Wellington Scoop

Metlink suspending some morning bus trips because of driver shortage

News from Wellington Regional Council
Metlink has released details of temporary morning peak bus changes as part of a series of measures to provide customers with certainty over the next six months, while NZ Bus addresses its driver shortage.

Starting Monday, nine routes will see some trips suspended in the morning peak with customers given advanced warning through the Metlink website and app detailing the trips affected, alternate travel times, and alternate services where available.

Greg Campbell, Greater Wellington Chief Executive, says the range of actions will enable NZ Bus to deliver the best possible service to customers with the drivers they currently have.

“The past few weeks have been an uncertain time with customers, particularly in the eastern suburbs, not being sure if their trip will happen or not. This was not acceptable so we have worked with NZ Bus to identify routes across the city that could be temporarily suspended or replaced with the least amount of impact on customers,” says Mr Campbell.

Metlink expects that customers travelling at alternate times and on alternate services during the morning peak will result in fuller buses with customers having to stand more.

“We know that this will impact on the level of comfort for customers but this inconvenience to around 200 passengers will bring increased certainty to thousands of customers across the 1,300 trips operated by NZ Bus each day,” says Mr Campbell.

Other measures include some essential community services, like the 12 and 28, being replaced by Metlink branded shuttle vans in the morning peak. Four morning school services will also be operated by alternative providers.

While the range of measures will provide increased certainty, Greater Wellington is also working with NZ Bus to quickly increase its driver numbers to ensure network performance is up to the standard customers expect.

Routes with temporary suspensions in morning peak: 12, 13, 14, 20, 21, 22, 28, 34 and 37.

Shuttle van replacements in morning peak: some 12 and 28 trips.

Morning school services provided by alternate operators: 711, 715,768, 888

More detail on the changes can be found at the Metlink website: https://www.metlink.org.nz/service-updates/were-making-some-temporary-morning-peak-bus-changes


  1. Tony Hurst, 24. February 2019, 21:00

    Who is the really incompetent person who decided to remove two adjacent buses from Mairangi as part of their attempts to “improve” the service. There is now a 30 minute gap between buses (7.45 to 8.15 am) at the peak time! It will be interesting to see how many people can fit on the 8.15am!

  2. NewStartOK, 25. February 2019, 9:46

    A seat on a bus isn’t a “nice to have” for some people – for many older passengers it’s what keeps us from falling over. Turning WellingtonBuses into cattle trucks isn’t OK. [via twitter]

  3. Tony Jansen, 25. February 2019, 11:02

    Yes those Donaldson buses are still around despite GWRC’s spin months ago that they would put the seats back.

  4. FedUpWithTheBuses, 25. February 2019, 21:30

    Agree with Tony that this latest move by Metlink shows incompetence and a disregard for the bus commuters of Northland and Wilton. Suspending two key buses right on peak time in order to provide a ‘better service’ is a joke.

    Overall the bus service changes have been a disaster. The quality, timeliness and reliability of services have taken a nose dive. Shows what you get when you engage in a race to the bottom by contracting in a service provider at cheapest cost, who clearly does not have enough funds to adequately remunerate and retain a loyal fleet of drivers. A line needs to be drawn and new contracts drawn up with a provider or providers that can do a better job.

  5. Michael Gibson, 26. February 2019, 7:26

    Here is a quote from an email I sent to our Ward Councilors just before the last Transport Meeting (the one which my friend Chris Laidlaw doesn’t attend): “It is absolutely clear from the latest GW Agenda that GW’s main activity involves trying to put fingers into dikes and that that they are even incapable of doing this.”
    The Northland rush-hour disgrace surely justifies their actually trying to help. They might start by sympathising with the excellent points made by Tony Hurst, NewStartOK, Tony Jansen and FedUpWithTheBuses.