Wellington Scoop

Going slowly with review of bus problems

Report from RNZ
The Greater Wellington Regional Council is being accused of dragging its heels over a review into the bungled bus network.

An independent review into the implementation of the new network was completed last year. However, the draft terms of reference for the design part of the review were only announced at a council meeting today, with public consultation expected to be completed by the end of August.

The review will “look at the network design and timetables with the community to determine if there are changes that can be made to better meet the needs of the community.” It will also include an assessment of contractual arrangements with operators, fare policies, the supporting technology and systems – including ticketing, real time information, bus priority traffic measures.

A final date for the completion of the review has not been announced but public consultation is expected to be completed by the end of August.

Public transport advocate Tony Randle said that wasn’t good enough.

“This is the second meeting of the transport committee and they still have got no dates for when we’re going to do the consultation on something that is supposedly the number one priority of the whole council and it’s urgent, urgent urgent… talk about dragging your heels on what’s supposed to be a burning issue.

“People are hurting every week, so every delay means people are hurting without having a chance to have their say to get it fixed and outline the problems they see.”

He thinks it now looks likely that the network won’t be fixed until May next year.

A report to the Regional Council found that, while the number of buses going down the Golden Mile – or the centre of the city – had reduced, there were still problems with queuing during the morning peak, and bunching during both the morning and afternoon peak.

The number of complaints was also more than double than February last year, with 2011 complaints, up from 907 in February 2018.


  1. Michael Gibson, 21. March 2019, 18:31

    The suggestion from somebody very close to me is that all Regional Councillors are required only to use public transport when travelling within the boundaries of Wellington City.

  2. Chris Horne, 22. March 2019, 11:53

    What a good idea Michael! Require some regional councillors to travel on the no. 22 services from Johnsonville via Mairangi and Northland to Wellington Station in the morning peak, on a wet day. Then they may experience what we commuters face:
    1. the possibility that the bus we want to catch has been cancelled;
    2. Any bus originating from Johnsonville may be standing-room only, so can’t fit the councillors on board;
    3. If we are lucky to be able to board the bus, we then have to dash across to the bus stops on the opposite side of Lambton Quay in the rain to board a bus running along the Golden Mile where many of us work, go shopping, or go the restaurants.

    I look forward to seeing regional councillors on our morning-peak no. 22 bus services, when they come to experience what we have to put up with all too often.

  3. michael, 22. March 2019, 12:37

    I have a question? Does anyone know the average age of the GWRC councillors as it seems to me that they are so far out of touch I have to wonder if they are well past it. Given that the next generation will be faced with the decisions they make is it time we had a complete change?

  4. Guy M, 22. March 2019, 15:30

    Chris Horne – I may have missed something, but are you actually complaining about having to cross the road? I agree that the bus services have become really bad, but that simple act of road crossing does not sound like a true hardship to me.

  5. Kara Lipski, 23. March 2019, 18:00

    Excellent idea for GWRC councillors to use the bus – preferably on routes that require a few bus changes and don’t have late night services. Trouble is, those councillors who already use the buses are unlikely to be joined by others who are the authors of the bustrastrophe.