRC have decided hourly is enough for a major attraction. [via twitter]

  5. Sue Teodoro, 14. January 2019, 9:38

    I live across the road from the Zoo. The number of kids taking the bus to and from the Zoo has dropped hugely since the bus changes. How effed up is it that kids can’t get from and to the Zoo by public transport? What faceless nameless bureaucrat did that? [via twitter]

  6. NigelTwo, 14. January 2019, 10:13

    Welcome to the new normal with Cr Donaldson! This of course has been setup to fail. I quote:
    “Increased patronage will be the defining success factor”
    So at the end of this 6 month trial it will be winter, patronage will be down, and the service will be withdrawn accompanied by a smug “we listened and told you so”. Get used to the 3 transfers and hope you get there before the chimps are fed.

  7. Casey, 14. January 2019, 14:31

    Dave: Perhaps the chimps and GWRC councilors should swap roles.

  8. NewStartOK, 14. January 2019, 18:39

    Really disappointed they are bringing back the bus to Wellington Zoo AFTER school returns. So much for family outings in the holidays or for summer holiday tourists. Why not sooner? [via twitter]

  9. Roger Blakeley, 14. January 2019, 18:42

    Daran Ponter, Sue Kedgley, Roger Blakeley & Ian McKinnon advocated a trial service from the Railway Station to the Zoo before the school holidays started in December, but not possible. [via twitter]

  10. Mel G., 14. January 2019, 19:29

    Trial service? There used to be one before GWRC’s 8 year planning study removed it!

  11. Marion Leader, 15. January 2019, 9:18

    The use of glib phrases like “trial service” is yet another example of P.R. spin/gobbledygook.

  12. James S, 15. January 2019, 10:50

    Why is the route described as ‘snaking its way’ when the new bus service will be taking the most direct route?

  13. Chris Horne, 15. January 2019, 15:15

    As a frequent user of the no. 22 bus service between Mairangi/Northland and Wellington Railway Station, where it irritatingly terminates, why not terminate it at Wellington Zoo instead, every day of the week? The service to the zoo would then be half-hourly, and we Mairangi/Northland bus users would get back our former good bus service which went along the Golden Mile to the Basin Reserve, Wellington Hospital and Newtown. We would be chuffed, as would visitors to Wellington Zoo.

  14. Peter Kerr, 15. January 2019, 18:12

    Chris, your suggestion makes such blindingly good sense; but good sense doesn’t find favour with councillors. Northland passengers lost badly in the July fiasco. The resumption of a through service to Basin, Hospital, Newtown and zoo would do something to make amends. Far better this than a terminating service which heads off in the wrong direction to the Railway Station.
    What is also annoying is the cloying language that Donaldson uses; ..”productive discussions with the Zoo and local residents” means whatever you want it to. “Increased patronage will be the defining success factor for the trial” is code for “We know best”, despite the mess they created from a service that was acceptable.

  15. Marion Leader, 23. January 2019, 6:41

    Still no timetable for 23z in spite of the above promise of “information campaign starting 21 January.”
    And I’m still waiting for a refund on my zoo membership after the wrecking of my access.