Press Release – Greater Wellington Regional Council
Greater Wellington Regional Council and NZ Bus apologise to Wellington bus customers for the disruptions to bus services this morning and advise there will be continued disruption in the short term.
The Police Commercial Vehicle Investigation Unit (CVIU) and New Zealand Transport Authority (NZTA) are carrying out inspections of Wellington buses and the impact of these, along with damage to some buses from Monday’s floods and street works, are causing serious disruptions for commuters this week.
Wayne Hastie, Greater Wellington Regional Council’s Public Transport General Manager, says this unfortunate combination has meant that this morning, for example, more than 50 peak time services were not able to run.
“The CVIU/NZTA inspections are the key reason but matters have been made worse by the fact that some trolley bus motors were damaged in Monday’s flood and are still being repaired and daytime street works mean that diesel buses are replacing all trolley buses along some key routes which in turn reduces the bus supply.
“We sincerely apologise for the frustration customers are experiencing. Services could be disrupted for some time until the issues that are identified have been addressed. We have met with NZ Bus today to understand the issues and will continue to work with them on solutions for the immediate future. We’ll let people know what’s happening as soon as we can.”
Rachel Drew, NZ Bus Chief Operating Officer for Wellington, says: “NZ Bus understand that our performance is affecting customers, we are working through a plan which has been agreed with NZTA and CVIU to rectify the issues that have been identified. Work is also under way on proactive solutions for road performance.”
Wayne Hastie says the Regional Council’s contract with bus operators required them to have programmes in place to ensure vehicles met certain operational and safety standards and these were monitored regularly. “But our responsibilities are on an entirely different level from the CVIU.”
Senior Police Sergeant William Roy, Team Leader of Wellington region’s CVIU says the unit carries out checks on a variety of commercial vehicles as part of “business as usual”. These checks are to ensure compliance with road safety, customer safety and regulations. As part of these duties CVIU complete random inspections with partner agencies such as the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) on passenger service vehicles including taxi, shuttles, school buses and buses. These checks are to ensure compliance with road safety, customer safety and regulations. This week checks have been carried out on Wellington area buses.
“Most issues are corrected on site prior to the bus taking business. CVIU and NZTA staff are working closely with the bus companies to ensure the driver of the day completes a similar “walk around” check of his bus to ensure regulations are complied with. Improvement is steady.”
Some of the regulatory issues have been interior lighting, signage size, signage obscured (normally by advertising signs) or signage damaged and in need of replacing.
Other issues have been seating not properly secured, for example, some seats may be a little loose and in need of tightening, as is the case with some grab rails, some can be loose. This is likely a result of damage caused by some passengers or bolts can come loose over time.
Mechanical faults have included oil leaks and at times exterior lighting not operating. These issues have been minor in nature.
“All of the above compliance issues can result in police issuing the bus with a non operation sticker until such times as the issues have been rectified. In most cases this can be immediate and in others some more detailed work is required.”
Customers should check the Metlink website metlink.org.nz regularly for updates about services.